In Environment & Climate Change, News

All information correct at time of going to print. 

On 30 January, 2018 two representatives from the City of Cape Town met with  Food Lover’s Market’s Head of Sustainability – Andrew Millson, the Environmental Manager – Siglinda Losch and Operations Managers and Heads of Departments across Food Lover’s Market and FreshStop. This included several franchisees from FreshStop @ Caltex stores, as well as representatives from Chevron. This meeting came at the request of Food Lover’s Market after previous engagements with the city towards the end of 2017 about what Food Lovers Market could be doing to help raise awareness of the drought situation.

The meeting entailed a briefing from the City of Cape Town regarding the status of the current water crisis and contingencies with regards to Day Zero – scheduled for 16 April 2018 at the time of the meeting.

An important fact worth noting is that Day Zero can still be avoided if all Capetonians across all industries and in their residential homes work together and meet the current restrictions in effect.  This remains Food Lover’s Market primary goal: to work with our people and our customers to avert Day Zero.

The City of Cape Town would like to thank Western Cape residents and businesses for what they have already achieved by lowering the daily consumption of water in our drought-stricken province.

What is the City of Cape Town doing?

Local government is building a number of desalination plants and drilling into aquifers to assist. These projects will only offer assistance after the current predicted date of Day Zero. The City of Cape Town envisions that the first desalination plants will be up and running around June 2018. However, this will not by any means make a huge impact on the amount of water needed in the Western Cape.

What is Food Lover’s Market doing?

We are considering the wellbeing of Food Lover’s Market staff and what implication having to collect water will have on their work and personal life. All Western Cape Food Lover’s Market stores are having tanks installed and are investigating reliable and legal sources of water to provide the stores with a minimal amount of water.

However, as mentioned, our primary goal remains averting Day Zero, and to this effect we are engaging with employees and managers to ensure that our own water consumption continues to drop. An example of this is that all stores are required to send through daily water readings for monitoring. Another example is the fact that we turned off all taps in bathrooms ate Head Office Facilities in October 2017 and replaced with sanitisers. The same process is now happening at all toilets in FLM stores.

We are also installing water harvesting buffer tanks and filtration systems at all our stores.

Can customers buy water at Food Lover’s Market?

The reverse osmosis plants at the Willowbridge and Tokai Food Lover’s Market stores were shut down quite a while ago, as the procedure of reverse osmosis is wasteful on water. The filtration systems, although they do not lose a lot of water in the process, have still been taken offline at the request of the city. The City will be looking into various water filtration companies  over the next few weeks who are not compliant.

Food Lover’s Market, however, will still be sourcing water from its regular suppliers and as far as possible – for as long as possible – make this available for purchase.

Where is the water sold at Food Lover’s Market sourced from?

The water sold in Western Cape Food Lover’s Market stores are sourced from Citrusdal which is used as the Food Lover’s Market branded bottled water, Aquella which supplies Aquella branded bottled water, Clover which supplies Aquartz branded bottled water and Coke which supplies Valpre and Bonaqua branded bottled water are predominantly sourced from Gauteng and KZN. Due to the high demand for water, we are also looking at engaging with alternative suppliers outwith the Western Cape.

Will the price of water sold at Food Lover’s Market increase over time?

At a meeting with the City of Cape Town last year, Food Lover’s Market guaranteed that we would not increase the price of water that is within our control. However, we do not control the cost charged to us from our suppliers. If we reach Day Zero, Food Lover’s Market has guaranteed that we will sell our own brand water at cost price.

What is Food Lover’s Market doing in terms of hygiene practices in our kitchens and specialised departments?

While reduction is our core focus, we will not compromise on Food Safety and the health of our customers. In the kitchen, we will continue to use water (while available) to ensure that all hygiene codes are adhered to. In the event of Day Zero becoming a reality, we have identified which departments will no longer be able to run as we will be having to use minimal water on a daily basis, and as mentioned, this will be prioritised to ensure food safety standards continue to be met.

We are also using hand sanitisers and are communicating the importance of applying strict hygiene practices across all departments.

Will seafood departments still be operational at Food Lover’s Market stores in the Western Cape?

No.

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To find our more about you, as a consumer or business owner needs to know, based on the information we have received through official channels: Please read our article: What you can do to prevent and plan for Day Zero.