The Produce World Group has reduced the amount of waste it is sending to landfill by 29 per cent, and seen a fall in its CO2 emissions of 28 per cent. The company’s latest report on its Corporate and Social Responsibility Programme outlines the progress made on each of the four pillars of the programme: environmental stewardship, workplace culture, responsible sourcing and community impact.
During 2011 the UK fresh produce group set itself a target of reducing landfill by 10 per cent and CO2 emissions by 6 per cent, both of which were exceed by considerable margins. In the area of workplace culture, the report highlights the introduction of the Pride of Produce World Awards which recognised achievements by employees across the business. During the year absence rates for employees were reduced to 1.53 per cent against a previous rate of 2 per cent.
On the subject of responsible sourcing the report explains how internal auditing is monitoring the social and environmental performance of the company’s key growers. Other key initiatives in this area include agronomy research; sharing data on crop performance from field to factory; the Soil for Life Project, which is making a crucial impact on the way growers select fields; and water stewardship including the development of water reduction strategies.
Chief executive William Burgess says: “I’m convinced that sustainable, responsible business is good business. In fact, together with my fellow directors I believe it is the only way to do business.”
Produce World is one of the largest expert growers and suppliers of high quality fresh vegetables in Europe. It is a privately owned business, founded by the Burgess family in 1898. Its sourcing is a combination of produce from its own farms, joint-ventures, and collaborative working with dedicated grower groups, supplying a variety of root vegetables, potatoes, brassicas, alliums, and organic produce to leading retailers, food service and manufacturing customers.
Produce World Group companies include Produce World Solanum, Produce World IFP, Produce World RBO, Produce World Rustler, Produce World Marshalls, Agromark, and Growing Trust with Las Lomas (joint venture).