Feeding the nation’s unwavering appetite for great-tasting exotic fruit, vegetables and salad products all year-round must not come at a cost to the planet or the people and communities who bring that food to our tables.
That is why we have set out our stall on sustainability is at the heart of what we do, considering it at every stage in the cycle of our produce from the way our crops are grown, how they are transported around the world, to what happens to food waste, as well as laying out how we will support communities and vulnerable groups.
As a family business, we are able to take a long-term view of our company development to have a significant positive influence on our total supply chain
In order to quantify this and to openly share meaningful data, we are measuring our performance against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the complexity and scale of our business, we believe we can have a positive influence on 14 of these 17 SDGs.
As growers ourselves, we provide expert advice to help the local farmers we work with in other countries to tackle key environmental issues such as water and soil security, waste management, and how to introduce alternatives to pesticides.
This ensures our partner farms are sustainable and will be fruitful for years to come. Great news for our local producers and the thousands of people who rely on them, and even better news for the ecosystem.
We are working with logistics suppliers to cut the carbon emissions from transporting our products, for example by switching from air to sea freight where possible
Closer to home, our new MWW facility in Birmingham has been fitted with the latest energy-efficient technologies. Since 2014, this has helped slice our electricity use by more than 50%, reduce water consumption by more than 70% and generate carbon emission savings of almost 80%.
We have performed a macro-level analysis of our energy consumption alongside Pro Enviro, but we have recently undergone a micro-level assessment using micrometers. These can help us identify where our greatest energy consumption is occuring, and take action to reduce our overall consumption and emissions.
We have installed a largescale Solar PV array on our Altitude site near Birmingham. The goal of this is to massively reduce the overall energy consumption we see from our storage solutions on site, such as fridges.
Great food shouldn’t end up in the bin so we have a number of initiatives designed to specifically repurpose surpluses.
For example, that’s why we have buddied up with FareShare to send our surplus fresh produce to local community groups and charities. In the last year, we have redistributed more than 376 tonnes of surplus produce, which is equivalent to almost 900,000 meals for the people who need it most.
Utilising this surplus also has a benefit for the environment, with FareShare calculating that by redistributing this surplus we have saved 602 tonnes of CO2e and 564 million litres of water from going to waste.
Any surplus produce which can’t be used provides fuel of a different kind as it’s sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant (AD) where it’s converted into biogas – a clean, net-zero carbon source of energy.
All packaging use is minimised and where it is necessary to use, we ensure it is recycled.
To improve the health and diets of nearly 700,000 schoolchildren in the Midlands, London and the Home Counties, we are proud to be a key partner in the Department of Health’s English School’s Fruit and Vegetable scheme, which gives all 4–7-year-olds a piece of fruit every day.
During a 190-day school year, we supply and deliver fresh produce into over 16,600 primary schools, providing 2.3 million fresh food portions each day
The UN SDGs form MWW’s guiding principles and sit at the heart of our business development strategy.
Due to the nature of our international business of growing, handling, packing and transporting fresh produce from suppliers located across the globe the management team have developed an ambitious sustainability
strategy for the whole of our value chain which adopts most of the UN-Sustainable Development Goals.
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