Loving Earth was one of the first brands to be introduced to the Le Bono Collection. In the opening stages of Le Bono, we were on a mission travelling the world to find the leading organic and sustainable brands, which have amazing branding, strong leadership and true to our core philosophy. Melbourne was, of course, one of our stops on our journey and having visited several organic stores it was clear we needed to make a call into the Loving Earth HQ.
Within 48hours, calls were made and we were fortunate to set up a meeting with the founder, Scott Fry. Scott obviously lives and breathes his passion. With a bowl of the famous Loving Earth Buckinis, sharing with us how this makes for not only a perfect breakfast but also an amazing snack for those on the go. The next step we had our white hair nets on and shoe liners and we were guided into the manufacturing facility where the magic happens. Over the course of the next 3 hours, Scott was patient in showing us his process, sharing the huge walk in dehydration rooms where the fresh Kale is folded and dehydrated to crisp perfection!
The Loving Earth story happened like this:
"Our journey begins in rural India, not far from Mumbai, where our founding director Scott Fry had been living on an all fruit diet, studying yoga and working with the local Adivasi people on an organic farming project. It was there that he met our co-founder, Martha Butler. The industry had begun creeping into the area and many local farmers were selling their topsoil to brickmakers since agriculture just wasn't a viable source of income anymore. It was back in 2000 that David Suzuki's book From Naked Ape To Superspecies provoked Scott's realisation that to really support these communities, the key was having a brand in the marketplace. Finding a way to support these people meant finding ways of commercialising their commodities in a way that not only honoured them, but also allowed them to do what they'd been doing for thousands of years.
Scott and Martha subsequently journeyed to Mexico, working with an indigenous Mayan co-operative to help them find a market for their coffee and cacao. It started to become apparent that the only real asset many of these communities had in the modern world were the crops that their ancestors had domesticated. It was the Olmecs, the ancestors of the Mayan cooperative that Scott was working with in Izapa, who first domesticated cacao thousands of years ago.
Three years later Scott & Martha were back in Melbourne, broke and with a child on the way…but full of inspiration! Loving Earth began in 2007. It took off quickly: we found that people were looking for products which could fulfill our values and we've been running to try and keep up with demand ever since! In fact, one of our biggest challenges has been to grow the operation fast enough. We now have two Melbourne facilities - a far cry from our humble beginnings, renting out a little bakery at night to make our chocolate, operating the business from home, hand wrapping chocolate bars in the kitchen. It took a while, but now we have a brand in the marketplace that makes that initial vision a reality. Everything has come full circle, and we've been able to go and work with the Aboriginal community of Nyul Nyul people up in the Kimberley, doing exactly what Scott envisioned back in India: creating a brand which is healthy, sustainable and fair for all of those involved with it, from grower to consumer.
Our purpose is to make the foods we provide available to you in a way that honours both the Indigenous people that have cultivated them for thousands of years and the earth and ecosystems in which they are grown. Our vision is to be able to take the manufacturing of the products we develop back to the indigenous communities who grow and process the raw materials, thereby adding more value to their work and increasing the revenue they can generate for their families.