ProduceWorld has been working with Waitrose since 1981 to supply great quality vegetables from their own farms, joint ventures and working with dedicated growers.

ProduceWorld has been working with Waitrose since 1981 to supply great quality vegetables from their own farms, joint ventures and collaborative working with dedicated growers to give Waitrose customers the best Potatoes, Root Vegetables and Brassicas. ProduceWorld is a family business which started in 1898 with Harry and Percy Burgess growing vegetables in the Peterborough Fen.

The responsibilities of a sustainable business are defined by the leadership and culture of that business. Within Produce World we recognise the roles that we play; as an employer within local communities, as a business that has an impact and reliance on the natural environment and as a farming business responsible for keeping vegetables on the shelves of our customers today and in 20 years time.

It is these reasons that we put sustainability at the core of our business and we are raising the profile of our sustainability activities through our recently launched 4Life strategy:

  • Building on long-term collaborative relationships with our suppliers to promote sustainable agriculture and the sharing of best practice.
  • Innovating to minimise the impact our operations have on the natural environment and working to build resilience in our supply chain.
  • Valuing the contribution of all our employees and providing a stimulating, rewarding and collaborative working environment.
  • Making a positive and measurable contribution to the communities we operate in by working with local organisations and charities.

In line with our corporate social responsibilities we always treat our growers and suppliers fairly and ask the same from our customers. Our four pillars of Community Impact, Responsible Sourcing, Environmental Stewardship and Workplace Culture are our guiding focus and are aligned to the Waitrose Way. These also guide our research agenda with Waitrose, we have several research projects, one of which is Soils For Life. ProduceWorld recognises the huge value that healthy soils can provide beyond its role as a growing media.

Biodiversity at Houghton Estate

ProduceWorld is part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Cranfield University. The projects aim is to develop a company-scale soil information system to map, assess and monitor soil resources to better understand the relationships between the cropping environment, soil health and sustainable, profitable, agriculture which are key to producing consistently high-quality vegetables. We have also been running a drip irrigation project for potato crops which was trialled on our Lincolnshire Farm in 2012. Giving 40% saving in water used for the crop, higher marketable yields and a reduction in foliar fungicides. This technique is now being trailed on other crops such as Carrots and Brassicas.

ProduceWorld are proactively using our experience as a platform to demonstrate the technology to other Waitrose growers, and continue on our journey to strive to produce the best, most flavoursome and innovative produce.

ProduceWorld