What grows around comes around
Kib herbal teas are built on the idea of circularity. This thread runs through every aspect of the product, from the way its only ingredients - herbs and spices - are grown, to its packaging and business model. “The idea for Kib was born from a particular way of regenerative growing,” says Kib commercial manager, Andrew Weiler. “It all starts with our partner farms in southern Ethiopia and the circular way in which they farm.”
These partner farms look different. There are no massive fields with orderly rows of one crop. Instead, their small-scale farms are ‘food forests:’ small plots of land that have been densely and diversely planted with crops that benefit one another by replicating natural systems. Herbs like lavender and tulsi attract pollinators to flowering crops, like avocados, while herbs like lemongrass and mint help naturally deter pests.
Kib partner farmers’ food forests feature deep roots and broad crop coverage, building healthier, more structured soil and sinking carbon back into it.
Small farms, big impact
“The small-scale farms we partner with are at the heart of what we do,” explains Managing Director, Jacie Jones. “We exist to create sustainable supply chains, farms, and livelihoods with East African smallholder farmers. And our growing model is specifically tailored to suit the context of these small-scale growers.”
Food forests flourish on small plots with expert care, letting small farm families prosper without having to compete with large, conventional growers and their machinery. Through their biodiversity, they are also more resilient to the risks of pests and poor weather that all farms face. Since they are densely populated, they produce more food on the same amount of land than they would otherwise, both increasing yields and allowing farmers to harvest year-round.
The herbs these farmers grow in their food forests are used for Kib herbal teas, while Kib’s sister brand, GreenPath Food, exports the fresh produce they grow. The Kib and GreenPath team in Butajira, Ethiopia works with each of 220
All this is enabled by these small-scale farms and farmers. Indeed, most of Kib partner farmers’ plots are smaller than half a football pitch.
Part of a movement
Kib aims to be part of something bigger--a movement that's reimagining life on this planet by embracing circular systems and ways of growing that give back as much as they take. Jones explains, “Consumers are rightly calling for products which are clear, simple and decisive in acting to build a better world. By building resilient food systems which capture carbon in rural communities, and by transparently connecting those products back to consumers, that is exactly what Kib has set out to do.”
Jones adds, “We want to be part of building circular food systems, systems that produce great food and great drinks, not just for today, but for years to come.”