Last updated: July 2016
Spotlight on Best Buy Label: Lucy Bee
Tell us a bit about your business
Lucy Bee is a small family-run business. After its founder, Lucy, was diagnosed as a coeliac at 18months old her family was forced to look at labels and the foods they ate to ensure that she ate a wheat free diet.
They were shocked at the amount of additives and preservatives in everyday foods and so embarked on a diet of natural, unprocessed foods to nourish the body, cooking from scratch with nutrient-dense ingredients as often as they possibly could.
Then in 2007, as part of their quest, they were introduced to coconut oil and its benefits. The family wanted to share their new-found passion and set about sourcing an ethical, organic coconut oil at an affordable price. Lucy Bee Ltd was set up in 2012.
Since then, the company has expanded its range to include other natural, store cupboard ingredients, all with the same values of ethical sourcing, organic and Fair Trade, where possible.
As a company, it’s important for us to be Fair Trade. It’s second nature to us to insist on organic farming methods, have recyclable packaging and maintain ethical and sustainable processes to bring our products into homes.
Part of our team includes, Daisy, Lucy’s sister who is currently finalising her Masters degree in Public Health Nutrition and the rest of us are all enthusiastic supporters of eating as close to nature as possible. The main way we approach a healthy lifestyle is with products that are free from additives, coupled with a balance of daily exercise.
Why do you think you received our best buy label?
At Lucy Bee we really care about the food we eat and firmly believe we have a social responsibility to make sure that every hand involved in the production process of our products, is treated fairly:
- We fully buy into the principles of organic farming methods – it’s important that we leave our planet in as good shape as possible for future generations.
- Not only are the coconuts that we use in our coconut oil, organic but they also grow in an agroforestry environment – here coconut and banana palms grow amongst the natural tropical vegetation and it’s one of the most environmentally friendly agricultural production systems in existence. Crops grown in this way work in harmony with nature – it contributes to soil fertility, cleaner water through reduced nutrient run-off and it allows for other crops to grow between the coconut trees.
- Our coconut oil is from single estates.
- As a raw product, our coconut oil is unrefined and as natural as can be.
- Fair Trade certified. Why wouldn’t a product be Fair Trade? As such, we can help improve the lives of those that produce our products through fairer wages, contracts for all workers, funds for sustainable community developments and a guarantee of no animal cruelty amongst other things. Our Fair Trade certification also guarantees no monkeys are used to pick or collect the coconuts that are used for our oil – we learnt from the Director of our Fair Trade body (Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance, FairTSA) that whilst monkeys actually enjoy picking coconuts, what’s not acceptable is the way they’re kept, chained and in cages.
- Our display trays are made from recycled cardboard and we use recyclable glass jars, rather than plastic, with the highest standard of food safety for the seal inside the steel lids. To encourage reuse of the jars, we offer customers a free jar of coconut oil for every 12 of our easy peel labels sent to us.
- Our coconut oil is bottled in facilities which are certified by the British Retail Consortium (BRC grade A), which monitors food safety standards.
- Every import of our coconut oil is subjected to a number of tests to confirm its purity, oil content and that it is lactose and gluten free.
- Our coconut oil is vegan certified. No animals are used in the picking of the coconuts used for our coconut oil, nor at any stage during the extracting of the oil, delivery or transportation.
- In addition, we also like to support smaller charities in whichever way we can. At the moment we’re supporting the Love Support Unite Africa through their connection with the Little Blossoms Project. All commissions raised through our affiliate scheme with Amazon, are donated to this charity, along with one-off fundraising efforts throughout the year
What do you think is the most important aspect of Lucy Bee?
An awareness of and genuine desire to offer a premium quality, ethical service, which is evident in all that we do and is the main thread that runs through the foundation of our company. Whether this is our ingredients, the packaging, our social responsibility or our openness and honesty in all that we do.
If you had to sum up the ethos of Lucy Bee in two sentences, what would they be?
Fair Trade, recycling and ethical and sustainable living are at the heart of everything that we do. We emphasise eating close to nature and adopting a healthy lifestyle, with balance being the key.
Have you ever had to make business decision that challenged your ethical standpoint?
In an ideal world, the answer to this would be ‘Of course not!’ however the realities of business can offer certain challenges at times.
Part of our range of products now includes salts –Himalayan, Dead Sea and Epsom salts and we would like to purchase these as Fair Trade certified. Since this is not possible at the moment we ensure due diligence by confirmation from our producers that the salts are produced ethically.
Where Can Consumers Find your Products?
Our coconut oil is available in three sizes: 300ml for £6, 500ml £9.95 and 1 litre £17.95.
Stockists include Sainbury’s, Booths, Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, independent health stores plus numerous online retailers including Amazon.
We have a store locater on our website where customers can check which is their closest stockist simply by inputting their postcode:
Any enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org