For the past 40 years, we have been striving towards sustainability at Daylesford. Everything we do, whether on our organic farm or in our farmshops and cafés, is with this core value in mind, for the benefit of our environment, our soil and our future.
As part of our sustainability goals, our approach to packaging is fairly straightforward. Above all, we seek to reduce packaging across all areas of our farmshops and cafés. Where possible, we choose reusable packaging and prefer recyclable or renewable materials such as glass, metal, wood, card and paper. We choose materials that are already recycled, or those that can be recycled or composted. Absolutely everything must be GM-free in line with Soil Association organic standards and our own passion for farming as nature intended.
If plastic must be used for food safety and quality reasons, we select the ones with the best life cycle credentials. Meanwhile, we are exploring all possible sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics with a view to removing it completely.
We are always learning, improving, challenging, and pushing the boundaries a little more. While our goals have always been ambitious, small changes can have a big impact and here are some of the most notable improvements we have made in the past year:
GLASS JARS & BOTTLES
We use glass containers for many of our food and drink items at Daylesford such as jams, chutneys, condiments, honey, kefir, buttermilk, pasta sauces, herbs and spices, nut butters and more. Glass is reusable, easily and endlessly recyclable, can be melted down to make new glass products over and over again. Our glass jars and bottles already contain 25–50% recycled glass.
Made of tin, these caddies are reusable and can be recycled infinitely without loss of quality, into anything from paper clips to aircraft components and of course more tins.
Our savoury biscuit tins used to have a protective plastic bag but this year they will be wrapped in tissue instead, thereby saving thousands of plastic bags.
Anyone who brings a reusable cup or salad box to Daylesford is rewarded with 50p off their hot drink or food-to-go item, an initiative we introduced in early 2018 to encourage our customers to use less single-use packaging. We were also determined to provide a more environmentally sound option for people who forget their reusable cups, so sourced bagasse lids made from sugar cane which is fully compostable.
RECYCLABLE TURKEY BOXES
Previously, the boxes we used for our organic bronze turkeys were laminated to provide enough strength to support the heavy table birds, meaning it was not possible to recycle them. So we tried a new coating plus an extra layer of cardboard which worked perfectly – and means the boxes are now totally recyclable.
Earlier this year we switched to using completely natural, biodegradable straws at Daylesford. Made from wheat stalks, they are plant-based, non-toxic, plastic free, food safe and will not pollute our environment like conventional straws.
Christmas bakery packaging
Just last year, many of our bakery items were wrapped in plastic cellophane, something we have been striving to change. I am now so proud to say that each element of this packaging from the paper to the plastic window and the glue that holds it together is now made of cellulose which is 100% compostable. As a result we used 10,000 less single-use plastic bags and we are hoping to roll this out to more products in the future.
We have never given one of our customers a plastic bag for their items at Daylesford farm and all of our fruit and vegetables, apart from salad leaves which must be sealed for freshness, are completely plastic free. Instead we pile them high in wooden crates, wrapped in only nature’s packaging, their skins, leaves and rinds.