Here, Devon Farm Kitchen Manager Joe Bradshaw explains how we're working to minimise our carbon footprint and protect the environment for future generations, and how we're at the forefront of the recycling revolution that has the interests of the planet at its heart.
"While there are so many things happening in the world over which we have no control, the climate emergency is something that we can all do something about," says Joe. "And each year, as the crisis intensifies, we need to do more. Recycling Week provides an ideal opportunity to look at what we're doing and to consider new techniques, products and practices that will help us to reduce our impact on the environment.
"At Devon Farm Kitchen, we pride ourselves on being 'zero landfill', and we strive to put environmental considerations ahead of profit. Our customers are pleased to receive their meals on returnable and reusable ceramic plates, and we hope that this innovative model revolutionises the way people think about packaging. The ceramic plates make it easy for our customers to cook the meals in a microwave or conventional oven, and then just eat and enjoy. There is no plastic waste and the cardboard packaging that houses each plate or bowl is 100% recyclable and compostable.
"While these plates may initially be more costly than other more conventional forms of packaging such as plastic trays, our plates can be re-used time and time again, so in the long run the investment pays off. Plus the clay for our plates is sourced in Cornwall. This model of sustainability is a key selling point for our meals: it makes for happy customers and a greener planet!
"We're proud to have excluded plastic from our own range of packaging, as we know that only a small percent of our everyday plastic actually gets recycled; most of it is incinerated or dumped in other countries.
"Here in the kitchen, we try and keep food waste to an absolute minimum, and we're always looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We're delighted to be using the food waste recycling company DCW, to ensure that any waste that we generate is put to good use as compost, or as energy to power local farms and factories.
"When sourcing ingredients for our meals, we take into account many factors including taste, quality, texture, and we're passionate about provenance. We try to buy predominantly from Devon suppliers, so that food miles are kept to a minimum and so that we can support our local businesses. We favour suppliers with eco and ethical credentials, and where possible, we buy free-range and organic produce.
"While we're proud that all our waste is either re-used or recycled, we know we must never rest on our laurels; we must always strive to do more to protect our planet for future generations."