All You Need is Less
We champion 100% organic and sustainably wild food. Organic means naturally nutritious food you can trust, that doesn’t cost the earth, and where the animals come first. And organic farming is a kinder, more holistic way of tending to the land that helps protect our environment and boosts biodiversity.
“I love the principles behind growing organically. Making sure nature is taken care of is essential for me, and even more for our future generations,” agrees Marta, our Sustainability & Environmental Manager.
Our friends in the field are committed to safeguarding organic soil. Take the Andrews family – they’ve been working Broadward Hall Farm in Herefordshire for four generations, and filling our boxes with glorious greens for over a decade, so they certainly know a thing or two about being custodians of the land.
Organic soil is a fantastic tool in the fight against climate change. Not only is it able to store greater amounts of water and nutrients than non-organic soil (making it more drought- and flood-resistant), but it captures 450kg more carbon per hectare. In fact, if all UK farmland went organic, it’d have the same effect as taking a whopping 1.3 million cars off the road.
As a certified B Corp, we’re committed to driving positive change for both people and our planet. One of our proudest achievements so far is the creation of our Responsible Supplier Programme: our way of measuring our organic makers’ impact on the world around us.
To complete our assessments, we’ve partnered with an external organisation that scores each maker in four categories: Environment, Workers, Community and Governance. Together with our makers, we then explore the results, and find ways to build further on their environmental and social impact. As our Head of Sustainability, Stef, explains: “This isn’t another audit standard but a framework to build an Abel & Cole supplier community around sustainable systems. The Responsible Supplier Programme is intended to lead to meaningful conversations with our makers about their practices.”
These fantastic folk put in a huge amount of hard work behind the scenes to protect the environment and support their local communities. The Responsible Supplier Programme ensures we can fully recognise and celebrate their efforts. And some incredible stories have already come to light, from Haygrove’s inspirational Community Gardens Project to Alara’s new collection of organic, Net Zero cereals – the first-ever to include embedded CO2e on pack.
By only delivering to certain areas on the same day each week, and remapping our routes each morning, we keep miles and carbon emissions as low as possible. Every day, our amazing drivers like Lee set off before sunrise to reach your front door: “We start early in the morning, normally between 3.30am-4am. Getting away early means that we get to our areas quicker and beat the rush-hour traffic.”
We even specially designed our yellow vans to be able to carry more than other delivery vans on the road, so we can make more deliveries in a single journey. And when one of our vans comes to the end of its life, we repurpose the body and pop it onto another vehicle.
We’re committed to sourcing the best, organic food drink from growers and makers right here in the UK, supporting local communities and keeping food miles low. For anything that needs to come from further afield, like our organic bananas, we have a zero air-freight promise in place. Meaning that we only ever transport by road or ship.
Since 1988, we’ve pioneered a low-plastic approach to life. We start with only truly necessary packaging, and then make sure you can reuse, recycle or compost as much as possible from your organic deliveries, reducing how much you send to landfill.
But there’s always room for improvement, and we’re continually challenging ourselves to find even more sustainable packaging solutions. Like Club Zero – our innovative refillables service. Shop for your favourite store cupboard staples (think pasta, rice, pulses, and even chocolate buttons) and we’ll deliver them to your door in refillable, returnable VIPs (Very Important Pots). It’s just one of the ways we’re cutting back on single-use plastic to protect our environment.
We reckon our returnable, reusable cardboard boxes have saved over 65,000,000 plastic bags so far. If you were to line up all those saved bags, they’d wrap around the moon at least three times.
Reusing materials is part of the circular economy model. By keeping materials in circulation, we’re championing a sustainable solution to the problem of single-use plastic pollution. As Stef, explains: “We’re harnessing the planet’s resources over and over, instead of wasting them unnecessarily in one single-use.”