The Recipe for a Better Future

We spoke to Mar Barri, Head of Sustainability at Flax & Kale, La Roca Village's flexitarian restaurant, to find out more about how their new brand of cooking with a social conscience aims to fill our tables with healthy, responsibly sourced food.

29 October 2020

Flax & Kale is the Village’s first flexitarian food venue, what does being flexitarian mean?

It means having a diet that’s 80% plant-based, but also includes small amount of animal products that have been produced and processed in a way that is respectful to the animal. It also focuses on eating healthily and avoiding ingredients that aren’t great for our health, such as refined sugar, and preparing and cooking food in a way that maximises its nutritional value.

What has been Flax & Kale’s greatest success so far?

Achieving B Corp certification and everything that entails: we’ve put together a sustainability plan, established ambitious goals and are following a path based on this certification to ensure that our business growth doesn’t compromise our sustainability objectives.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Finding safe, affordable alternatives to single-use plastic containers for our food. I’m totally anti single-use plastics! When using plastic is unavoidable it’s essential that we reuse or recycle it wherever possible.

Sustainability is the foundation for creating a better future

Mar Barri

Flax & Kale

What are the next steps in Flax & Kale's ambitious sustainability plan?

We have a number of projects planned over the next three years: installing solar panels at our production centre; increasing the number of direct partnerships we have with farmers in Lleida and helping them to become more eco-friendly; continuing to promote the use of biodegradable packaging and supporting research around it; improving our waste management through a composting project; expanding our employee benefits programme and more. We’ll also continue to spreads the healthy eating message and work on more zero-waste innovations, like our cold-pressed nachos.

Your motto is “Be hungry for actions, not words”, can you tell us more about this?

At the moment, many businesses are confusing consumers in the way they communicate about sustainability. They shout about small, tactical actions that they’re taking to construct an image that doesn’t reflect the reality. It’s important to cut through the noise and focus on the facts to truly understand the values of a company and how credible they are.

What does sustainability mean today?

Sustainability has an increasingly broad meaning. For example, in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability relates not only to natural resources, ecosystems, and the health of our planet, but also to people, taking into account equality, healthcare, food, education and more. In a business context, sustainability means everything from the management of raw materials, waste and natural resources to policies relating to employees, suppliers, clients, and even the local community.

Has engagement with sustainability changed following the COVID-19 pandemic?

I think it’s too soon to tell at the moment, but without a doubt, it’s been a wake-up call for many. It’s generated a lot of awareness around the role that each of us plays in global issues and the impact we have on sustainability as individuals. I really hope that this disruptive experience leads to behavioural changes with tangible results.

What are your three top tips for being more sustainable?

The three things I think we can all do, that make a real impact, are responsibly consuming animal products, reducing our use of single-use plastics and recycling properly.

It’s important to shop responsibly, purchasing seasonal, local produce that’s organic where possible.

Mar Barri

Flax & Kale Street

What can we do to make our diet healthier and more sustainable?

Eating more fruit, vegetables, grains and seeds is essential. It’s also important to be a conscious consumer, purchasing seasonal, local produce that’s organic where possible. Finally, reducing your consumption of heavily processed foods and taking your time to cook, prepare and enjoy meals really matters. The happiness that comes from sharing a home-cooked meal with friends can’t be beaten.