Reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle
Here at four seasons , we are keen to be as sustainable as we can be by reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling as much as we can. We are constantly reviewing and introducing efficient working practices.
We look closely at the suppliers we work with to align sustainable practices as much as possible, as well as working closely with Hills Environmental Waste to ensure that we avoid as much as we can from going into landfill.
From farm to kitchen here’s a look at some of the ways that we are working to be more sustainable.
Local and seasonal produce
We buy as much seasonal fruit and vegetables from local farms and suppliers as possible to provide the biggest variety the UK climate allows, offering a way to minimise energy use in transportation and storage, increase freshness and quality.
We have developed a collaborative approach to working with suppliers and investing in the local supply chain and can share. This collaborative approach in working with suppliers means treating farmers as partners rather than contractors and investing in the long-term sustainability of the supply chain
Sadly not everything can be grown in the UK throughout the year, for example, bananas and oranges, yet are of high demand from our customers so we look at the most sustainable ways to access these items across the world.
Reduction of Food Waste
Over the years, supermarkets have put a focus on high cosmetic standards for fruit and vegetables, leading them to reject even marginally imperfect-looking food from farms. To curb this food waste Fourseasons happily buys these products. This saves on food wastage and passes this on to our customers who can see through this practice of ‘cosmetically perfect produce’.
Additionally, given the perishable nature of fresh food from time to time, we do end up with a small amount of produce that is just past its perfect date. Instead of throwing out food that can’t be sold sometimes, it is shared with our staff if still okay for human consumption.
Reduction of food packaging
Buying local and seasonal food reduces the need for unnecessary packaging, minimising the negative impact on the environment from the current large scale disposal of inorganic waste, wherever possible we receive our fruit and vegetables unpackaged.
However, some packaging is necessary to protect food during transportation to us. For example, bananas are picked when they are green and should ideally be kept at a temperature of 13-15°C degrees for shipping. Much colder than that will turn them rotten. Before they hit the produce department, they are placed in an air-tight ripening bag filled with ethylene gas. This sealed plastic bag acts as a barrier to keep out oxygen and delay ripening.
At Fourseasons all are packing are reusable biodegradable and recyclable.
Where we do receive packaged produce, wherever possible the use of reusable packaging is used/promoted.
We currently use reusable biodegradable and recyclable boxes to deliver produce to our customers, saving on waste and can be left outside by customers for collection.
Where we receive produce in cardboard boxes from suppliers we will also reuse these, when these have come to the end of their life they are crushed and sent to be recycled again.
Reduction of paper usage
We are always refining our processes to ensure that we are as paper-free as possible, however where we do need to print we use sustainable printers.
Transportation is a key element in any supply chain but it takes on added importance in the food industry, especially with products that must be refrigerated.
All our vans are Euro 6 compliant which are the cleanest diesel vehicles on the road, the vans also use AdBlue, a solution added to fuel to reduce emissions further.
Organising routes to minimise distances driven.
Our Logistics team works with route planning software to carefully plan our daily drops to maximise efficiency
Sustainability is about living and doing business within the means of the natural world.
At Four Seasons Fruiterers, this isn’t something we’ve added in as we’ve grown, it’s something that has remained at the heart of what we do since the day we opened our doors.