Princes Ltd wins Ambient Food Company of the year 2020 at the prestigious Food Manufacture Excellence Awards
It’s always a huge honour to win an award for the work we do but this one has put a huge smile on our faces because this is a testament to the thousands of Princes colleagues who are dedicated to keeping the nation fed.
There are many reason why we won this amazing accolade, however our massive period of transformation that is underway within the Princes Group is probably the biggest reason why.
We are currently investing £150m in our UK manufacturing sites at our Long Sutton, Cardiff and Erith (Edible Oils Limited – a joint venture with ADM) as part of a long term vision for our food manufacturing. These investments started in 2018 and will future proof these sites while allowing us to deliver greater innovation, capacity and environmental benefits. This transformation has run concurrently with a new Innovation partnership with Cubo and the installation of an Innovation Kitchen at our Head Office, delivering a £5m re-brand of our iconic Princes brand and then there is covid.
Our core canned categories have seen unprecedented levels of increase due to the pandemic and we’ve risen to the challenge whilst suffering from reduced staffing levels during the early weeks. Our Bradford site had its record week of production during lockdown – less than 12 months after a fire at the site – and we responsibly managed a covid outbreak at our Wisbech site with minimal disruption.
All of this has been against a backdrop of maintaining, and where possible, improving our environmental efficiencies. There are a number of areas; part of our investment at Long Sutton includes a new raw materials warehouse which will significantly reduce road miles between site and the existing location. The same investment includes an onsite Anaerobic Digestion plant for raw material waste that cannot be donated, and which will generate energy for the site, part of our long term plan to generate 50% of our own energy needs on site by 2030.
In 2018 we signed up to the Champions 12.3 Food Waste commitment and in our first year of reporting – Year Ending March 20 – we reduced food waste across our 10 UK sites by 7%. We
have also encouraged suppliers to join with the C12.3 initiative and support Sustainable Development Goal 12.3
We’re also very proud to say that we’ve removed non-recyclable PVC and EPS (expanded polystyrene) from our manufacturing sites and introduced cardboard sleeves to replacing plastic on our Princes tuna and Napolina tomato multi packs. In our UK manufacturing sites, our average recycled content of plastics reached 45% (UK Plastic Pact target is 30% by 2025) and 98.6% of our plastics are “widely recyclable” as defined by OPRL.
Suffice to say that we’re delighted to have won this award and we are incredibly proud of the Princes teams that made it happen.
Thank you to Food Manufacture and a grateful thanks to all of our colleagues.
Princes Group reports global food waste figures
International food and drink group Princes has published food waste data for its global operations, reporting that just 1.1% of total food handled by the business was wasted in the year to March 2020.
Of the 22,149 tonnes of food waste generated, 18,397 tonnes (83%) was sent to anaerobic digestion to be converted to energy. In its UK operations, Princes decreased food waste by 7% to 16,631 tonnes in 2019/20.
As a member of the Champions 12.3 coalition of organisations dedicated to accelerating progress towards tackling global food waste, Princes Group has formally adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 – “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses”.
David McDiarmid, corporate relations director at Princes, said: “As one of the UK’s leading grocery brands and food and drink manufacturers, we have a responsibility to tackle this challenge, and we’re pleased to see that our continued efforts to address food waste across our operations are moving these figures in the right direction. Though we’ve made considerable headway, reducing food waste within our UK operations by 7% in the past year, we are aware that there is more work to do, and we’re continually exploring different options to drive further progress.”
“While we are primarily focused on our operations currently, being a signatory to Champions 12.3 is a farm to fork responsibility. We will continue to call on suppliers to join this initiative and communicate with consumers to raise awareness about the importance of food waste reduction in the home.”
Material sent to other destinations includes 55,241 tonnes used for animal feed, and 427 tonnes redistributed for human consumption via charitable donations.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedication of Princes colleagues has played a vital role in meeting customer and consumer demand, as well as helping charities in their ongoing efforts to feed the nation and support communities at this challenging time. In response to the pandemic, Princes has distributed almost 700,000 products across the UK, Italy and Mauritius this year. This includes 344,000 meals donated to FareShare, the UK’s largest charity tackling hunger and food waste in the UK.