Sustainability Hero of the Month: Eversfield Organic

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Food Drink Devon
Posted on
9 Jun 2021

We asked our members to share their sustainability efforts so we could highlight the businesses doing what they can to reduce their impact on the planet.

This month our ‘Sustainability Hero of the Month’ is Eversfield Organic and here’s what they had to say…

What have you done to make your business more environmentally friendly?

Regenerative Farming Methods

We’ve been working on our sustainable business practices for a long time. Since achieving organic status in 2004, we’ve continued to look after the soil on the farm as we see the ground as a vital investment into the future. Our organic, regenerative farming methods continue to expand as we employ our closed-loop sustainability system. Ensuring the continued running of the farm without the use of external materials has been our number one the goal here these past few years. Some examples of this are avoiding the use of artificial fertilisers and allowing our Aberdeen Angus Cattle to naturally fertilise the soil for us. We also work on composting down in the Market Garden, using any waste products in our compost heap to return nutrients to the ground. Healthy, fertile soils not only produce the yummiest organic foods but also allow for CO2 to be drawn out of the atmosphere in, what’s known as, carbon sequestration. This begins to reverse the effects of intensive agriculture.

Our Aberdeen Angus are also important for soil health in other ways, such as our rotational grazing system ensuring all areas of our fields are treated to a little rest and recuperation. Soil erosion is a real problem in many traditional farms with intensified ploughing. Rotational grazing allows for a stronger network of grass roots, holding the soil composition together. Moving our cattle around the fields makes sure they don’t chomp down on the grass too far, avoiding soil erosion and providing fertile ground. In addition, grass feeding and finishing our cattle means the animals produce less methane than grain-fed cattle as well as upping the level of animal welfare – win, win!

Sustainable Packaging

We also work to ensure our packaging is as sustainable as possible. Our boxes are made from recycled cardboard and also home recyclable. Our WoolCool liners and ice packs can be reused at home, or the ice packs can be emptied and sent to recycling. The WoolCool liners can also be removed from their plastic covering (this can be sent to recycling) and the sheep’s wool added to a home composting heap.

For our regular customers, we also have a sustainable packaging return scheme. After four deliveries worth of packaging, customers can print a free returns label and send back to us. In addition, packaging can also be given to our friendly local delivery drivers.

What would you like to change in the future to improve your sustainability credentials further?

We are currently working on making more of our packaging home compostable in efforts to reduce plastic used in our packaging. Some of our organic produce, such as our mixed salad, need to be tightly sealed in plastic bags to ensure freshness, but we’re conscious of the impact of single-use plastics. With this in mind, working towards home compostable packaging is another big goal for us sustainability wise.

We also hope to continue the amount and range of organic fruit and vegetables grown in our on-site Market Garden. This will reduce food miles needed to bring this produce to our farm.

We will also extend our local delivery routes in the future. Our free local delivery scheme works to again cut down food miles by carefully planning the routes to reduce the time spent on the road.

What tips do you have for other businesses that would like to become more sustainable?

As we said before, for farms like ours, looking after the soil is so important. As a non-renewable source of the Earth’s natural capital, we must look after the ground to ensure we don’t lose it! So working to improve soil health with some of the regenerative farming methods mentioned above could help to improve sustainability and the environment for us all.

Going the extra mile with packaging is also key, always looking to improve its environmental friendliness! As we mentioned before, this is something we are continuing to work towards.

In our farm shops in Tavistock and Totnes, we encourage customers to bring their own reusable packaging, which is always a good idea for smaller, local shops with loyal customers. Also, we use our own delivery vans to take produce from our farm to the shops, again reducing food miles.

Eversfield Organic | eversfieldorganic.co.uk

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