Produce World wins top award

PETERBOROUGH-based fresh produce supplier Produce World has won a prestigious award for its unique and innovative approach to sustainability reporting. Its system, the first of its kind in the produce sector, provides an online window into the company’s corporate responsibility key performance indicators, which is accessible to anyone.

As part of a long-term programme of corporate social responsibility, Produce World has invested in the Credit 360 system. This allows anybody to access key performance measures across the company’s business units including carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, water and energy usage, accident frequency rate, and employee turnover. The information provided is un-edited and completely transparent.

As a result, Produce World won the Innovative Reporting category of the awards run by Ethical Corporation as part of its Responsible Business Summit.

Companies that won other categories or were highly commended included global household names such as L’Oreal, PepsiCo, SAB Miller, British Land and Greenpeace.

William Burgess, Produce World’s CEO said, “The award recognises our investment over the past few years to improve the sustainability of our business. It is especially satisfying to be included alongside major brands, and shows what can be achieved by a relatively small company on a ‘shoestring’ budget.

“We are committed to sustainability, but not by simply throwing money at the problem. Some companies would invest in a wind turbine, and think that they have done their bit. We haven’t gone down that route, but we believe that the measures we are taking are much more long-term and will really make a difference.”

The competition judges said, “This B2B company is truly innovative in providing regular key corporate responsibility information to stakeholders in a B2B environment. This example shows how companies can be transparent to customers and has developed a model that, if applied to other sectors, could have transformational effects in terms of provenance and traceability.”

Produce World is unique in the fresh produce industry in adopting the Credit 360 system. To date it has only been used by blue chip corporations such as John Lewis, Alliance Boots and McDonalds.

Produce World’s work towards improved performance in environmental stewardship was recognised over the past 18 months when it secured ISO14001 accreditation for its head office and four of its businesses: ┬ápotato supplier Solanum, organic specialist RB Organic, Isleham Fresh Produce, which markets root vegetables and Rustler Produce, a major supplier of onions, garlic and leeks.

Environmental stewardship is just one of four pillars of Produce World’s Growing Trust Corporate Social Responsibility programme which includes:

  • Environmental stewardship
  • Responsible sourcing
  • Workplace culture
  • Community impact.

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