Here at The Warwickshire Catering Company, we always endeavour to provide nutritious, seasonal British food, working with suppliers who share our values and principles throughout the supply chain and change our menus to celebrate the variety and best of British produce. In this blog we are going to outline all of our new policy changes as it is so important to provide healthy, sustainable food for everyone.
We realise that sustainability is an ongoing process. Hence, a genuinely responsible and ethical approach is the only way forward, and it’s the only future we want to be a part of, spearheading the catering industry to be champions in this area.
Fruit & Vegetables
- All our menus will reflect the British seasons, and at least three key items per dish will be served in the season that it is naturally abundant in.
- Seasonal fruit will always be served in preference to out of season fruit.
- Recognising the importance of orchards to biodiversity, we will stock orchard fruit when in season, such as apples, plums and pears, and make chutneys and preserves with any excess produce where possible.
- Where possible, we will build links through our suppliers to the growers of fruit and vegetables used in our catering and promote to staff our commitment to supporting these growers and their communities.
Meat & Dairy
We want to reduce the consumption of livestock production and improve sustainable rearing practices, i.e. a ‘Less but better’ quality approach. We will ensure this by:
- 1. Purchasing Free Range British certified chicken and poultry to guarantee that the animals have been allowed to mature at a safe rate and have been allowed to exhibit natural behaviour.
- 2. Guaranteeing British beef and lamb is sourced from RSPCA approved farms or equivalent that ensure that cattle and sheep are given access to pasture and ‘grass-fed as a minimum requirement.
- 3. Procuring British pork and pork products that are Free Range or from RSPCA approved farms, or equivalent.
- · All of our milk purchased will be certified Organic.
- · We will ensure that a range of pulses, beans and other sources of protein that are not of animal origin and an increasing proportion of plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables are increased.
Fish & Seafood
We are committed to ensuring that 100% of the fish and seafood purchased is sustainably sourced to protect precious marine environments and fish stocks, and good fishing livelihoods. We will ensure this by:
Purchasing in season, by referring to the MCS UK seasonality table to avoid buying fish during their breeding or spawning time, and below the size at which they mature. Avoiding eating immature or juvenile fish during their breeding or spawning times will help maintain stock levels, allowing them to breed and replenish their populations. This only applies to fresh fish.
- Guaranteeing the catch method or farming method is low impact, such as hand-diving, hand-gathered, pole & line and trap fishing, and to avoid fish caught using highly disruptive and unselective methods such as deep-sea bottom trawling and tropical prawn trawling.
- Not purchasing species that fall above category two of the MCS FishOnline ranking system of fish to eat that are from well-managed, sustainable stocks or farms or are more resilient to fishing pressure. Avoiding the worst, rated as fish to avoid on the above MSC guide.
- Purchasing certified species, such as MSC certified (wild) and Organic certified farmed fish from well-managed farms with Organic aquaculture standards or equivalent. This guarantees the fish and shellfish are produced using the most sustainable feeds available. The fish are kept at low stocking densities, which minimises stress and maximises welfare and natural disease resistance, no toxic antifoulants – used to keep net pens clean. The use of veterinary treatments are heavily restricted.
- We endeavour to promote lesser-known fish species such as gurnard, pouting, flounder and razor clams, which have plentiful stock levels. By using these fish, it takes the pressure off the depleted stocks of endangered fish.
- Our preference for tinned tuna will be pole and line caught or MSC certified. We will not use tinned tuna where the tuna has been caught using purse seine nets with Fish Aggregation Devices (FADS).
Tea & Coffee
We are committed to purchasing Fairtrade certified coffee and sugar.
We aim to increase the amount of Fairtrade certified products purchased over the next six months. Further, we pledge to increase our ethically traded offer as more products and product categories become available, adding at least one more ethically traded product per year.
As a minimum purchasing requirement, everyday tea is Rainforest Alliance Certified who work towards conserving biodiversity and improving workers livelihoods.
- We are committed to purchasing 100% non – bleached, fully biodegradable tea bags.
- When purchasing individual mineral water containers we will ensure that it is reusable and recyclable, and primarily made from responsibly sourced materials.
- We will offer tap water in jugs to all of our customers.
- We will ensure that all eggs purchased are Free Range certified as a minimum requirement and aim to increase organically certified eggs over the next six months.
We are committed to only purchasing 100 % Real Bread and baked goods made without processing aids or any other artificial additives.
- Our bread is made using Organic certified flours where possible and contains no more than the salt content in line with the Department of Health guidance, 1% or less of the final product weight.
We will endeavour to purchase and provide healthy nutritious food with reduced salt, fat, and saturated fat levels in line with the Department of Health guidance; promoting dishes containing a high proportion of wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables; providing foods for children (where applicable) that suit their nutritional needs; limiting the provision and promotion of snacks that are high in fat, salt, sugar, and vigorously promoting healthier alternatives.
We will also monitor and reduce, every six months, the number and proportion of less healthy options provided.
Waste and recycling (include packaging)
We are committed to producing as little waste as possible across our business, including edible food waste, food waste scraps, cardboard, paper, glass, plastic and metal waste. We will ensure this by:
Increasing levels of all forms of recycling through the on-site collection offer our clients food waste and mixed recycling services.
We are aiming to increase our work with Helping Hands and a variety of surplus food distribution charities and our clients to redistribute surplus food to charities in and around Warwickshire.
Committing to working with suppliers and clients to reduce packaging and use reusable packaging wherever possible. We use fully compostable takeaway packaging made from sustainably sourced plant-derived materials. We will encourage the aluminium containers used for hot food to be recycled and look for alternative packaging.
We will aim to ensure that dry waste (e.g. cardboard, paper, metal) is kept separate from wet waste (e.g. food), and send any unavoidable food waste (e.g. potato peelings) for composting /pig feed or energy recovery.
Education and Training
We are currently using social media to highlight issues around sustainability and seasonal eating; thus, we are committed to enhancing employee awareness of relevant environmental and social effects of our sustainable policies through appropriate training as we grow.
Monitoring and Reporting
We will continually monitor and evaluate our performance and progress and examine this policy every six months and assess whether the targets have been reached and if, therefore, they can be raised.
Love, The Warwickshire Catering Company X