Image Credit: Cotswold Fayre
29th Sept 2021 | Author: Chris Taylor
Includability Official Partners, Cotswold Fayre have released their sustainability report covering the 2020/21 period.
The wholesale distributor of fine food products has seen a 50% increase in sales this year while still primarily doing business with independent retailers. They say there was more consolidation by retailers with the number of cases per order increasing, meaning shops received fewer deliveries, which is better for the planet. The success brought by the increase has allowed them to create five new roles within the company.
The recently certified Includability Committed Employer also re-certified its B-Corp status with a score of 107.8, an increase of 29% since 2019/20. 180 pieces of evidence were submitted alongside assessment answers to prove they were using business for better.
A score of 80 or higher qualifies them for B Corp Certification. Cotswold Fayre first certified in 2016/17 with a score of 83.5. Their team achieved the improved score over the years by enacting initiatives like; enhancing policies and practices pertaining to mission ethics, accountability and transparency; contributing to employee financial, physical professional and social wellbeing; enhancing customer relationships; improving environmental initiatives; and contributing to their local communities.
“Not that we are going to sit back on our laurels,” says CEO and author, Paul Hargreaves. He is pushing the company further by introducing fully electric and hybrid vehicles into the company fleet. They have also encouraged employees to switch their home energy supplier to Bulb, a supplier which can offer a breakdown of the CO2 collectively saved by using them. The employees saved 28,000Kg of CO2 during 2020, a year with a sharp increase in home working due to the pandemic.
Cotswold Fayre also offset 3.5 tonnes of CO2 this year by using only recycled materials and using vegetable-based inks for catalogues and supplements. The food supplier decided this year to only print a 30-page supplementary instead of the usual 250-page catalogue.
Over 1500 tonnes of carbon were also offset from efficiencies made due to logistical solutions available. The average number of cases per order increased by 23%, reducing the total number of deliveries. They estimate having the same number of cases using last year’s delivery model has resulted in 4,452 few deliveries needed.
This year, Cotswold Fayre teamed up with zero waste specialists, Unpackaged AT to reduce plastic packaging. There were concerns the COVID-19 pandemic would bring difficulties for selling unpackaged food, but there has been a rise in demand over this period thanks to an increase in scratch cooking at home. Installations took place in March 2021 and plastic offsetting data is expected next year.
Now in their 23rd operating year, Cotswold Fayre are looking to introduce new sustainability initiatives that will help improve the company further and add more benefits to their customers and the environment. They are looking to:
· Reduce plastic waste in internal operations and offsetting what they cannot eliminate entirely.
· Introducing two new electric vehicles in 2022 and aim for at least 50% of their fleet to be electrified by 2026.
· Ensuring 15% of suppliers commit to ambitious carbon reduction goals on their journey to absolute zero by 2030.
Sustainable practices also include giving to charitable causes. Cotswold Fayre donate 25p per invoice to The Wokingham Food Bank and donate over 23.1 tonnes of surplus food, the equivalent of 55,000 meals, to City Harvest in London during 2020.