Produce World Brothers JPEG

The Burgess brothers

Produce World has been recognised by Waitrose in its suppliers’ sustainability initiatives at the second annual Waitrose Way Awards last week.

The vegetable grower and supplier won the own-label Treading Lightly water award for its use of drip irrigation in the UK, resulting in a 40-50 per cent reduction in water used.

Winners across 15 categories were chosen from more than 150 entries and celebrated at the new Leckford Farm Shop on Waitrose’s farm, the Leckford Estate in Hampshire.

As well as the Treading Lightly category, which was sub-divided into waste and water, own-label and branded, companies were judged in Championing British, Living Well and Treating People Fairly – the four core principles of the supermarket’s CSR policy, The Waitrose Way. This year, there were also four awards for building and development suppliers and an award for responsible development innovation.

Senior buyers and members of the corporate responsibility team joined a panel of external judges to choose the winners.

Quentin Clark, head of sustainability and ethical sourcing at Waitrose, said: “These awards are a fantastic way of celebrating the hard work that our suppliers have been doing to improve the sustainability of their businesses and ultimately the Waitrose business as a whole. It was hard to pick the winners from such a high standard of applicants and we are delighted that so many suppliers share the same goals that we do.”