120/121 Lower Baggot Street
buses: 25x, 37, 38, 38a, 38b, 39, 39a, 51d, 51x, 66x, 67x, 70, 77x
LUAS green line: St Stephen's Green
DART: Pearse Street
All our smoothie bottles contain some recycled PET* plastic, otherwise known as rPET.
We've been pioneering the use of food grade rPET since 2003, when we first introduced a little bit of recycled content to our smoothie bottles, and we've been working on it ever since in one way or another We're committed to reducing the carbon impact of our packaging throug initiatives such as this.. along the same lines we have also taken ove 25% out of the weight of the bottle. Losing weight is a great way to cu carbon (for plastic bottles anyway).
*PET stands for 'polyethylene terephthalate'. Clear plastic, in other words, said our Stu, who knows about these things.
No, it just isn't applicable for certain countries and certain fruits, like those that we source from the UK. But as the Rainforest Alliance expands into new certification territory, like pineapple, we'll be keen to keep on building our relationship with them. As they develop new standards for new fruits, we will assess their suitability for our growers.
Whilst we don't like to boast, it turns out they quite appreciate the work we do and they showed their gratitude last year with this rather fetching trophy. Outside of the world of fruit they certify all sort of things including coffee, cocoa and forestry. Find out more here: www.rainforest-alliance.org
Our smoothies, veg pots and orange juice are GM-free.
No they're not organic. We want to minimise pesticide and other agrochemical usage on our fruit, and this is one of the requirements of both the Rainforest Alliance and also the innocent minimum standards for our fruit growers. Both sets of standards also ban the use of any of the 'dirty dozen' pesticides as listed by the Pesticide Action Network. To ensure the safety of our drinks we conduct independent tests on our ingredients, at an accredited laboratory, throughout the harvest calendar. Of the test results with anything being detected at all, these detections fall well within the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) that you are allowed. Each year our policy will be reviewed and testing procedures will be updated.
Smoothies - We're afraid as we can't guarantee that our drinks are shellac free, due to the small chance that tiny amounts of shellac do make it into our drinks, we can't class our drinks as being suitable for vegans.
The clutch has gone funny, the fan belt's shot and there are no windows. Plus I've forgotten where I've parked it.
Our smoothies are made of nothing but whole crushed fruit and pure juices, so it's completely safe to freeze them. However, we don't really recommend it because they taste much better fresh. To be more specific, bananas don't freeze well; when they defrost they go brown and a bit slimy. Check out this picture of a fresh banana and one that's defrosted. We know which we would rather drink.
If you do decide to freeze one of our smoothies, please make sure you defrost it in the fridge so it stays chilled at all times and note that this might take as long as 3 days. You should also drink it on the day of defrosting.
We get lots and lots of requests for our drinks and as much as we'd love to help everyone out, it would just be impossible. Instead, we give any excess drinks we have to the homeless through the charity, Fareshare. You can find out a bit more about the good work they do here.
Regarding children in general, our smoothies and juices are OK - they contain nothing but crushed and juiced fruit , so the health properties should be welcome for kids who quite like sweets and crisps too. Fruit naturally contain sugars and because smoothies and juices are made entirely from fruit, they contain sugars too. If possible, try to keep smoothies and fruit juices to meal times and make sure children brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride tooth paste. You can visit our health section for more information about dental health.
In general, look on the ingredients panel and check the amount of fruit in each bottle. If it seems like a reasonable amount of fruit, then it will be OK. If you don't usually give your child this much fruit, then adjust the amount accordingly.
We make a range of drinks specifically for children which you can find out about here. They've got less bits in them, as children seem to prefer their smoothies that way.
Our kiwi, apples & limes smoothie (also available in 1.25l and 750ml cartons) is completely banana free. As are our apple and orange juice.
No. I've always thought that blonde suited you.
Our veg pots may contain traces of nuts but our smoothies and juices contain no nuts whatsoever (which keeps the squirrels happy).
We want to make the best quality drinks with the lowest possible carbon impact. To do so, we buy the best ingredients there are and then find the most carbon-efficient way of getting them to our drinkers. We have a policy of moving our ingredients by land or sea only; we will not air freight them.
Our ingredients come from three main geographical areas - the UK, continental Europe and the Tropics. The tropical fruit arrives in Holland via Rotterdam, Europe's main fruit port, and is blended in Holland with the European fruit on a daily basis. We then put the blended fruit into tankers (the same as used for transporting fresh milk) and bring it by boat or rail from Holland to the UK. The tankers come to the UK ports that are closest to our bottling sites (our main sites are in Wales and Somerset) to minimise transporting by road in the UK. We then blend these ingredients with the locally squeezed fruits (eg our lemons and limes) and other local ingredients at our UK co-packing plants and then deliver the smoothies to our customers. All of this happens six days a week, as we don't squeeze and blend on Sundays in the UK. This way of blending part of our smoothies in Europe with the European fruit and then in the UK with the other fruit and ingredients means that we minimise the amount of energy used in transporting our ingredients, ensuring we get the best drinks for the least carbon.
When Mummy and Daddy have special hugs, Mummy sometimes whispers a magic word to Daddy. When Daddy hears the magic word, he feels very happy and in a few seconds they will have ordered a baby, a bit like shopping on the internet.
Our ultimate aim is that we are proud of every piece of fruit that we use. We want to buy our fruit from farms that look after both their workers and the environment. To achieve this we have created our own set of minimum standards, that detail our expectations for all the relevant social and environmental issues. We are in the process of rolling out these standards with our suppliers, and will work together with them to implement the agreed action plans.
We feel that it is really important to understand the issues relevant to each country, and the pressures faced by our farmers, so we are meeting with more and more of our growers. As our fruit comes from all over the world this is a huge task, but one to which we are passionately committed.
We know that there is no point recreating the wheel - so we also work with established international accreditation organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance. We first met them at a banana plantation in Costa Rica, and were so impressed with the work they do, that we now only buy banana from Rainforest Alliance approved plantations.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour. It not only looks at farm workers rights and wellbeing, but also protects ecosystems on the farms, which encourages bio diversity. We believe this sustainable approach is the best one. A well run farm with motivated workers means better quality fruit and better productivity, which means we get nicer fruit and the farms are more profitable.
Because we don't use preservatives or stabilisers they generally last about as long as a pint of milk. Please always keep them chilled and drink them within four days of opening.
Please please please keep our drinks cold. We can't stress that enough. Because we don't use any preservatives that might make them last a bit longer, they need to be well cared for.
They should be stored between 0-5° C, which, luckily enough, is the temperature of your average fridge. So stick them in the chiller as soon as you get home from the shops, or if you're saving a bit for later, don't leave it on your desk - pop it back in the fridge for a while.
Once opened, we reckon our drinks are best drunk on the same day, although as previously mentioned you should refrigerate them between sips.
If you leave them out of the fridge, they will eventually start to ferment. This is a completely safe, natural process but it means the smoothie goes fizzy. It normally causes tiny bubbles in the drink. Click here to find out more about fermentation.
If you suspect a drink to be fermented, please dispose of the contents of the bottle and contact us at email@example.com or call the banana phone on 020 8600 3939 with details about the bottle or carton and its enjoy by date.
So, please do keep our smoothies nice and cold.
Again, whilst we applaud anyone who gives up their time to sit in a bath of baked beans or run further than the corner shop to raise money for charity but if we sponsored everyone who wrote to us, we'd be living off beans and no toast. Instead, we make sure that we give something back to the countries where we buy our fruit, via the innocent foundation.
Generally, we feel it's better to be able to offer a significant amount of support to one cause rather than a little backing to lots of different ones. With that in mind, every year we donate 10% of our annual profits to charity, the majority of which goes to the foundation. Its remit is to fund Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that work to bring nature and communities closer together. You can see a bit more about the projects we support at www.innocentfoundation.org. Hope that all makes sense.
We name our smoothies according to whichever flavours you can taste the most. So we feel if we were to start calling the smoothies "apples, mangoes and passion fruits," it would be a bit misleading, as what you really taste when you take a mouthful are the mangoes and passion fruits. All of the ingredients are printed in full on the label, so it's not like we're trying to be sneaky or anything.
Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
The innocent foundation is a grant giving charity that was set up in July 2004 with the idea of bringing nature and communities closer together for mutual benefit. innocent donate 10% of our profits each year to charity, primarily to the innocent foundation, which funds rural development projects in the countries where our fruit comes from. Find out more here.
They're behind your commemorative Wedgwood Queen Mother ornament.
In all honesty, it's quicker to tell you where we don't get our fruit from. We don't get any fruit from Finland, Libya or Hong Kong. We do follow the sun around the world - in spring our oranges come from countries such as Jamaica, Egypt and Morocco, whereas in summer they are sourced from countries like Brazil, South Africa and Argentina. Our blueberries are from Canada, our mangoes are from India and our strawberries are from Poland. We don't see any particular reason why we shouldn't use the best possible fruit in all of our drinks - if you can think of one, please let us know.
We believe that food companies should do everything they can to get food to people in its natural state. A concentrated orange juice is orange juice that has been boiled, then evaporated in a vacuum and then homogenised, resulting in a thick tar. This is then frozen and shipped to countries where it is defrosted and reconstituted with water and flavourings.
This concentration process is very harsh and means the juice tastes cooked. We prefer our drinks to taste as delicious as possible, just like the fruit that's in them. So that's why our orange juice and smoothies are made from 100% pure fruit and no concentrates. Not now. Not ever.
There are two types of pasteurisation, UHT (Ultra Heat Treatment) and the gentle version. We use the latter, (which is at the brief end of the scale) in order to knock out any potentially harmful bacteria. The reason we do this is that we think you would be crazy not to, as it guarantees the safety of our drinks without significantly impacting their taste or nutritional content.
The safety of our drinks is paramount to us. There are harmful bacteria which can lurk in fruit such as E.Coli 0157 and the Noro virus. There have been incidents in the past whereby unpasteurised juices have caused serious illness and a fatality, so we see it as a vital safety measure.
Gentle pasteurisation is the best way to ensure safety of our drinks, yet minimise the effect on taste and nutritional quality. Any nutritional information that we provide on our labels is always measured post pasteurisation, and at the end of shelf life. In short, any nutritional information we declare on pack is always the minimum nutritional content you will find in the drink itself.
The added bonus to pasteurising our drinks is certainly the slightly extended shelf life, as the process also kills off the food spoilage bugs, but our main reason for gently pasteurising our drinks is to make them totally safe to consume.
These three fruits are a bit like the salt and pepper of the fruit world, except there are three of them. We use them for natural sweetness (apples), natural sharpness (oranges) and natural thickness (bananas). It beats using artificial stuff.
We take the ethics of our supply chain incredibly seriously and took great care to find the best independent certification scheme that matched our values, and suited our needs the best. Fairtrade's primary focus is on the prices paid to the farmers and social issues for small farms and cooperatives. It's a great scheme but we felt that Rainforest Alliance looked at a broader spectrum of issues (both social and environmental), which we thought was a better fit with our own ethos. Also, the Fair Trade scheme predominantly certifies cooperative and and family run small holdings - not all of our fruit is available from these types of farms, so Fairtrade isn't always applicable to our growers.
Articles like this one from The Observer Food Monthly debate the key differences between Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade (this one's about coffee).
Other brands use concentrates, preservatives, water and sugar whereas we like to put our effort into selecting the best tasting fruit. We only use the best tasting varieties in our drinks. We use a carefully selected blend to achieve the right balance of freshness, sweetness and deliciously fruity flavour in every recipe. Our drinks regularly win in blind taste tests against other brands, taste them for yourself and see.
We also work with all of our fruit farmers to make sure that they look after both their workers and the environment. To achieve this we have created our own set of minimum standards that detail our expectations for social and environmental issues. We are continually working with all of our suppliers to help them implement this agreed action plan. And on top of all of that hard work, we give 10% of profits to our charitable foundation, so that when we go to bed at night we can feel proud of the drinks we've made.
We are delighted to say that from May 2009 all the paper in our kids wedge cartons is 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and that from January 2011 all our 750ml cartons are too.
Certification ensures that the paper comes from forests that meet high environmental standards, where forest workers are treated fairly, and the forestry company invests in ensuring the forest is there for the long term. The 'gold' standard in this area in our view is FSC. It is globally recognised and those in the know (like Greenpeace and WWF) tell us it is the best.
Black specs are common in rPET which have not been selected to a high enough grade. The more selective the grade, the more expensive the material. The grades are based on the colour and quality of the plastic selected for that particular batch.
Discoloration is an issue. With the highest grade of clear PET there will always be a yellowing of the plastic from the re-processing. With the next grade down, there are usually a lot of tinted bottles in the selection many of which are blue from the water bottle industry. The colour can therefore be blue, grey or green. Our 100% recycled plastic bottles had developed quite a pronounced tint which changes the colour of our product, so we are temporarily using a 35% rPET bottle until we can address the issues we are seeing.
No, it just isn't applicable for certain countries and certain fruits, like those that we source from Europe. But as the Rainforest Alliance expands into new certification territory, like pineapple, we'll be keen to keep on building our relationship with them. As they develop new standards for new fruits, we will assess their suitability for our growers. Outside of the world of fruit they certify coffee, cocoa and forestry. Find out more here: www.rainforest-alliance.org
Despite most people thinking otherwise, our cartons are fully recyclable. The issue is, that unfortunately not all UK councils currently recycle them, in the same way that most councils didn't take plastic bottles 5 years ago. However, this situation is definitely improving. Over 85% of all councils in the UK now provide some form of carton recycling facilities. Most facilities are recycling banks (in supermarket car-parks or specific waste sites), but over 30% of councils will collect them from households. To find out whether you can recycle beverage cartons in your area, visit www.tetrapakrecycling.co.uk and use the map to see if your council currently has a collection scheme.
Our kids squeezies are quite complex when it comes to the packaging. The recycled cardboard container is fully recyclable. The individual squeezie tubes are not yet recyclable so we are still looking for a better solution - we looked at a bio-degradeable option but it just wasn't good enough to protect the fruit inside. Again, if you are into this technical packaging stuff, and know of a material that might be better, please let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of ways you can reduce your own personal water footprint. There are some good links on the 'our water actions' page of our website which you can look at.
Our first commitment when it comes to fruit, is to use the best tasting stuff, and ensure it is natural. Part of ensuring the fruit is natural is that we buy it from areas in the world which are best suited for production without significant inputs (be it energy or agrochemicals). Currently just over half of the fruit we buy comes from Europe, and of course our tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and banana come from a little further afield.
With regard to buying fruits grown in the UK we face two main challenges. Firstly that these fruits are primarily grown for the fresh market (the fruit you buy whole in a shop), and as such they often do not have the taste characteristics that are suitable for a smoothie (they can be a bit watery — which is lovely fresh, but not in a smoothie). Secondly, as these fruits are grown for the fresh market they are very expensive, and for example with the amount of strawberries we need for our smoothies, we simply cannot afford them and still make your smoothies at a competitive price.
We also need to consider the social issues, by providing a market for products from less developed nations we can provide much needed income to local communities.
Our fruit comes from all over the world and from thousands of different farms of all types and sizes — large plantations, co-operative groups, tiny family farms and even from the Amazon rainforest. This means that there is definitely no single certification scheme that will cover all our countries, fruits and the sustainability issues we feel are important. It is a matter of finding a certification scheme that fits us best. Whilst we believe that Fairtrade is a very effective certification, particularly for addressing social issues, it is not widely used for the variety of fruits and the countries that we buy from and as such would significantly limit our purchasing flexibility.
The Rainforest Alliance address all the sustainability issues that we feel are important and they certify farms that we already buy from for a number of our fruits. Currently all our bananas and some of our pineapples come from Rainforest Alliance certified farms and we are investigating opportunities for certification with some of our other fruits.
Yes we do. That is why we always transport our fruit by land or sea, rather than air freight it. We get our fruit from lots of different places. We do try to get as much as possible from Europe, but when it comes to hot climate fruit like mangoes and passion fruit, we have to look elsewhere. Our policy is one of finding the best fruit and working out the best way to get it into our bottles so we can be sure our smoothies are the very best. Interestingly in our carbon audit we found that food miles contributes less than 20% of our overall footprint, and that to achieve the greatest reductions we should be working on areas like packaging and bottling. Doesn't mean we won't keep looking for the most efficient way to transport our fruit though.
We trialled the use of PLA (polylactic acid) for our yoghurt breakfast thickie in 2007 - we liked the material because it was made entirely from a renewable resource, and could be composted at end of life. Following on from our trial, we found that PLA isn't quite the right material for us at this point in time. Whilst the bottle is made from a renewable resource, it does not use any waste materials. There are also concerns about the use of food crops to produce plastics and fuels - in that they can take land that is needed for food crops, and push up the prices of food, so it is really important to make sure that we use what would have otherwise been waste materials where we can, and to check sourcing carefully to ensure the crops are grown responsibly. Finally composting is not yet a mainstream end of life option here in the UK, with only a small number of households having any sort of collection of food waste. We have also received feedback from plastics recyclers that PLA bottles can add costs into their recycling operations and in some cases prevent recycling of conventional plastics.
We have opted for the use of recycled plastic in our smoothie bottles. They use material that would have otherwise gone to landfill, and the bottle can itself be recycled again, with the majority of UK households having a plastics recycling collection.
In January 2011 we reduced the recycled content of our little smoothie bottles from 100% to 35%. We want our packaging to be sustainable, but we also want our smoothies to look their best, and in our 100% recycled bottle they did not. We wanted to inspire other companies to use recycled plastic and demonstrate that it can perform as well as virgin plastic, but we weren't doing that either.
We're pretty disappointed considering we've spent the last 10 years trying to use as much recycled plastic (rPET) as possible, something we cracked in 2007 with our 100% rPET bottle. But we have found that the quality of the recycled plastic has been getting steadily worse over the last couple of years. We knew from the beginning that it had a slight blue-grey colour and we were prepared to accept this, but the colour had got a lot worse. There are many reasons why; however, we think it's mainly due to declining quality in the raw materials and inadequate colour standards for rPET. So whilst we can still make the bottles, the colour of them means that our cream coloured smoothies (like pineapples, bananas and coconuts) look grey, and our orange ones (mangoes and passion fruits) look green and so on.
So in January 2011 we reduced the recycled content to 35%. Of course, we're disappointed about this and are determined to increase the recycled content again. We are already working with our suppliers to try and develop new, clearer grades of recycled plastic. We're also active members of a brand new rPET industry discussion forum, co-ordinated by WRAP, to try and find a long term solution not just for innocent but for anyone who wants to use recycled plastics*.
*WRAP tell us that based on current and foreseeable recycling technology, recycling rates and demand, an rPET level in the order of 35% for all PET packaging would be a very positive and hugely beneficial industry target to aim for. This would preserve the integrity of the recycling stream and allow the loop to remain closed (in other words allow us to keep making more drinks bottles out of it).
We choose the packaging that works best from a sustainability perspective (using carbon as our primary method of assessment) and which will also work best for our products and for our customers. For our bottle that has meant using recycled material and trying to get it as light as we can. For the cartons and kids wedges we have been working on using Forest Stewardship Council certified paper (making sure the paper comes from sustainably managed forests), and checking regularly to know where in the UK you can recycle the cartons, then passing this information on to our customers.
The old fashioned way. People at home have an old PET bottle that they have finished with, they put it in the recycling bin, the council comes to collect it, and a plastics company collects it to take it away and make it into new bottles.
Plastic does lose some of its original quality through recycling. This is caused by specks of dirt, contamination and the fact that the original molecular make-up can change. Studies have shown that you can recycle PET up to 10 times for use in a food-grade product (closed loop), such as our bottles, without needing to use any virgin material. After this, you can either use the recycled plastic and add in some virgin material, or the PET can be recycled for different products, like fleecy jackets, outdoor furniture, or carpets. WRAP tell us that based on the current and foreseeable recycling technology, recycling rates and demand, an rPET level in the order of 35% for all PET packaging would be a very positive and hugely beneficial industry target to aim for. This would preserve the integrity of the recycling stream and allow the loop to remain closed.
97% of the world's water is actually seawater. Of the 3% that is freshwater, three quarters is locked up in ice which leaves just 0.75% for drinking, watering crops and sharing with all the animals, plants and forests. To complicate matters further, demand for freshwater is growing (think population and industrialisation growth), access to water varies enormously from place to place and throughout the year. Plus to top it off water pollution is worsening across the globe.
The process for recycling liquid cartons is:
1. Baled cartons are dropped into a pulper, similar to a giant domestic food mixer,
2. filled with water, and
3. pulped for around 20 minutes.
4. This breaks down the packaging to produce a grey-brown mixture.
5. The aluminium foil and/or polyethylene are separated from the fibre, which is recovered to make new paper products.
6. The remaining mix of plastic and aluminium can then be used in furniture, to generate energy or even separated out into pure aluminium and paraffin.
Water scarcity (the measure of how much is available versus how much is used) is always measured locally, so yes some places are doing better than others. However, even places with reasonably high rainfall levels, e.g. the UK, are facing major problems. This is purely because we use so much of the wet stuff, especially in the South East. So make sure you turn the tap off when you clean your teeth and consider fitting an aerator to your tap.
The bottles are perfectly safe. We have EU Directives and legislation that stipulate the processes that can be used and the safety parameters within which any recycle material in contact with food has to perform. This legislation is to ensure that there is no migration of active chemicals through the plastic over the duration of the product life. The use of recycled plastics in contact with foodstuffs in Europe is subject to European Commission Directive 2002/72/EC of 6 August 2002 although some countries have their own guidelines as well e.g. France.
We commissioned PIRA to carry out independent testing to assess the performance of the selected material in our bottle, and also sought legal advice from a law firm who are experts in food legislation to confirm we were legal in all the countries in which we do business.
As with all major environmental issues we are taking this very seriously, which is why we spent quite a bit of time in 2009 mapping the water footprint of our business, focusing on one of our biggest selling recipes the strawberries and bananas smoothie. We will then focus on opportunities to begin improving that footprint, just the same as our carbon footprint which has reduced by approximately 21% since we first measured it in 2006.
It's a similar concept to a carbon footprint, except rather than calculating the total amount of carbon released during the making of one of our drinks, we're looking at total volume of freshwater used. We're breaking it down so that we can understand water use at every step of the chain, from growing the fruit, to transporting, crushing and blending as well as manufacturing the packaging, bottling the drinks and distributing them to a chiller near you. Breaking it down in this way allows us to firstly calculate an accurate number and secondly to highlight the hotspots so that we can get to work on those right away.
Many materials are now recyclable i.e. they have the potential to be collected and made into new things. For example paper can be made into more paper. Plastic can be made into more plastic.
If something contains recycled material, this refers to what they were made out of in the first place, i.e. it contains either some material, or is made entirely out of material, that already used to be something else.
We aim to make our packaging as sustainable as possible. We've realised that one of the best ways to do this is to measure the carbon impact of each of our packs. Our toolkit then for reducing carbon looks a little like this:
1. Use less: as little material as possible per pack
2. Don't use up new stuff: as much recycled or renewable material as possible
3. Close the loop: materials and pack formats that are easy to recycle
4. Lower its impact: packaging that has a low carbon footprint
Obviously, we also try to make sure that it does the job it's supposed to - if doing one of the above resulted in increased waste of the product inside (either through damage in transport, or reduction in shelf-life) it would not be good for sustainability - the environmental impact of packaging is normally much less than that of the product itself.
To make sure we are always improving, we monitor the carbon impact or our entire packaging portfolio and our sustainability and packaging teams set priority improvement projects each year. Any new piece of packaging is also assessed against these criteria, and this assessment is an important consideration in its design.
We cannot tell you exactly who our supplier is for commercial confidence reasons, but we can tell you that the raw material is from a European company that uses household collection waste from their region. Some really useful organisations that you can contact for more information about sourcing and using rPET are:
WRAP: www.wrap.org.uk/retail/materials/recycled_pet.html- details of all European PET re-processor details
British Plastic Federation: www.bpf.co.uk
British Plastic Federation Recycling Council: www.bpf.co.uk/bpfgroups/BPF_Recycling_Council.cfm
We've been working directly with our bottle supplier over the years, to find a recycled raw material source to supply them a high enough grade material to suit their processing needs (pellet type and I.V. spec). They will continue to work with us to optimize the material performance so that we can try to increase the recycled content from 35% once more.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour. It not only looks at farm workers rights and wellbeing, but also protects ecosystems on the farms, which encourages bio diversity. We believe this sustainable approach is the best one. A well run farm with motivated workers means better quality fruit and better productivity, which means we get nicer fruit and the farms are more profitable. www.rainforest-alliance.org
When you are using recycled material it is hard to get a consistent colour of your plastic. This is because the plastic used to be all sorts of different things and lots of different colours - so to get it back to being completely clear is very tricky. We have worked really hard to incorporate sorting equipment so that we use the best available plastic, but there is still a blue-grey tint to the packaging. Since we introduced our 100% recycled plastic bottle in 2007 we have noticed that the colour of the plastic has got quite a bit worse and our smoothies are starting to look a very funny colour. This is why we have taken the decision to reduce our 100% recycled plastic bottle to a 35% recycled plastic bottle for the moment.
Our drinks cartons are made from paper with a very thin layer of plastic both on the inside and the outside to make the paper waterproof. To recycle the cartons you need to separate the paper from the plastic which requires a few additional steps to the normal paper recycling process. There are very few recycling mills in Europe that have installed these additional steps (mostly because with the current value of recycled paper, it costs more to recycle it than they can sell it for so please buy some more stuff from recycled paper to help drive this market).
Up until June 2006, lots of the UK's carton recycling happened at a paper mill in Fife. Unfortunately this mill was closed. In response to this, Tetra Pak provided an initial £300,000 National Recycling Fund, and along with industry partners in ACE UK, they have invested a further £1.5m to support local authorities in setting up recycling and collection facilities. They are now offering a cost neutral recycling bank solution to all local authorities that are not yet collecting cartons.
We know that this isn't the perfect answer, but it's all moving in the right direction.
We do remember the good old days of the milk bottle - and fresh cream on top of the almost still frothing milk.
Whilst the reusable glass milk bottles look like the right answer environmentally there are actually a lot of issues for us to consider. Milk bottles are heavy, and take up lots of room in a vehicle as they cannot be flattened, so moving milk bottles around either when empty or full takes up lots of vehicle space and uses lots of fuel creating lots of carbon emissions. There are also significant amounts of energy needed to wash them, and then distribute them back to all the bottling sites for the companies that are using them. Glass also requires a lot of energy to create in the first place and again when it is recycled due to the heat needed to melt it down.
Cartons are much lighter, use less material to hold the same amount of product, and use less energy to make in the first place. So whilst they are only used once, unless the glass bottle collection and washing scheme is incredibly efficient, environmental assessments have actually shown cartons to be more efficient. All of the paper used in our cartons and kids wedges comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Our assessments have shown that for now the best packaging solution for us is to stick with the cartons rather than glass. We can reassure you that we continue to assess this situation, and should there be a more sustainable answer we will do everything we can to implement it within our business.
It's not that we don't support these programmes as we think both are really valuable, it's more that if we have any money to spend on buying certified products, then Rainforest Alliance is our preferred one given the breadth of the issues that they cover and their suitability for our current purchasing patterns. Fair Trade is most effective for small farms and cooperatives. Organic focuses solely on environmental issues. Purchasing flexibility is important, we need to make sure we can buy the variety and quality and quantity of fruit that we need, and this is not always possible if we align ourselves to just one certification programme.
When it comes to fruit, we care most about using the best tasting stuff, and ensuring it is completely natural. Unfortunately if we restricted our fruit to only organic we simply wouldn't have be able to access the optimum variety and quality of fruit. Suffice to say, if we try an organic ingredient that tastes better than our existing ones, we'll endeavour to use it. Another hurdle we have with using organic ingredients is the cost impact on the drinks - a key concern for our drinkers - as we want to make the best quality product whilst also making it as accessible as we can.
We do however want to minimise pesticide and other agrochemical usage on our fruit, and this is one of the requirements of the innocent minimum standards for our fruit growers. Our standards work to ensure against the use of any of the 'dirty dozen' pesticides as listed by the Pesticide Action Network. To ensure the safety of our drinks we conduct independent tests on our ingredients, at an accredited laboratory, throughout the harvest calendar. Of the test results with anything being detected at all, these detections fall well within the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) that you are allowed. Each year our policy will be reviewed and testing procedures will be updated.
We've promised our drinkers that we will always make all-natural drinks which taste the best in the market and do you a lot of good, and we believe they are as healthy as they can be. Overall we're always trying to improve what we do, and are constantly reviewing the ingredients we use, be that whether they are organic or where they're sourced from.
When we choose our packaging we are considering a whole lot of stuff - consumer preference for look and feel, cost for packaging, shelf life of the product, method of filling the packaging with our smoothies, ease of transport etc. And of course what is the most sustainable option - and sustainability needs to think about not only carbon but also broader environmental and social issues as well. Cartons have a really low carbon footprint, but require virgin paper, and some virgin plastics to coat the paper. So there are sustainability impacts associated with forestry activities and plastics. Our plastic packaging uses waste materials and is easily recyclable, but has a higher carbon footprint. We try to make sure we get the right balance for all our packaging, and to make sure that for each packaging format that we use, we make it as sustainable as possible.
We are working with our suppliers and specialist organisations like WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) to ensure that we use the best possible sustainable packaging, and we continue to challenge the industry to develop better materials. If we find a better packaging format than what we currently use, that makes sense for us, for our consumers, and for the environment then we will certainly give it a go.
Yes we have a small number of placement opportunities across some of our teams; these are always advertised on our website so please keep an eagle eye out for them. We tend to start looking in October and November.
Really sorry but we don't. Most of the work that needs to get done here at fruit towers does require a little bit more experience.
5 foot 3inches and ¾ in her pumps.
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We are all pretty dressed down but wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. If this means a suit, then fine, but if this means jeans or that old lucky hat you wear when you play poker on Fridays, then fine too.
Canal Building, 342 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5BU
La Halle Aux Fruits, 52 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 1er étage, fond de cour, 75010, Paris
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innocent drinks AB, Fruit Towers, Roslagsgatan 60, 113 54 Stockholm