But What Does Sustainability Really Mean?
Sustainability is about stopping the degradation of the planet's natural environment and, instead, building a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The use of renewable, natural resources and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption are key factors in delivering this goal. We believe that local produce plays an important part in this.
Reducing, Recycling and Reusing at Leckford Estate
The Leckford Estate and Waitrose Farm approach to agriculture allows for production of healthy foods without destroying the ability of future generations to do the same. Our sustainable farming practices include crop rotation and diversification, less soil disturbance and fuel usage when planting crops through the use of a reduced tillage system, the use of technology and data and recycling of crop waste and animal manure to put more organic matter back into the soil.
Where possible, and without compromising on the quality and safety of the food we offer our customers, we have cut down considerably on the packaging used to transport and present our produce in the Leckford Estate local farm shop. Where single-use plastic is still needed, we use fully compostable materials and continually look to work with suppliers who share the positive environmental practices and values that we cherish at Leckford Estate.
At our plant nursery all our bagged composts will be peat free by 2022. By 2025 all our plants and trees will be grown in peat free compost. We already sell plants in pots that can be put directly into the soil, no need to remove the pot as it will decompose naturally.
Our Partners in Sustainability
Our commitment to working ethically and sustainably means we value the relationships we have with our suppliers and producers. Our business strategy means that we look to source responsibly, cut down and eventually cut out single use plastic and reduce our waste. The suppliers we work with are as committed as we are to playing their part too, by working to similar recycling, reusing and reducing schemes as those that we have at the Leckford Estate.
We aim to keep food waste to a minimum. This means that we replenish stock by ordering little, but often, from our suppliers. We also endeavour to ‘shop local’ – to build a network of local suppliers, which helps reduce our carbon footprint, as well as support the vibrant community around us. The Leckford Estate engages with local and regional businesses - over 50% of our products are locally or regionally sourced.
Following Seasonal Patterns
Any excess fresh food items nearing end of life, that aren’t sold from The Leckford Estate local farm shop, are reused in the café kitchen to create more wonderful dishes for our menu. By sticking to a seasonal approach, we cook according to what is available in our gardens and estate. By reducing the need to bring in items from further afield we keep food miles and our negative impact on the environment to a minimum.
How Our Customers Can Help too
By bringing your own shopping bags, you have been supporting our ‘green’ initiatives for a long time already. We now invite you to bring your own containers for the loose produce you purchase. It’s a great way to help cut down on the use of single use plastic and it makes unpacking your shopping easier too!
Join with The Leckford Estate to Drive Sustainability in Our Daily Lives
Using renewable energy during production, sustainable farming practices, turning surplus fruit into delicious cordials, replanting trees in communities to help regenerate woodlands and helping to support the bee population are just some of the great examples of sustainability at work at the Leckford Estate and with our trusted suppliers.
But sustainability isn’t only about the big projects or the news-worthy campaigns. Small changes, like shopping for local produce, eating with the seasons and being careful with packaging also make a huge impact. Be part of changing the world into a better place for future generations.