ZERO FOOD WASTE | Daylesford

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The hidden cost of food in the UK is having a detrimental effect on our health, our environment and our soil so we must shop wisely to avoid waste associated with mass-produced, artificially cheap food.

Daylesford is all about good food, so we never want to waste a mouthful.  Seasonal gluts are celebrated in our grocery shelves, preserved in our jams and chutneys, and made into special dishes on the menus.  These are simple measures to avoid wasting the delicious food that Richard, Jez and the farm team work so hard to produce.  The diversity and flexibility of routes to bring our farm food to the customer helps avoid food waste. We compost, reuse and recycle at every opportunity and value the true cost of real food.

We have come a long way since the environmental movement coined the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in the 1970s and how we try to follow the extended list at Daylesford.


The first step to controlling waste is refusing to buy or accept any unnecessary food, packaging or materials. As a consumer, this is as simple as refusing plastic by taking your own shopping bags and buying unpackaged fruit and vegetables. We have recently launched our flagship Zero Waste Pantry at Daylesford Kingham with this in mind, replacing single-use packaging with refillable vessels, so our customers can shop sustainably.

At Daylesford, we refuse to accept products from our suppliers that are packaged in unnecessary plastics and we have never given our customers plastic carrier bags in our farmshops.


UK households waste £10bn of food every year, and much of this is due to overbuying. Avoid the temptations of multi-buy offers for fresh products unless you are able to use the extra items, or freeze them for later.

To avoid food spoiling, try to buy fresh food several times a week in smaller quantities. For dry goods, buying smaller quantities more often increases the amount of packaging coming into your home, so consider buying larger sizes of regularly used products or refilling at a bulk supermarket.

Our Daylesford farmshops avoid waste from spoilage by ordering fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, and our production units send bulk containers to the stores for use in our kitchens.


The smartest way to shop is considering how to reuse or repurpose the packaging from every product.

Glass jars are a perfect example: once you have finished off the last of your jam or chutney, take the clean jar down to your local bulk shop and refill it with dry goods.

Buying recycled materials is another way to reuse, as it helps to reduce the use of virgin materials. At Daylesford, we source our packaging from recycled materials wherever possible.

Investing in a reusable coffee cup and some good quality storage containers will save hundreds of single use cups and takeaway food trays every year. If you bring them to any of Daylesford’s food to go counters, you will be rewarded with 50P OFF. We also encourage all of our staff to do the same.


Modern single-use culture and the abundance of cheap plastics leads many people to throw away items at the first sign of wear. When buying clothes or household goods, invest in good quality materials that will last.

Learning skills like sewing and how to replace a fuse will allow you to keep items for much longer. For more complicated issues, there are several council-run repair centres where you can take small appliances to be repaired for free.

At Daylesford, our teams schedule regular maintenance for all of our buildings and equipment to keep them running efficiently.


Once a product can no longer be used or repaired, it must be disposed of responsibly. Conscious consumers will buy only products that use recyclable or home-compostable packaging. It is now easier than ever to recycle mixed dry materials via kerbside collections at home, and we use the same recycling service at Daylesford.

Textiles that are too worn to donated to charity can be dropped in a textile collection bank, which collects fabrics to break down and remake into new clothing. Even small electrical appliances can be taken to a recycling bank, and most phone companies will offer to recycle your old mobile.


We work closely with our partners at THE FELIX PROJECT to ensure that any surplus food from our London farmshops is collected and distributed to charities who provide fresh, healthy meals to the most vulnerable members of society.

Customers can also donate food to these charities using the food drop point at our NOTTING HILL shop. For all non-food items, anything in good condition should be donated to a local charity shop for resale.


The final stage is composting leftover food. Most councils now accept compostable food waste bags in their kerbside collections, and you should put both raw and cooked food inside.

We cook all our food from scratch in our production, café and restaurant kitchens; as a result we end up with quite a lot of unusable scraps.  We can’t cook all the vegetable peelings, fruit stones, roots and shoots, but in our organic market garden these are a valuable source of goodness and essential component of the compost used for the next planting of crops.  Jez has enormous silos to collect these goodies and composts them for returning to the soil.  Sadly it is inefficient for us to pass these bits back from London to the farm but rest easy, all of our unusable food is collected and sent for anaerobic digestion, where it is broken down by microorganisms to produce renewable energy.

You too can feed the soil by gathering your fresh fruit and vegetable peelings, cut flowers, egg shells, tea leaves and coffee grounds into a home food wast compost bin. All food can be recycled and kept out of landfill.



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