This new report form Newcastle is another positive pointer for organic foods. Organic farming continues to play an important role in our business and is really important to our customers. The issues raised in this report mostly tie in with those we have raised in the Waitrose Farm assessment and the current drive in conventional agriculture to reduce inputs of both nitrogen and pesticides.
We have known for some time that farming methods do affect final quality. As a grower or researcher with the Waitrose supply chain we need to push on with new research while also applying what we already know.
The full report is available on the British Journal of Nutrition website.
The soil association have also written an article outlining their views on the research, this can be downloaded from the Soil Association website.
Last week another report was published linking neonicotinoids to a decline in farmland birds. Many other reports have some chemicals in this group with the decline of bees and pollinators. The reasons for this decline are hotly disputed with land use being cited as a key reason. However with the EU three neonicotinoids ( clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam ) have been banned on crops attractive to bees from 2014. At Waitrose we have gone a bit further with a worldwide ban of Neonicotinoids from all our growers.
We will publish form time to time links to articles that develop the debate and urge you the grower to read them. The protection of pollinators and other species is of key importance to mankind and there we need more science to ensure growers have the means to remove and not replace with broad spectrum pesticides.
To read the full report please click on the link here
The Guardian have also published a summary to this report paper here
The Waitrose Science Day will take place at the University of Warwick on Tuesday 18th February 2014. The day will be a fantastic opportunity for delegates to hear updates from suppliers, academics and Waitrose representatives on key projects relating to sustainability and the Waitrose Farm Assessment.
A provisional program for the day is available here.
Registration for the science day will close on Monday 10th February but spaces are limited. To register for the event please click here.
The Waitrose Farm Assessment (WFA) is an initiative which was conceived by the Agronomy Group in 2011. Over the past year all of our fresh produce suppliers and growers have completed the assessments which cover the key issues of safety, sustainability and quality. The final report from the first version of the assessment is now available to download. To view the document click on the image below.
British families throw away an average of the equivalent of six meals per week in food waste, research has suggested. Publicly-funded recycling group the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) said this would amount to £60 a month for a household.
WRAP said buying too much, serving large portions and confusion over food labelling were the main causes.
To read the full report please visit the BBC News website.
WFA Report launch with attendance from our Academic Partners – Tuesday 12th November 2013 – Evening session from 5pm and Waitrose Technical Conference – Wednesday 13th November 2013 – Arrival from 8.30am
The evening session on Tuesday 12th November will be the official launch of the Waitrose Farm Assessment (version 1) Report (WFA) 2013.
The WFA is an initiative started in 2011 by the Waitrose Agronomy Group allowing suppliers to assess growers against a range of questions covering safety, sustainability and quality.
From the results of the WFA we have gained a clear idea of future challenges. To address these we are working closely with academic partners to identify development opportunities and long term solutions.
We are very grateful that a large number of our academic partners are able to attend the launch of the WFA Report evening to promote the collaboration between Retailers, Suppliers, Growers and Academics. We hope the evening provides a good opportunity for you all to discuss existing and future development opportunities.