Sustainability is Not an ‘Add-on’ For Leading UK Vegetable Business

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Sustainability is Not an ‘Add-on’ For Leading UK Vegetable Business

Sustainability is Not an ‘Add-on’ For Leading UK Vegetable Business
October 28
09:54 2015
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Sustainability is central to the Produce World Group’s business according to the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Neil Fraser. Writing in the annual review of the Group’s 4Life sustainability programme, he says: “Our business of growing fresh vegetables is intrinsically linked to the environment, from the seed in the ground to the produce on the shelf. Our business relies on sustainability from the outset for the success of present and future production.”

The Produce World Group grows and supplies quality fresh vegetables. It is the largest supplier in the UK, providing produce into major retailers, food service and food manufacturing customers. Crops supplied by the group include potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, leaks, garlic, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. As well as conventionally grown vegetables, the Produce World Group is a leader in the organic category.

The Produce World Group’s 4Life programme has four strands: Environmental Stewardship, Workplace Culture, Responsible Sourcing, and Community Impact. The review highlights achievements in each of these areas. They include:

Environmental Stewardship –The ‘Patchwork Project’ at Produce World’s Yaxley site was completed. This involved planting more than 1800 shrubs and tress, sowing wildflower areas, and building bug hotels from recycled pallets.

Workplace Culture – during the year, four of the Produce World Group’s sites were awarded Investors in People accreditation, a mark of excellence for championing best practice and putting people first.

Responsible Sourcing – two of the Group’s growers won Waitrose Demonstration Farm awards recognising their ongoing commitment to best practice. They were Taylorgrown – now a fully owned subsidiary of the Produce World Group – and Russell Smith Farms at Duxford.

Community Impact – as well as a number of successful fundraising efforts for local charities, the company continued its collaboration with FareShare and Feedback Global’s Gleaning Network. It recently won a Waitrose Treading Lightly award for this work.

The Produce World Group’s Head of Research, Development and Innovation, Guy Thallon says: “It’s been a really busy year for Produce World with a number of mergers and acquisitions, but this has not stopped us focusing on sustainability. Recent experience has shown us that getting the sustainability agenda right can have tangible commercial benefits, and if anything it will be even more important for us in the future.”

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