* Carol Allen with one of her goats.
A former teacher who runs a company making skincare products from goats' milk is launching a new eco-friendly food wrapping made from cotton coated with beeswax.
Carol Allen, 60, who set up Llanvalley Natural Products eight years ago, will officially unveil the innovative wrapping at this year’s Llangollen Food Festival which has helped propel her business to success, putting her in the right place at the right time to secure new customers.
According to Carol, she was inspired to develop the new wrapping out of a desire to eliminate plastic waste from the environment.
The anti-bacterial qualities of beeswax make it ideal for food and the wrappings are reusable because they can be washed in warm water.
She is looking forward to showing them at Llangollen Food Festival that’s being held at the iconic international eisteddfod pavilion on Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14.
The event has now acknowledged as on one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK.
Carol will also be selling her range of other products which include soaps, shampoo bars, various balms and bath soaks.
She makes them makes from Welsh goats’ milk produced at her smallholding in nearby Froncysyllte and supplies local B&Bs, gift shops and specialist beauty outlets based in the North West and North Wales. She also has regular customers in Switzerland, Holland and Australia.
The food wrapping is a new departure for Carol who explained: “The idea is to save using cling film and to get away from using other plastics that are so harmful to the environment.
“Llangollen is my favourite food festival and it is there I’m going to officially launch what is basically a new product.
“They are produced from natural 100% cotton that I coat in beeswax, there is nothing else added so the wrappings will break down naturally over time, unlike plastic.”
Mother-of-four Carol sources her cotton cloth from a supplier in Oswestry and her beeswax from local bee keepers.
She said: “I make the food wrappings by first washing and ironing the patterned cotton before cutting it into squares and rectangles from as template using crimping sheers so it doesn’t fray.
“The cloth is then put into sets and placed in what is basically an oven tray and sprinkled with beeswax.
“The tray is then placed in a warm, not too hot, oven. When I take them out I brush the cloth, both the warp and weft, to make sure the beeswax has soaked right through. They are then hung on a rack until cool and I can then pack them into sets.”
“Anything we do that will reduce the amount of waste plastic in the environment has to be a good thing.
“Food wrapped in beeswax wrappings stays really fresh; it’s all natural ingredients so makes for a really safe and environmentally friendly wrapping. And it can be used again and again.”
Carol only uses natural ingredients in her soaps, balms and moisturisers which are safety tested.
She added: “Basically my fresh honey and goat’s milk is saponified with oils and some are embellished with home grown dried flower petals or herbs or wild flowers from around the small holding.
“I strive to make sure all my Llanvalley Natural Products do what they are supposed to do without harming people, animals or the environment. I use only natural ingredients and don’t use palm oil.
Llangollen Food Festival committee member Phil Davies was delighted Carol has decided to launch her beeswax food wrappings at the festival.
He said: “This is what the Llangollen Food Festival is all about, new interesting and innovative ideas. Carol’s LLanvalley Natural Products beeswax food wraps are such a simple and amazing idea that will go a long way to reducing plastic waste.
“Plastic pollution is such a big issue and the fact these beeswax wrappings are completely biodegradable as well as being antibacterial they really are a great way to keep food fresh while protecting our precious environment at the same time.
“I’m just so glad she has chosen to officially launch this innovative new product at the festival. Carol has been alonmg time supporter of the festival and has exhibited her goat’s milk soaps, balms and other products for many years now.”
* To find out more about the Llangollen Food Festival please visit www.llangollenfoodfestival.com and to find out more about Llanvalley products please visit www.llanvalley.co.uk
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