Sustainability

Sustainability

At ASF we are passionate about promoting a high standard of ethical and environmental trade practices across our farming and packing operations in the UK and overseas.  This is increasingly important to our customers, colleagues and communities, as well as being the right thing to do.

100% RECYCLABLE PACKAGING BY END OF 2022

All our fruit punnets are 100% recyclable via household recycling bins, and we’re collaborating with our packaging suppliers to trial innovative new ways to make our film and fruit pads recyclable as well.

Since April 2022 we’ve been trialling lighter weight punnets with no bubble pads for our strawberries.  The innovative, cushioned design of these punnets protects fruit quality, while removing the need for a non-recyclable bubble pad – if the trial is successful, we could eliminate over 130 tonnes of plastic per year from 2023.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING WITH A POSITIVE IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY

We’re passionate about sourcing berries which are grown in harmony with their natural landscape, and we work closely with our growers to make sure our farming operations and supply chain have a positive impact on local biodiversity.  75% of our UK berries come from LEAF Marque certified farms and we’re aiming for 100% by the end of 2023.  Two of our key overseas farms in Spain and Morocco have also volunteered to pilot LEAF by the end of 2022.

Our agronomy team follow an integrated pest management (IPM) policy and work closely with growers to help them keep their plants healthy while making sustainable, environmentally friendly decisions about which crop protection methods to use.  This has led to a 220% increase in the use of biological controls over the last 5 years.

REDUCE OUR FOOD WASTE BY 50% BY 2030

Since 2017, we’ve reduced the annual food waste at our packhouse in Salford Priors by 42% per tonne of fruit sold.

This is a reduction in annual food waste of 146 tonnes, which is equivalent to 247,000 meals each year.  We did this by investing in new optical sorting machinery in our packhouse, as well as prioritising employee training and engagement, and working with over 50 wholesale partners to redistribute our seasonal surplus and off-spec fruit.  We are also part of the WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

In 2021, we donated over 86,000 punnets of surplus fruit to FareShare.  This went to over 1,000 charities to help feed vulnerable people.

NET ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS GLOBALLY BY 2040 (SCOPE 1, 2 AND 3)

Our Scottish growers have been working with Agrecalc to measure the carbon footprint of their farms since 2013 and have already reduced their carbon emissions per kilogram of fruit by 28%, which is equivalent to preventing the release of 1,247 tonnes of carbon per year.  Producing renewable energy on farms has replaced 1,433,000kWh per year of electricity taken from the grid.  This is the same amount of electricity that is used annually by 341 average UK households.

In our packhouse at Salford Priors, we’re installing automatic lighting controls with motion sensors, dimmable lights, and LEDs to reduce electricity use in our own operations.  Since 2017, the electricity we use each year has been reduced by 8.4% and we’re aiming for a 25% reduction by 2024.

There is an incredible 145 years of experience in soft fruit within our technical team which demonstrates our dedication, depth of knowledge and passion for berries” David Cuthbert, Technical and Development Director, ASF

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