‘Natoora's sustainability vision is to revolutionise the fruit & vegetables we eat by encouraging sustainable methods, embracing creativity and diversity, and leveraging technology and innovation.’
- Energy, climate biodiversity
- Water management
- Government and ethics
- Economic development
- By product material & waste management
From these principles our current focus is on our workforce, economic development and by product materials & waste management.
At Natoora, we encourage our team to learn and develop on both personal and professional levels.
We have weekly and quarterly meetings to help everyone get to know and understand the many different growers and fruit & vegetable varieties we work with. Additionally, we encourage a sharing of ideas and feedback via regular staff surveys and reviews.
This amount of open communication allows us to promote from within our own company as much as possible, and lends itself to a strong and sustainable company culture.
We also invest in English lessons, HAACP, manual handling and food hygiene training.
Natoora supports economic growth through the countries where we source through investment and by encouraging and supporting our growers. The benefit of our growth is also keenly felt at our London headquarters where, in 6 short years we have gone from a company of 15 staff to over 150.
The most notable example of this is the Good Earth Growers project, a network of small-scale growers in Cornwall brought together by Sean O’Neill and Natoora. We have invested in land, facilities, and equipment to help their businesses grow. Our long term objective is to show that small growers can compete with industrial agriculture, and to create similar networks of growers in different areas of the UK and, eventually, abroad. Natoora guarantees an outlet for their produce, providing transport from Cornwall to London and access to our customer base. The Good Earth Growers project also serves as a forum for shared information between growers. Additionally, several growers have shared seed stock so they can try new varieties.
We have invested in several of the farms we work closely with to help fund their growth. With our assistance, our tomato grower in Sicily, Francesco Tarallita, has acquired 10,000 square meters of land and taken on 15 staff to increase his production, all of which is taken exclusively by Natoora. We also assisted Francesco with obtaining the Global GAP certification.
Global GAP is an internationally recognised standard primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced by minimising detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to work health and safety as well as animal welfare.
By-product materials and waste management
Keeping food, paper and other material out of landfills is a current focus.
Through our partnerships with Sustain, FoodSave and Veris Strategies we have identified key areas where we can prevent waste which include waste avoidance and responsible waste management.
Wherever possible we donate unsold produce to local charities like Save the Date Café, Crisis and Deptford Reach. Natoora donates approximately 100 kilos of food each week to Save the Date Café in Dalston. Save the Date Café is a not-for-profit, egalitarian eatery that rescues surplus and unsold food to create nutritious meals for its diners. It aims to provide exciting, restaurant quality food on a “pay-what-you-feel” basis.
In 2014, we first considered the option of diverting surplus produce unsuitable for human consumption to livestock feed as a result of our involvement and support from Sustain and FoodSave.
Through this project, we began to supply our surplus fruit & vegetables to Weston Farm, a pig farm in Cornwall which supplies one of our customers, Pitt Cue Co., with pork. The feed is backhauled to Cornwall in conjunction with transport from the Good Earth Growers, thus saving on transport emissions as well as feed and waste management costs.
Together, these measures have resulted in almost 20 tonnes of food that was being wasted now being diverted to good causes each year. Our continued commitment to waste management was recently recognised at the Mayor of London’s FoodSave Awards.
We have also engaged Veris to support our commitment to responsible waste management. Working in conjunction with their team, we have set our goal to achieve zero waste status by the end of 2016. In order to reach this goal, Veris completed an in-depth waste audit in May 2015 to help us understand and benchmark our current procedures and dynamics.
The waste audit identified some exciting opportunities and helped us to define a clear strategy on how to achieve zero waste status through a more focused at source segregation system, engagement and training.