Our approach to being a responsible business
WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE
We take responsibility for the impact of our business on society and on the environment. The prosperity of our business and of the communities within which we operate requires a commitment to the sustainable management of our activities. To become a truly sustainable business where we have a net positive effect on the world around us, we have put together, in this document, our approach to the principles and practices that will guide us on the right path and enable us to achieve this purpose.
The idea of what defines good nutrition is a subject of much discourse and change as new food trends or repackaging of old ideas constantly vie for a share of both mind and wallet.
We believe good nutrition starts with the timeless idea of simple natural eating. Mother nature knows her stuff and our tag line ‘yummy by nature’ underlies this ethos.
Naturally good for you: All Wallaroo products are minimally processed so as to retain their natural goodness and nutrients.
Nothing added, ever: No additives, preservatives or flavourings (natural or otherwise) are added to enhance taste or manipulate the natural nutrient profile of the ingredients that go into our products.
Suitable for everyone: Our products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, for those that subscribe to specialist diets including kosher and halal and are allergen free.
Healthy, from the ground up: We work with health organisations to ensure that our products are designed in a way that make it easy to stay within nationally defined nutrition and portion control guidance when consuming our products.
We recognise that what we eat not only impacts our health but also the health of the planet. Factors such as where, when and how food is produced, how it is transported, how much is wasted (either along the supply chain or in our own home), whether we are trying to eat with as little environmental impact as possible or with the greatest social benefit for those who produce the food – all play an important part in our sourcing and production decisions.
We want to make sure that the ingredients in our products not only taste great but are also grown with the utmost care for the environment and benefit for the growers. What this means is that:
In season fruit: We only select fruit that is in season and indigenous to the area where it is being grown.
Minimal environmental impact: Sustainable farming practices are followed to ensure minimal impact to the environment from cultivation. These include ensuring our suppliers adhere to Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP) and Organic standards, no land clearing, and protecting watercourses from pollution.
Fair prices and support to our growers: Our fruit is grown in community led farms that provide a fair and sustainable livelihood for our growers. We ensure that we are paying at least the minimum wage, and that there is no child labour. Furthermore, consistent demand from us gives small farmers a certainty of regular income allowing them to make investments to improve both their land holdings as well as their quality of life.
Minimising food waste: Our fruit is dried close to the fields where they are grown, in order to reduce food damage during transport. Dried fruit travels better than an equivalent quantity of fresh fruit – a significant portion of which will be prone to damage in transport or will arrive over-ripe or poorly ripened, needing to be disposed at the point of consumption. Further, fresh fruit that is too ripe to be transported long distances can still be dried locally, reducing food waste and improving harvest yield for our growers.
Managing food miles: Drying the fruit for our products in the country of origin significantly reduces the volume that would otherwise be needed to transport fresh fruit and process these in the UK. We only transport fruit that cannot be grown locally in the UK. We don’t use airfreight for any component in our supply chain.
Understanding our carbon footprint:We work with our suppliers on water and energy efficiency, reduced waste production and recycling. Energy and waste translate directly to our carbon footprint. All non-edible parts of our fruit and organic waste by-products from the drying process are processed in composting plants every year to produce compost used as fertilizer on the farms or sold as potting compost. Our dried fruit production also works with renewable energy sources. Alongside solar energy, a biogas plant – in which bio-waste is used – is used to generate electricity and heat for the drying plant.
Controlling our water impact: The fruit in our products currently comes from places with plenty of water with minimal use of irrigation.
We will continue to measure and reduce our carbon footprint and water impact as we move forward.
Ensuring the highest levels of food safety: All our products are BRC certified from field to pack.
Social and economic impact: We work together with our suppliers to create meaningful and sustainable economic activity in some of the most deprived areas of the world. Whilst farmers are assured of a regular income and a fair price for their produce, our drying facilities help create skilled jobs in food processing and contribute to the development and sustenance of a local industry.
We aim to make our packaging as sustainable as possible. This means:
- We use as little material as possible per pack
- We use as much recycled or renewable material as possible
- We close the loop by using only materials and pack formats that are easy to recycle or better – compost
- We avoid high carbon materials
However, packaging must also:
- Protect the product from spoilage or deterioration in quality
- Not aid in food waste
Using the most technically advanced ideas in packaging: All Wallaroo products use TUV OK Home compost certified wrappers. These are made from a combination of sustainable material such as sugarcane, eucalyptus and FSC certified paper, and designed to break down into water, carbon dioxide and bio- mass at low temperatures within a maximum of 26 weeks. This means that the wrappers can either be composted in a home or garden composter, or disposed along with food waste as the wrappers carry the same certification as the food waste bin liners in the UK.
All our inner packs use only as much packaging as absolutely necessary. Our packs have been nominated for the ‘resource efficient pack of the year’ at the UK Packaging Awards.
Minimising additional outer packaging: Our outer cartons are made from FSC certified paper and are fully recyclable in the UK. These cartons are designed to protect the inner product packs, act as shelf ready display units and, be put on a pallet for transport. We do not therefore need or use any additional secondary or outer transport cartons for our products.
Monitoring the carbon footprint of our packaging: We recognise the need to constantly monitor the carbon footprint that our packaging leaves behind.
We’ve taken concrete steps to reduce our impact where currently possible by:
- Using home compostable wrappers and recyclable boxes
- Minimizing the quantity of packaging that we use
- Ensuring that all our packaging is produced locally in the UK
We continue to work in this area and are currently monitoring the additional packaging we use for transporting our products, in terms of courier boxes, packaging tape, pallet wrap and pallets. We intend to apply the principles of reduce, re-use and recycle or compost to this area as well.
USING OUR POSITION FOR GOOD
We seek to use any goodwill we generate as a business to help promote and financially support healthy eating initiatives primarily aimed at children.
In 2016 we established the Children’s Food Foundation (www.childrensfoodfoundation.org) to help provide a platform for government bodies, parents and caregivers to talk about child obesity in India. We aim to continue to support and help in growing this initiative.
We work with Fareshare (www.fareshare.org.uk) to ensure that a part of our products are distributed through charities and food banks across the UK.
We are currently in talks with Big Society Capital and the Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to develop solutions that help tackle child obesity in some of the most marginal sections of our society.