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Albanian Sage Project

Albanian Sage Project
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​​Griffith Foods is proud to be the first company to source sage from Rainforest Alliance™ certified farms, located in the Albanian regions of Shkodara, Kukes and Berat. The sage is sustainably grown to benefit local farm families, wildlife, and the environment while creating a consistent supply for Griffith. Through this partnership, we are in the process of training 250 farmers to achieve Rainforest Alliance Group Certification. This is a big step towards achieving our Griffith Sustainable Sourced (GSS) Goal of sourcing 100% of our Sage as Rain Forest Alliance certified by the year 2018.

Sage typically grew wild on the rocky mountains in Albania. Picking wild Sage leaves from these mountains is an extremely strenuous and precarious activity for the local gatherers. Cultivation of Sage provides a more productive and less demanding way of securing Sage leaves. By moving to cultivated product, we are creating a safer and consistent source of sage.

Griffith’s involvement included more environmental friendly methods of cultivation, better harvesting practices and introduction of more sustainable cleaning methods. This is helping ensure supply-security and long term viability of sage cultivation. A clear manifestation of this is the stable price of Sage being paid to farmers since Griffith began its Sustainable sourcing activities for this raw material two years ago.

Griffith is also educating farmers on farm-waste handling, methods of reducing foreign matter in the product, and only using services of hygienic cleaning facilities. Farmers are now educated to pack Sage hygienically on the farm and deliver directly to Griffith’s approved Sustainable cleaning facilities. Griffith has specified a stringent hard stem percentage of just 0.5%, when formerly Sage Raw Material exported out of Albania had hard Stem percentage over 10%.

With this additional material, Griffith is starting a practice of recycling the Stem back to the farm to enrich the soil after they are first used to extract valuable Sage Oil. This process enriches the soil and positively impacts our carbon footprint and volume to landfill around the world.

This is just one example of active projects focused on ensuring Rainforest Alliance certification of the farms from which we purchase our raw materials. We believe in working for a better tomorrow, driving responsibility through environmental action, and caring for the communities in which we do business. By doing this, we continue Creating Better Together!​
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​​ What is Griffith Sustainably Sourced? Griffith Sustainably Sourced is Griffith Foods’ strategic sourcing program that targets farm-level integration of the supply chain to help agricultural producers improve the yields and production of their fields while enabling the company to trace raw materials included products. This program also increases the amount of raw materials we source from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.

What is the Rainforest Alliance? The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Visit www.rainforest-alliance.org ​to learn more.
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Expertise: GSS
Sustainability: People, Planet, Performance
Giridhar is the Director of Griffith Sustainably Sourced and the Director of Purchasing at Griffith India. He has more than 22 years of experience in sourcing agricultural commodities such as spices, and is responsible for vertical integration of Griffith's supply chain.
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