Finalist for national award

Kelowna's Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm is one of five finalists for a Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Social Responsibility Award.

"These awards, the recognition they bring, it really validates what we do here, so we're really thrilled about that," says office manager Keely Bruel.

The family farm focuses on sustainable practices and packaging options.

"We do everything by hand here at our farm. We pick all of our plants by hand and we use recyclable, reusable, compostable and biodegradable packaging," says Bruel.

"A couple of years ago, we worked towards eliminating as much plastic as we could. At this point, we only have one product left in a plastic container that we are committed to eliminating at the end of this season."

In 2018, the farm became the first company in North America to use a 100 per cent biodegradable microplastic-free wood-chip container from Finland.

The farm provides public tours that educate visitors on sustainable farming practices and the biodiversity of the garden.

The award winners will be announced Sept. 19 in Toronto.

The prize for the Social Responsibility Award is $100,000 in shipping credits and $50,000 in direct marketing credits.

Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm won bronze in the Fed Ex Small Business Grant Contest and was recognized as a top 100 finalist in the Telus Challenge for small businesses, making it a big year for the farm.

"As a small business, you feel like maybe the choices you're making don't really have that much of an impact, but we really are committed to doing what we can," said Bruel. 

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