November 28th, 2016

London Drugs Celebrates #BCBuyLocal Week with Local BC and Western Canadian Products.

London Drugs Local Products

As a proud Western Canadian Owned Company (Based in Richmond BC) London Drugs knows the value of a strong, local economy. So this week we take extra care to focus on products made right here by our neighbours and friends. Here are just a few of them, from companies large and small. Whether you live in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, we hope you will share these local success stories and help spread the word.

Nature's Path Organic CerealNature’s Path  This company is an international success story, growing to become North America’s largest organic cereal maker. Much production is done south of the border now, but the company started here and is still headquartered in Richmond, BC.

Que Pasa Organic ChipsAnd don’t forget Que Pasa Tortilla Chips, (also brought to you by Natures Path), these chips are organic, delicious and made in a zero waste plant right in Delta BC.

Love Child Organics How about a BC company started by two new parents in Whistler? Can you GET any more local than that? Love Child has a great line of baby foods, and they work hard to produce in Canada and use North American ingredients wherever possible.

Holy Crap! From Dragon’s Den to commercial success, we are proud to have this organic, non-GMO star on our shelves. You just have to try it.

Hippie Foods GranolaHippie Foods  Another made-in-BC granola success story, this great brand comes from Left Coast Naturals, in Burnaby.

New World Organics From a small organic food store in East Vancouver, this local business continues to grow. You can buy their delicious granola in 908g packs, saving both packaging and money. It’s one of the best granola Green Deals in our store!

London Drugs Organic Coffee Selection

Locally Roasted Coffee! Your London Drugs coffee section is a virtual tour of amazing local roasters: Earth’s Choice, Ethical Bean, Salt Spring, Kicking Horse, Commercial Drive, Pacific Coffee… with all these fair trade and organic options, you don’t have to go any further. (And for Green Deal hunters, there’s almost always something on sale!)

Fresh is Best Tortilla Chips One of the tastiest products to ever come out of Kamloops, BC.

Hardbite Local BC chipsHardbite Chips Farmer-owned and farmer-grown, Hardbite operates BC’s only potato chip manufacturing plant. This company is so local they even have BC scenes on their packaging.

Bremner’s Juice Family owned right down the way in Delta, BC. This line of pure juices is just that – no additives, no sugar… just fruit!

Adwood Pine CrateAdwood Pine Crate Here’s a great product made from BC wood by a BC company – its sustainable, durable and looks terrific, whether you leave it unfinished or decorate it with your own local artistic touches.

black-mountain-vinylLocal Music There are some amazing bands right here in Western Canada – from 54-40’s CD of love songs (Delta, BC) to Alberta’s Jann Arden to Saskatchewan’s Northern Pikes. And you can get their music right here at London Drugs. We even have Vancouver’s Black Mountain on Vinyl in our amazing record section!

Manitoba Harvest Manitoban Mike Fata started this company back in 1998, and now they are the world’s largest manufacturer to grow, make, and sell their own line of hemp food products.

London Orchard Honey Made from pure Manitoba honey, manufactured by Manitoba bees.

Do YOU have a local product you’d like us to feature, or carry on our shelves? Let us know!

September 20th, 2015

What is ORGANIC anyway?

To celebrate Canada Organic Week (Sept 19 – 26) we have put together a list of  organic questions and answers, in a fun infographic. Scroll down for all the live links and a text version of all the info if that’s your thing.

Organic Questions and Answers Infographic for Canada Organic Week

Links:

Canada Organic Week

Wikipedia Organic Certification

Canada Organic

Organic Production Systems Standards

Environmental Medicine Organic Vs Conventional Foods Study

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods study

(Text Version)

These days people buy, eat and wear more organic than ever before. But with all the certifications, labels and details, even the greenest shopper may not know exactly what it all means. So the London Drugs Green Deal Team delved into the world of organic certification to answer a few basic questions.

What makes a product ‘Certified Organic’?


Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping. Synthetic pesticides and genetically modified seeds are not permitted, On-farm and facility inspections are conducted to verify that organic producers are operating within standards. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees the Canada Organic label. In the US, it’s the Department of Agriculture (USDA Organic)

Canadian Organic Standards also include principles like protecting the environment, minimizing soil degradation and decreasing pollution. 

Other countries with organic certifications include Australia, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan

What about ‘Organic Ingredients’?

Multi-ingredient products with 70-95 per cent organic content may have the declaration “contains x% organic ingredients,” but may not use the Canada Organic logo and/or the claim “organic”. Multi-ingredient products with less than 70 per cent organic content may only use organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the Canada 
Organic logo.

Only products with 95% organic content or more may be labelled as “organic” or bear the Canada Organic logo.

What’s the difference between Organic and Natural?

Natural means that:

• The food or ingredient must not contain an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, food additive or artificial flavouring agent.

• Must not have had any constituent removed or significantly changed (except removal of water).

• Must not have been submitted to processes that have significantly altered its original physical, chemical or biological state. (Source: CFIA)

Why is organic more expensive?


It isn’t always. But organic farming is more labor and management intensive. Organic-certified operations must have a plan and keep records that verify their compliance. Organic farms are also usually smaller than conventional farms and may not benefit from the economies of scale that larger growers get.

Canada’s Organic Standards cover everything from seeds to weeds to transportation.

Is Organic food better for you?


The jury is still out. Some studies show that organics provide greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties, while being significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues. Other studies have found there isn’t much nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods.

When you consider the effects of conventional pesticides in soils and waterways, more organic production is probably a good thing for everyone’s health.

The BOTTOM LINE:

Going organic is a personal choice, but it’s not a decision you should have to make on cost alone. That’s why London Drugs is committed to offering you some of the best organic options out there, at great prices. 
That’s the REAL Green Deal! Happy Organic Week!

August 8th, 2014

What is B Corporation Certification?

B Corp Certification

If you scan the shelves for Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, Cruelty-Free or other certifications, you’ll soon start seeing a new label on the block.
Certified B Corporation is an up-and-coming standard that goes beyond the qualities of the product you hold in your hand and sets a standard for the behaviour of the company itself.
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
To qualify, companies must complete the rigorous B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points. This assessment measures everything from environmental practices and waste to labour standards and community practices. This assessment is reviewed, documentation may be required, and re-certification is required every 2 years.
There are now over 1000 B Corps in 30+ countries around the world, and the movement is growing.
Some of the great Green Deal products made by B Corps that you’ll find on London Drugs’ shelves include Method, Badger, Seventh Generation, Lunapads, Salt Spring Coffee, Ethical Bean Coffee, Manitoba Harvest, Preserve and Traditional Medicinals.
B Corporation Certification has been called “The highest standard for socially responsible business”, but their ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ says it best:
“We envision an new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit…” You can read the rest on the B Corp website.
So if you want to buy from a company that’s working to make a difference, look for the B.  It’s one corporate certification that gets an ‘A’ from the Green Deal team.

b-corp-products

December 3rd, 2013

Want to shop a little more local for Christmas? London Drugs is right up your street.

ld_story

There are a lot of reasons to join the local economy. From supporting good jobs to contributing to your community, spending your dollars locally makes a difference. But thinking local can go beyond artisans and craft fairs. London Drugs is 100% Canadian Owned, and we service our network of 78 stores from our head offices right here in Western Canada (Richmond, BC) We employ some 7000 people, focusing on truly serving the communities in which we operate. Because of our Canadian roots, and our regional focus, we work to stock a selection of Canadian and local market products. Here are just a few examples that might put a little more local love under your tree.

Fresh Is Best Tortilla Chips – Made in small batches in the pseudo-Mexican desert of Kamloops BC, these original snacks will add a dash of festive colour to your table.

L3741188Manitoba Honey – Our London Orchard brand of honey comes from Manitoba, made by 100% Canadian bees! Perfect for holiday baking and recipes.

Dolce D’Or Chocolates – “Sweet Gold” made in Delta, BC. Which means you can eat more of them (Don’t ask why, it’s just one of those things)

Ganong Chocolates – Did you know this family-owned Canadian company has been making candies and chocolates in New Brunswick for 140 years?!  Their Delecto line is perfect for Christmas gifting. Check out their video story on YouTube here.

Camino Chocolate – a Canadian Organic, FairTrade company that supports family farmers. That calls for another piece of chocolate.

Nature’s Path – A great company that started in BC and is beginning to go mainstream in the US. Dedicated to organic and non-GMO, they make great cereals for stocking up at home, and snack bars for stuffing stockings.

LD-Coffee-smallFair Trade Organic Coffee – Perfect for an office gift or gift basket. We have a huge selection, roasted in Canada, including blends by Commercial Drive, Salt Spring Coffee, Kicking Horse Coffee, Ethical Bean, Level Ground and Earth’s Choice. Find out more about our coffees in our blog post here.

Uncle Luke’s 100% Pure Maple Syrup – A Canadian tradition from a Canadian company who has been making syrup for over 35 years. Who couldn’t use a jug of this sweet love?

Cascades Bathroom Tissue – OK, not the funnest gift to unwrap. But think practically here – with holiday guests arriving, better stock up. 100% Canadian and recycled… from some of the very materials we collect locally!

So next time you are heading out to do some shopping, consider that local comes in different sizes. And remember, when it comes to larger retailers, if you live in Western Canada, London Drugs is about as local as they come.

February 29th, 2012

Salt Spring Coffee Really Chips In to Help Their Growers.

I recently attended a ‘cupping’ (coffee tasting) at Salt Spring Coffee’s offices in Richmond BC. This local company, founded on the BC island it is named for, has some of the tastiest roasts around, organic and fair-trade to boot. But they do a lot more than just importing and roasting great coffee.

Salt Spring supports Fair to Farmer Direct™, a third-party-certified program that goes beyond the traditional trade relationship. This means the company does a lot more for the small organic coffee growers:

  • They purchase coffee from certified organic farms and co-ops only
  • They pay farmers more than the fair trade base price
  • They encourage long-term purchasing contracts
  • They visit Fair to Farmer Direct coffee growing communities at least once every three years; many once a year

But sometimes even that is not enough. While visiting coffee co-ops in northeastern Nicaragua last March, Salt Spring made good on a project that’s been in the works for three years – delivering chippers to help make organic compost from readily available farming waste. Check out the video.

It shows that when you decide to buy Salt Spring Coffee at London Drugs, you’re getting a whole lot more than great tasting cup of java.

January 17th, 2012

Meet the Green Team: Ken Vannucci – Green meets the Real East Vancouver Deal

Walking into the office of Ken Vannucci, the first thing that hits you is the scent of fine coffee, as he fresh-grinds a quick batch before brewing it right at his desk. With 9 brands of Fair Trade and/or organic beans in the London Drugs lineup, it’s just one area where Ken’s green passion and product expertise shine.

“Educated customers want to buy ‘green’ when it comes to food,” Vannucci explains, as he steps up to a shelf merchandising diagram on the wall, “Look, we have Kashi, Nature’s Path, Annie’s Naturals, New World Natural Foods… all right next to the traditional brands. And check out these coffees. Ethical Bean, Commercial Drive and Salt Spring are all roasted right here in the Lower Mainland. You won’t find that at other drug stores.”

Being Merchandise Manager for OTC, Vitamins, Diet and Nutrition, Grocery, Baby and Paper products puts even more on his plate, including herbal and homeopathic products.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a product like Melatonin to help you sleep. But maybe you want to try something like Traditional Medicinals Organic ‘Nighty Night’ Tea first, and see if a more natural remedy works for you. Or try a combination of the two to use less medication. And if you have any questions, our pharmacists are right there to answer them. Basically, our role should be to help people do a little better overall. And if natural and organic is part of that for you, we have options.”

So does buying with all these ‘green’ variables in mind make his job more difficult? Vannucci just smiles.

“Sure, it would be easier to stock only traditional big brands. And we obviously love those brands, too. But I think giving people choices like organic, natural or gluten-free is part of the positive impact the grocery section can have on peoples‘ health.”

If that all sounds a bit green and fuzzy for a mainstream retailer, Ken’s 20 years of East-Vancouver practicality quickly puts it in real terms.

“There’s no question we are here to make a profit, but London Drugs management really supports me in longer-term decisions to do the right thing. The bottom line is, I want to give people a chance to buy better stuff without having to mortgage the house.”

We’ll raise a cup of fair-trade java to that.

For more of Ken’s Real Green Deal realism, you can follow him on twitter @KootenayBorn

November 25th, 2011

Now available at London Drugs: A Whole Organic Coffee Store.

I love coffee. I love all of its nuances of flavour and aroma, from the subtle Sumatran to the richness of a French Roast, to the sharp kick-start of a well-pulled espresso.

I also know that coffee is a global product, with all the labour, environmental and supply-chain sustainability issues that come with it.

So it makes me doubly happy every time I see the awesome selection of organic and fairly-traded beans available right at my local London Drugs. It’s like having a specialty organic coffee store right there in the aisle. At last visit (in Vancouver) I counted 9 different brands, each offering several varieties. Enough to keep my taste buds awake for years. Best of all, it seems there is almost always at least one brand on sale, at prices that would strike fear into the heart of a Starbucks accountant.

Here are some highlights:

Ethical Bean– Certified organic and Fair Trade. Roasted in East Vancouver by a company that buys direct and even provides programs to help the locals. Check out this GreenDeal video if you want to know more.

Salt Spring Coffee – Certified organic and Direct Fair Trade. Used to be roasted on Salt Spring Island BC, now expanded to the Lower Mainland. Bonus points for being carbon-neutral and Bullfrog-Powered.

Commercial Drive Coffee – A recent addition to the stable. Fairly Traded and Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Kicking Horse Coffee – Roasting in Canada for over 15 years. Certified organic, FairTrade and Kosher, they also support the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Marley Coffee – Started by Bob’s son Rohan, Marley Coffee is certified organic and Fair Trade, with partial proceeds going to youth soccer programs.

Level Ground Trading– Based in Victoria BC. Certified organic and Direct Fair Trade

Doi Chaang – Grown in Thailand, roasted in Canada. Certified organic and Fair Trade.

Pacific Coffee Roasters – Certified organic and Fair Trade. Roasted in Chilliwack.

Resiprocate – A division of Canterbury Coffee, certified organic and Fair Trade. They also give back through partnerships with local causes and organizations.

London Drugs Merchandise Manager Ken Vannucci is largely responsible for this wealth of choice, giving local roasting companies more shelf space than any drug store I know of. So whether you are a coffee connoisseur, a tired green shopper or just a discriminating caffeine addict, take a stroll down the green coffee lane at London Drugs.

It’s the real Green Deal!

December 20th, 2010

What do you get at the last minute for the person who has everything green?


Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate
These bars are so stylish you don’t even need to wrap them. Try the mint-filled bar for a classic festive flavour, or the 85% cocoa version for the true dark chocolate connoisseur. If you can’t decide, go for the Mini Bar Collection. One bar a month for the whole year. Or 12 hours of outright green gluttony.

Fair Trade, Organic Coffee
London Drugs has a great selection of certified brands – Saltspring, Ethical Bean, Farmers First, Kicking Horse – from decaf to high-test. Not sure what the difference is with Fair Trade? Check out our video on Ethical Bean.

Batteries Included
Whoever is on your list, chances are they have something that runs on batteries. Rechargeables are definitely the way to go. Do the math and you’ll see that they really are much cheaper than disposables (as long as you don’t accidentally dispose of them, of course) and newer technology means they last a long time and power even high-energy devices like digital cameras. Remember you can bring old rechargeables and regular alkaline cells back to us for responsible recycling.

The Tea Room Organic Green Earl Grey Tea Infused Dark Chocolate
Organic tea is nice. Organic tea-infused chocolate is luxurious. The flavour is delicate and different. Perfect for the tea-lover on your list who is probably tired of getting nothing but teas.

Que Pasa Organic Corn Tortilla Chips
Okay, this is actually more of a holiday snack idea. These Que Pasa Tortilla Chips are really good, certified organic and are cooked in non-GMO pressed canola oil. They even come in a festive red corn version that will look great on the table next to the green holly centerpiece. And what the heck – you could give them as a gift… a big crunchy gift.

Planet Earth DVD
This is an amazing 4-disc series, shot in HD, available in DVD or Blu-ray 550 minutes of some of the most amazing scenery and animals our planet has to offer, narrated by David Attenborough. It’s the green equivalent of watching football all Christmas day.

Panasonic VIERA 58-Inch 1080P Plasma TV
Perhaps not as green as a pair of organic cotton fair-trade boxer briefs, but even the most ardent environmentalist would be secretly happy to see this behemoth flat box under the tree. The Panasonic VIERA 58-Inch mercury and lead-free screen panel lasts up to 100,000 hours. (That’s 10,917 straight viewings of the entire Planet Earth DVD set) And of course, since you bought it from London Drugs, your green giftee can bring back all the packaging, including styrofoam, and even their old fat-screen for free responsible recycling. Just make sure you give them the receipt to show at customer service. You can always black out the price if you want to keep this 58″ gift discreet.