From the very beginning, we've tried hard to make sure that the oil ending up on your table gets there with as small a carbon footprint as possible.
It was initially quite a struggle to find bottles that could be used again-and-again, as most olive oil bottles have a single-use pourer with the expectation that they're thrown away - or at best, recycled - when empty.
We're also pretty thorough about making sure transportation and deliveries are as green as possible, and in Berlin and Budapest (our European homes and hubs!) we work with 2 small cargo-bike collectives, so everything's delivered by pedal-power!
In the UK we've been supplying packaging-free / zero-waste shops since 2012. In 2019, SESI Refill and Honest Toil developed a pioneering circular refill system; SESI deliver, collect, and clean our 20 litre tubs to be refilled with extra virgin olive oil again and again.
SESI is an Oxford-based social enterprise, who've been refilling packaging with ethical products since 2006, and use gravity to fill tubs and a home designed and built low-carbon, minimal-water technology to clean them. Even just as a small operation, they estimate they help reuse over 1 million bottles a year!
In 2014, in a series of wide-ranging measures intending to combat fraud in the olive oil industry, the EU brought in a ban on selling extra virgin olive oil on-tap. Unfortunately, this regulation hasn't done much to stop the big-scale monopolies diluting their olive oil before bottling, but instead means the independent, ethical, packaging-free refill-shops now have to jump through hoops in order to be able to sell a pure product; as we aim to supply the fruits of our toil with as minimal packaging as possible, we’ve reluctantly decided to "infuse" our most recent harvest with pinch of cracked black pepper in order to comply with the law.
We’re hoping that this is a temporary necessity and that the sale of unblended, unpackaged extra virgin olive oil will soon be legal again. For now, our “cracked black pepper infusion” does not affect the flavour or quality of the oil.