Feel Good Food – Nutritionally Beneficial
Here at Bakes and Balls, our snacks are a ‘feel good food’ for the simple reason that natural foods taste fantastic.
Our products are all handmade in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales without using gluten, nuts, dairy, soya and added sugars. They are suitable for those following a Paleo or Vegan diet and Free From all 14 allergens!
Feel Good Food – Sustainable and Fairly Traded ingredients – and more
We use organic and fairly traded products wherever we can and are working to source ALL of our ingredients organically. We are proud of the fact that we have a moral compass at the heart of all we do – it extends beyond the ‘headlines’ simply because people and communities matter!
We wanted to introduce you to the story behind some of our ingredients and to the people who produce them. Hopefully this will give you an insight into what makes Bakes and Balls just that little bit different.
Bula Batiki Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Bula Batiki is used to help bind the balls together. There are numerous Coconut Oil companies out there, but no others can claim an aim as simple as this: “to establish a sustainable source of income for the rural island of Batiki in Fiji.” Bula Batiki have recently been awarded organic status and we look forward to ordering their Organic Coconut Oil.
Buf Cafe Coffee from Rwanda
The Coffee in the Coffee, Mango and Goji Super Balls is sourced by Bruce and Luke’s of Carlisle from Buf Café in Remera, Rwanda. Buf Café was established by Epiphanie Mukashyaka, who lost her husband in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, but stayed on to rebuild her coffee farm – a truly inspirational woman!
Buf Café buys coffee cherries from as many as 264 surrounding smallholder farmers, as well as three different local cooperatives! It has very strong links with the local communities that supply it, providing over 200 jobs at their 2 coffee washing stations during the peak harvest in addition to over 20 permanent positions. At the end of each season Buf shares any surplus profits with both the cooperatives that it works with and its washing station managers.
The majority of the small farmers in the area have an average of only 300 coffee trees (less than a quarter of a hectare) and use some of their land to cultivate other crops such as maize and beans to feed themselves and their families. Most of their income from the sale of coffee is used to take their children to school, pay for medical care and for investment in livestock such as a cow for milk, both for use in the home and for sale locally.
Our Cocoa products come from Chocolat Madagascar who not only produce one of the finest chocolate products in the world, but are also producers of the world’s fairest chocolate!
Unlike most cocoa, this is unalcalised; unlike most cocoa; this is taken from bean to bar in-country; unlike most cocoa you can even eat the 100% cocoa bar. It truly is an exceptional product and makes all the difference to our Chocolate Orange Energy Balls and our Frocolate Spread, which was shortlisted for TWO 2018 Nourish Awards!
This cocoa only grows in the Rainforest, creating a sustainable and growing haven for the endangered animals and fauna of Madagascar. Chocolat Madagascar’s farmers produce some of the finest cocoa in the world in the Sambirano valley in Northwest Madagascar. They’re paid premium prices based on the quality of the rare cocoa beans they harvest. Higher income means a higher standard of living for the farmers and their families. After fermenting and drying, usually cocoa would be exported to Chocolate factories in different parts of the world where it would be turned into chocolate.
However in the case of Chocolat Madagascar, the fresh cocoa stays in-country where it is crafted into Fine Chocolate at the Chocolaterie Robert factory . This raises the skills of local people, increases the value and ultimately contributes to raising the wealth at origin, rather than overseas: Raisetrade.
We use Holy Lama’s Spice Drops to help give our energy balls their fresh clean flavours. They contain no preservatives and their philosophy is simple – they create products which are pure, natural, ethical and sustainable.
The Holy Lama factory in Kerala is recognised as a women’s enterprise, as its workforce is 80% female – predominantly from disadvantaged backgrounds. They source their raw materials locally and pay farmers immediately a fair price. Their workers are paid on an equal pay basis, regardless of gender and they automatically increase their wages annually in line with inflation. The factory itself operates on sustainable principles, producing less than 1% waste during the manufacturing process – and even this goes to provide fuel or cattle feed!
Most impressively, Holy Lama produce Ayurvedic medicine to treat Parkinson’s Disease in the local community, supplying it free of charge as a charitable donation to those who need it.
Mango from Burkina Faso and Baobab from Ghana
We continue to strive for more of our ingredients to come from fairly traded and sustainable sources, so we are excited that we have been able to source Organic mango from Gebana, who work with local farmer co-operatives in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso, in West Africa, is one of the world’s poorest countries and ranks 185th out of 188 on the UN Human Development Index. Gebana supports over 3000 farming families, giving them long-term security by training them in organic farming practices which allows them to benefit from higher prices paid for organic fairly-traded goods
Meanwhile, in North-West Ghana, Aduna have been working with over 650 baobab producers in 20 communities as well as supporting an additional 200 women in their processing centre. Similarly to Chocolat Madagascar, this ensures that a greater proportion of the product’s value remains in-country.
You will be able to find out more about both of these products in our upcoming ‘Ingredients’ blogs!
Closer to home…
We may only be a young company but we are proud to support projects both locally in Cumbria and further afield. We are directly involved in the Kendal People’s Cafe – an exciting food-waste project that won the award for Community Innovation in the Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards 2018.
We are also proud to have supported the launch of the Matt Campbell 3.16 Resilience Brathay Trust Programme. Masterchef Winner, Matt Campbell was keen to promote healthy eating choices amongst young people and at the launch, we gave out over 600 energy balls to pupils, staff and guests at Matt’s old school, Kirkby Kendal.
Forest Side Chef Martin Frickel, approached us to look at Matts’ Marathon Ball recipe and produce a simplified version that anyone could make at home. We came up with an Apple and Blackberry recipe that was free-from (and could therefore be eaten by anyone); quick and easy to make with the family; could be frozen and taken out for lunchboxes on a daily basis – and most importantly, cheap to produce – £3 for 70 balls!
We have also started work on a fundraising project with Dallaglio Rugby Works to support mentoring and skills development project with young people who have been excluded from school and are in danger of falling by the wayside. We will be donating 20p from the sale of each pack of Super Balls to the project with a goal of raising £15,000 every year to support a school in the North West..