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Supplier responds to Sainsbury's sustainability strategy

Fresh Olive is both a primary and secondary supplier to Sainsbury’s and the retail sector. It provides pesto and olives to the Adelie Food Group - which uses these ingredients within its fresh sandwich range for Sainsbury’s and Boots among others - and also directly supplies its own Belazu consumer range of products via Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and a range of independent outlets.

The Adelie Food Group introduced Fresh Olive to its environmental management partner, WasteSolve, in an effort to green its supply chain and make a significant environmental commitment in all areas of the product lifecycle.

Adelie is now facilitating a zero waste supplier management strategy, setting itself a target to achieve a zero waste supply chain by 2014. The Fresh Olive Company is taking up the challenge.

“Staff engagement for a waste management programme has got to be one of the most positive forms of change it is possible to introduce,” says Steve Wood, chief operating officer for The Adelie Food Group.

“Our industry has not really grasped what a powerful force for good an innovative waste management programme can be. Fundamentally, staff do not want to see any products we produce going to waste, so if they can be part of the solution and see the benefits then it is a fantastic force for good.”

With a strong social heritage of its own, Fresh Olive alongside Adelie was keen to demonstrate that suppliers can play a positive role in retail corporate social responsibility by aligning their own waste processes to specific retailer sustainability programmes.

Waste was a central theme identified in Sainsbury’s recently published 20 to 20 Sustainability Plan, and Fresh Olive believes that its shared ‘Ready Steady Green’ programme with The Adelie Food Group, with a rigorous and enjoyable staff engagement programme at its heart, is exactly the sort of best practice that Sainsbury’s is encouraging to reduce waste in its supply chain.

Devised by WasteSolve, the behavioural change campaign has delivered huge success across the Adelie Group, with staff now treating waste as a precious resource rather than ‘just waste

The Ready Steady Green programme is built around staff engagement activities, such as competitive games, which communicate the theory and practice of the waste hierarchy. Waste reduction and elimination are at the heart of the programme.

Under Ready Steady Green, all of Fresh Olive’s waste streams will be segregated at source so each can be positively re-used for beneficial use.

Kate Cawley, creative director at WasteSolve, says: “Clean and well segregated waste streams are essential to achieve the highest possible recycling levels; contamination being the single most damaging and common way in which resources are lost from the waste management process.

“Food waste, for example, will be sent to anaerobic digestion, described as the gold standard in waste management and the preferred route of both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.”

The launch of the scheme at Fresh Olive ensures the company will be practicing top manufacturing tactics to achieve zero waste to landfill, and will join Adelie in work towards its internal zero waste targets for 2014.

Derek Wiles, operations manager for Fresh Olive, says: “We’re proud to play our part in greening the supply chain and echoing our customers’ values.

“We wanted to take our own proactive steps to respond to Sainsbury’s 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan, and by working with WasteSolve and introducing the Ready, Steady Green Programme, we can do this in a way which is both efficient and enjoyable.”

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