UK only has 100 seasons left in its soil due to intensive over-farming scientists claim

UK only has 100 seasons left in its soil due to intensive over-farming scientists claim

INTENSIVE OVER-FARMING in the UK has depleted the soil of the nutrients needed to grow crops meaning that we only have 100 harvests left unless dramatic action is taken, scientists at the University of Sheffield have revealed. At the same time, lack of bio-diversity is causing a dramatic fall in wildlife populations in this country.

In order to ensure future generations are able to grow fruit and vegetables, we should start ...

Government must ‘take the lead’ in increasing recycling, says new report

Government must ‘take the lead’ in increasing recycling, says new report

A NEW REPORT from a Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) committee has called for the government to take the lead in increasing the rate of recycling in the UK.

Its reports, published earlier this week, called for more to be done to help households reduce waste to landfill, as figures showed that the average person in England throws away five times their body weight a year, adding up ...

Subsidies to solar farms to be cut

Subsidies to solar farms to be cut

ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY Liz Truss has called solar farms “a blight on the landscape” and revealed plans to cut subsidies under new plans to ensure more land is dedicated to food production.

The controversial plans have come under fire from groups accusing the minister of trying to ‘woo UKIP voters while green campaigners have expressed disappointment in the ‘attack on renewables’.

The change, which will come into effect from January 2015, will mean ...

UK exports reaching global high

UK exports reaching global high

THE ENVIRONMENT secretary, Liz Truss, has announced that a record number of countries are importing UK foods.

Products including Yorkshire Ice and cheese are being shipped around the world into restaurants, supermarket and bars.

New figures show the UK government has helped 2,500 food and drink businesses sell their produce abroad in the last 12 months – more firms than ever before – generating £300 million for the UK economy as part ...

Food disposal guidance launched by Defra

Food disposal guidance launched by Defra

THE DEPARTMENT for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched new guidance on how food waste should be handled or disposed of.

Aimed at food shops, manufacturers and distributors the new guidance – which has been developed in partnership with the Animal and Plant Health Agency – highlights that food waste and former foodstuff (foods no longer intended for human consumption) must be disposed of in a way that ‘doesn’t ...

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Access all areas

Access all areas

HOSPITALITY BUSINESS are losing business by not offering free wifi. But it’s a service that can enhance customer experience in more ways than one, especially if it’s done ethically.

New research has suggested that three-quarters of hospitality venues are convinced that their quality of service and facilities are far more important to their customers than access to the internet. However, a third of travellers say they wouldn’t  return to a hotel ...

What price sustainability?

What price sustainability?

IN GROCERY, brands are everything. But can developing a sustainable image encourage shoppers to pay a premium? Johan Anselmsson reports.

Sainsbury’s recently launched its biggest own-label campaign to date as it looks to build on growth rates that are outstripping branded products by two to one. The emergence and subsequent growth of supermarket brands has provided strong competition to established brands in many categories, but in packaged food the rivalry is ...

Back to the future

Back to the future

“THERE’S A way to do it better – find it,” said prolific inventor, Thomas Edison, the man credited with inventing the light bulb, among other things.

His approach transformed everyday life across the globe in a way that could never have been anticipated. And a similar transformation is exactly what is required in agriculture if we are to meet the sustainability challenges ahead.

Here is the problem. Population growth means that there ...

An ounce of (waste) prevention

An ounce of (waste) prevention

THE PROGRESS made in recycling rates is impressive, but should businesses be doing more to reduce the amount of waste they create? Jamie Pitcairn and Rupert Carrick certainly think so.

In the last 20 years a huge focus across the UK has been placed on recycling yet it’s the second worst option for managing our resources, behind reuse and reduction. Recycling will not fix the UK’s dependency on primary material use ...

Empty promises?

Empty promises?

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING is everywhere, but should consumers really be that impressed by it?

There is an argument often made that small environmental wins add up to a big environmental win. The flaw in this logic is that it ignores the rebound effects that can result from ostensible “wins”. A classic example of rebound is the energy-efficient lightbulb, which would save small amounts of energy if used to replace its non-efficient counterpart. The trouble ...

Take action or face legislation

PROFESSOR SUSAN JEBB, chair of the Responsibility Deal’s Food Network, prefers voluntary action but hasn’t  ruled out legislation

 

The Responsibility Deal annual updates were published end of last month. Are we making progress?

 

Yes, without doubt. This year’s annual returns include actions and commitments that I do ...

Social sustainability

“Effective staff recruitment, retention, management and development can work wonders for the sustainability of any business and the contract catering industry is far beyond exception. To steady a ship, you need a familiar crew. People you know you can count on. I am confident that Dine Contract Catering’s recent achievements have emerged from how we hire our team members, maintain ...