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Press Release

Sustainability kit to show Welsh food businesses a recipe for success

Organic Centre Wales will launch a new sustainability toolkit for food businesses this week (from Monday 30 April 2012) in a drive to help producers and manufacturers manage costs and reduce Wales' carbon footprint.

The Sustainability Toolkit for Organic Businesses, which has been sent to over 300 organic organisations in Wales, details a step by step approach to creating a sustainable business, while tackling increasing energy costs and disruption to overseas supplies. It allows businesses to measure how sustainable their current operations are and provides a template on how to develop a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), with signposts to useful tools they can use to measure and monitor their sustainability. It also encourages businesses to communicate the benefits of their sustainability strategy to the whole supply chain.

Sue Fowler, Director of Organic Centre Wales, said: “Sustainability is a hot topic in the food industry, and with good reason. By improving sustainability performance, businesses are open to opportunities for growth and more robust food supply chains.

“This toolkit has been designed for those who want to know why they should be looking at sustainability within their business, and it provides advice on how businesses can operate more sustainably.

“To date, most work on 'footprints' has focussed on carbon because of the importance of oil and climate change, this toolkit takes a much wider view and considers lots of different elements along the supply chain, including water, energy and waste. Sustainability is not just a buzz word, it means building a robust, strong business now and for the future.”

The Sustainability Toolkit for Organic Businesses has been developed by Organic Centre Wales in partnership with Weir Total Supply Chain Sustainability (Weir tscs) through the Better Organic Business Links (BOBL) project.

Stephen Weir, Director of Weir tscs, echoes Sue Fowler's comments: “Recent research demonstrates that companies that focus on building sustainability into their supply chains out-perform those that don't. This makes perfect sense, as sustainability is about creating new business models that work within environmental, social and financial boundaries to balance the demand for products and services against the impacts they create.

“Finding ways to reduce material and energy consumption, eliminate waste, and minimise supply chain risk is not only the 'right' thing to do – it is also sound business sense.”

To request a copy of the toolkit, contact the BOBL team at Organic Centre Wales on 01970 622248 or email . You can download a copy of the toolkit here.

ENDS

For more information please contact Antony Jones at Freshwater on 02920 545387 or

Notes for editors:

1. OCW is the national resource for consumers, farmers and policy makers committed to more sustainable food and farming in Wales. Based at Aberystwyth University and run by a partnership consisting of the ADAS, the Organic Research Centre Elm Farm, and Aberystwyth University. See www.organiccentrewales.org.uk.

2. BOBL is an Organic Centre Wales project and has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project is designed to support the primary producer in Wales and grow the market for Welsh organic produce in a sustainable way. The project is developing new, emerging and existing markets for organic produce whilst driving innovation, at all levels, within the supply chain. The overall aim is to support a thriving Welsh organic sector so that the benefits of WG investment in the Organic Farming Scheme to generate agri-environmental benefits, and in the Welsh Organic Action Plan to support rural development and sustainable food production, can be fully realised.

In partnership with
ADAS logo Aberystwyth University logo Organic Research Centre Elm Farm logo
Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
T:01970 622248   E: organic@aber.ac.uk
Funding bodies
logo of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural DevelopmentWelsh Assembly Government logo
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