Monday, 20 October 2014

How breeders and processors can work together?

Dr Sharon Hall will talk about the needs of the potato industry and how breeders and growers can work with the processors to ensure the quality and volume needed for year-round, value-added potato products.

AVR launches Puma 3, its new four-row harvester

Potato machine constructor AVR is introducing its new Puma 3, a machine with tight lines, which grant it a very modern look. The real innovations for this self-propelled, four-row harvester are its more powerful

50 small-scale farmers will benefit from signed memorandum with PepsiCo Food Vietnam

PepsiCo Foods Vietnam Co (PFVC) has signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce a sustainable contract potato-farming model.

New method to stop potato parasitic worms using fungi

Scientists have developed a new way to stop the parasitic worm Globodera rostochiensis causes damage to potatoes.

LEAF’s annual President Event to focus on defining resilience and diversity in agriculture

Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF)’s annual President Event will take place on Tuesday November, 11, at the HSBC Headquarters, CanaryWharf, London. 

How breeders and processors can work together?

How breeders and processors can work together?

Dr Sharon Hall will talk about the needs of the potato industry and how breeders and growers can work wi...

LEAF’s annual President Event to focus on defining resilience and diversity in agriculture

LEAF’s annual President Event to focus on defining resi...

Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF)’s annual President Event will take place on Tuesday November, 11, a...

The World Potato Congress Industry Awards are open for nominations

The World Potato Congress Industry Awards are open for ...

The World Potato Congress Industry Awards are an important and prestigious event on the international po...

Florimond Desprez Group acquires Germicopa, a potato seed company

Florimond Desprez Group acquires Germicopa, a potato se...

Florimond Desprez Group acquired Germicopa, one of the most important French potato seed companies and ...

Cargill reinforces its commitment to food security

Cargill reinforces its commitment to food security

Cargill is calling for coordinated action by governments, the private sector and civil society to ensur...

“Why are the fries so good?” McDonald’s answers to all their customers' questions

“Why are the fries so good?” McDonald’s answers to all ...

McDonald's USA invites their customers, fans and food skeptics to ask all they want to know in a campai...

UPDATE Urschel launches its equipment at Emballage Exhibition Paris and International FoodTec India

UPDATE Urschel launches its equipment at Emballage Exhi...

The new Sprint 2 Dicer by Urschel (http://www.urschel.com/) can be seen at Emballage in Paris beginning N...

Launches at Cibus Tec Parma for Urschel: a wide variety of machines ready for attendees

Launches at Cibus Tec Parma for Urschel: a wide variety...

Cibus Tec is combined with Food Pack to serve all areas of food processing and packaging in one locatio...

AVR launches Puma 3, its new four-row harvester

AVR launches Puma 3, its new four-row harvester

Potato machine constructor AVR is introducing its new Puma 3, a machine with tight lines, which grant i...

Potato Week 2014 to take place on October 6-12

Potato Week 2014 to ...

The dates for Potato Week 2014 are October 6-12 and the camp...

Kent Crisps Announces New Branding

Kent Crisps Announce...

AMC Foods announces the re-launch of their popular Kent Cr...

New DiversaCut 2110A Dicer on Display at SIAL in Paris

New DiversaCut 2110A...

Several Urschel cutting machines will be on display at Sal...

McDonald’s Japan Is Releasing Purple Sweet Potato McShake This Autumn

McDonald’s Japan Is ...

McDonald's Japan is rolling out a special purple sweet potat...

Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Contest Finalists Announced

Lay's Do Us A Flavo...

Lay's potato chips, one of the brands from PepsiCo (http:/...

BioSafe Systems Introduces Complete Potato Storage Protection Programme

BioSafe Systems Intr...

Following research and development, BioSafe Systems offers...

Future Proofing Cheshire Potatoes

Future Proofing Ches...

Cheshire potato growers gathered at Aston Grange Farm near...

Sophisticated Potato Inspection

Sophisticated Potato...

Improvements in sorting machinery are aimed at many grower...

McCain Foods to Help Monitor Potato Crops with Drones

McCain Foods to Help...

Global potato processor McCain Foods is using drone techno...

Open Farm Sunday 2014 Review

Open Farm Sunday 201...

Farmers and their helpers celebrated this weekend the posi...

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is growing in importance as people become more aware of the environment and sustainability. One company leading the way is potato supplier Solanum.

 

As part of the Produce World Group, UK-based potato supplier, Solanum, is setting an example for businesses in the fresh produce sector worldwide. The company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme is driving changes in the business that are improving its environmental stewardship; further developing its responsible sourcing; enhancing its workplace culture; and ensuring that it makes a positive impact on the community.

Not only is Produce World undertaking this programme without spending a fortune, it has also adopted the Credit360 system which is used to provide public access to eleven of the Group's non-financial targets via a web portal.
Produce World, which employs over 1,200 staff in the UK and Spain, is based at Yaxley near Peterborough. The original business was founded in 1898 by the Burgess family. Although the company has grown considerably since then, the fourth generation of the family is still involved in the running of the business, and the Group retains strong family values. 

As well as Solanum, the group has four other companies - Marshalls (brassicas), Rustler Produce (alliums), Isleham Fresh Produce (root vegetables), and RB Organic (organic vegetables). They are split into two divisions: the Allium and Brassica Division which covers Marshalls and Rustler, and the Root and Potato Division, which covers Ilseham Fresh Produce, RB Organic and Solanum.

Solanum itself is a supplier of provenance-sourced fresh potatoes for the UK retail market. Its commitment to sustainable sourcing, coupled with pioneering agronomy and procurement, has enabled Solanum to develop partnerships with leading potato growers in the UK and overseas. It employs just under 200 people at its site at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire.
While the CSR programme has three other pillars to it - workplace culture, community impact and responsible sourcing - particular progress has already been made on the environmental stewardship aspect of the programme. Targets have been set, and measurement is carried out on: the company's carbon footprint; use of energy, water, and packaging; and reductions in waste.

The group's Chief Executive William Burgess says: "We have taken real, practical measures to improve our environmental performance. These have business benefits and have not required a major investment on our part. Because the environmental measures are just one part of the overall CSR programme, we are ensuring that their implementation becomes a natural ongoing part of our workplace culture."

Implementation of the group-wide Environmental Management System (EMS) began in January 2008. The group's Business Support Centre and the Root and Potato Division, including Solanum, improved its environmental performance, enabling it to meet the British Environmental Standard BS 8555, and subsequently to progress to ISO 14001 in September 2009.
Projects which led to the achievement of these standards included initiatives on waste, energy and water management. A ‘total waste management' programme implemented across the business focused on reducing, reusing and recycling waste. Waste is now segregated at source within the group's offices and factories, and the increased recycling of plastics, paper and cardboard have led to a reduction of 43 per cent in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

Improvements in awareness of energy usage and waste have been boosted by improvements in energy measurement and recording. Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) allow eligible energy-intensive businesses to receive up to an 80 per cent discount from the Climate Change Levy (CCL) in return for meeting energy efficiency or carbon-saving targets. All businesses within the group now have these agreements in place, and the targets set have helped to further reduce energy consumption.
With water usage becoming an increasingly important global issue, all Produce World businesses have been encouraged to become more water conscious, focusing on reducing and re-using water. Closed loop water systems have helped to reduce reliance on mains water at two of the group's sites.

In order to ensure that the values of the programme are shared across the whole business, interactive environmental training has taken place across the business, and at all levels of employees including top management. Produce World is being entirely open about the progress that it is making against its CSR targets. Credit360 is a system for collecting and displaying data on sustainability and CSR. Major companies using it include McDonald's, John Lewis, and Barclaycard. Environmental targets across the group, broken down by company, are displayed on Produce World's website, alongside information on health and safety and percentage of permanent staff employed.

Use of the system led to Produce World winning the Innovative Reporting category of the awards run by Ethical Corporation as part of its Responsible Business Summit. Companies that won other categories or were highly commended included global household names such as L'Oreal, PepsiCo, SABMiller, British Land and Greenpeace.

Burgess says: "The fact that we have received this award in the face of considerable competition clearly demonstrates that CSR programmes can be effectively implemented on a shoestring budget. We are delivering a return on investment to the business, and adding value to our customers and suppliers at the same time."

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