TAQA, a wholesale bakery, produces healthy vegan snacks such as cookies and energy bars that are wheat-free, corn-free, soy-free, GMO-free, and palm oil-free. TAQA prioritizes quality and does not cut corners. They are very conscious of every ingredient they use and every step of the snack-making process from importing to baking to packaging and delivering. Over the past two years, TAQA committed to understanding the CO2 footprint of the operation. A full study of TAQA’s carbon emissions concluded with
an emission of 83 tons of CO2 in 2020 and 93 tons of CO2 in 2021; equivalent to planting 546 trees to offset the impact of the operation.
Environmental, Economic, and Social Impact:
- 2,169,781 healthy snacks produced in 2020, 2021, 2022
- 54,776 supermarket plastic bags diverted from landfills
- 54,776 recycled supermarket plastic bags
- 475 trees planted in Tannourine
- 20 trainings on healthy food production
- 5 jobs created for people from the local community
- FSSC and ISO 22000 food safety certifications
- Detailed carbon footprint study that is fully taken into account
- Zero waste production
Interview With TAQA Snacks:
“Fondation Diane allowed a small and artisan bakery to become the leading healthy snack pioneer in Lebanon.” – Soumaya Merhi, Founder of TAQA Snacks
Project’s Presentation and History:
TAQA Snacks is a bakery that produces vegan and GMO-free cookies, Maamoul, and natural date and cashew bars. TAQA was an artisan bakery where products were sold at the farmer’s market by the founder. After having done door-to-door sales for two years, the demand for the healthy product line grew in Lebanon. Among other investors, she decided to pitch to Fondation Diane to secure financing to grow the business.
How did the idea of a green business occur to you?
With a background in sociology, anthropology, and secular economy, Soumaya is passionate about the devastating impact of industrial dairy and GMO cereal cultivation on our planet and health. A big advocate of outdoor sports and healthy living, she started to make new products in an existing Arabic bread-making bakery in Tripoli. Today, TAQA is a stand-alone bakery that can be found on the shoreline of Anfeh.
How did you become a green entrepreneur?
I think being a green entrepreneur came naturally to me, as I have always been inclined to sustainability and the mindset of locality. I wanted to create a local Lebanese brand that could compete with international brands in Lebanon. I wanted to build trust with Lebanese end consumers that our industry is not only capable but can also produce the quality that can compete internationally.
How do you see the future of your business?
I aim to make TAQA an example of a company that uses the products as a tool to raise awareness of locality and made in Lebanon. Consuming local products is the first stepping stone to creating a healthy economy. As a company that truly believes in nature and outdoor sports, we also aim to make TAQA a leading platform to combine physical feats, health, and environmental causes to create long-lasting awareness for our end consumers, like the Swim Traverse from Cyprus to Lebanon.
Do you have a message for future entrepreneurs?
It is OK if you do not have the answers to everything. You will learn along the way; your mistakes will be your learning curves. Make sure to surround yourself with supportive friends and family.