This week we spoke with Scott DiGuistini and Merissa Myles from Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt, a socially-conscious Vancouver Island-based family business that takes sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint very seriously. Here’s what they had to say:
Last year, Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt switched to new, highly innovative sustainable packaging for its yogurt containers. It is the first company in Canada to use these lightweight plastic containers, which contain 50% less plastic than most, and are reinforced with cardboard sleeves. In the first year, Tree Island will save at least 26,000 lbs of plastic – the average weight of 22 dairy cows – by using these containers for its entire product line. This initiative aligns perfectly with Spud’s #LetsNotWaste campaign.
“We are excited about our new package because it is moving our commitment to environmental sustainability forward and reducing our footprint,” said Scott. “While it’s a new package, the artisan recipes have stayed the same, as has our commitment to using fresh whole milk from grass-fed cows, BC honey and live cultures.”
Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt owners Scott and Merissa are both committed to the local food movement. They settled in the Comox Valley, where they could combine Scott’s scientific experience in microbiology and Myles’ passion for food with the Island’s source of grass-fed milk to create a high-quality, grass-fed yogurt not otherwise available in Canada. Research shows that grass-fed milk contains more Omega 3s, Beta Carotene and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).
“Ingredients matter, which is why we choose carefully,” said Merissa. “We are proud to work with local dairies, like Birkdale Farm in Comox, and use only 100% fresh, local grass-fed milk in our recipes. We are therefore 100% Canadian Milk Certified and our yogurt doesn’t contain any skim milk powder, thickeners or fillers. Now more than ever it is important for consumers to look for this marker. Dairy products with the 100% Canadian Milk symbol guarantees that they are free of antibiotics and bovine growth hormones.”
She added, “We developed recipes for grass-fed yogurt because we are passionate about the benefits for humans, cows and the land. Management of pasture land with grass and forage crops is good for soil ecology, plant biodiversity and for maintaining wildlife habitat.”
Scott and Merissa are thrilled to offer their luscious Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt (cream top and Greek varieties) to Spud’s discerning customers and support the organization’s #LetsNotWaste campaign through its own sustainability measures.