I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve been invited to participate in the Global Irish Economic Forum later this weekend in Dublin Castle. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to explore our vision for a sustainable, healthy food business with other like-minded Irish and international producers and Irish diaspora from all over the world.

As you know here at Maria Lucia Bakes we take our commitment to sustainability seriously. It was a way of life I just absorbed growing up, watching my mother produce all her own fresh cakes and breads for the family guesthouse and tea rooms. Running a modern small business I didn’t really know how we could make a difference to ensuring sustainability along our supply chain. Then I heard about the Bord Bia Origin Green Initiative and realised that we could actually do quite a lot. I admit it has been a real challenge but it has completely changed our mind-set and now we find we’re looking at sustainability across everything we do.

As Origin Green members, we made a commitment to ensure our production process only uses sustainable raw materials. We are working hard to reduce our packaging waste through our online sales. We have introduced an Employee of the Quarter programme, everyone working on our production and distribution process is encouraged to come up with ideas of how we can improve. We’ve reduced the sugar in our newest products and we continue will strive to produce healthy products going forward. We have committed to share new recipes with our customers in our aim to provide education on healthy living. 2.5% or our net profits will go to the Coeliac Society and we hope that our contribution will increase awareness and help fund research into healthy gluten-free alternatives.

The Global Irish Economic Forum is an opportunity to draw on the expertise and experience of a global Irish network of over 300 influential individuals from over 40 countries. I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say, there is so much to discuss and so many ideas to share. It’s really important that we all realise how much we, as individuals and small businesses can do. Sustainability is not just an issue for big corporations; we all have a part to play. Our business model is lean and efficient, with everyone playing to their strengths; we cut out any duplication of work and keep our energy usage and CO2 emissions low.  Once I started to question every stage of our production and distribution process, I realised that by making small changes, we were capable of making a big difference not just to our business but also to our community.

This is just the start of our journey, the process will continually evolve and I know that now we’ve started there’s no going back. Everything we do will be questioned, in the constant search to see if we can improve. Please let me know if you’ve got any ideas on how we can think locally and act globally to ensure the quality and sustainability of the food we eat.

Global Irish Economic Forum Dublin Castle November 19 to 21 all details can be found here