WestCountry is the oldest and largest specialist wholesaler of fresh produce in the south west. From humble beginnings provisioning ships in the port of Falmouth, the company now distributes thousands of products every day.
WestCountry supplies Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus) with a full range of fresh produce including produce from a range of local farms within the catchment of the campuses and works closely with an extensive network of farmers and growers to source as much local produce as possible. From staple root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips and swede, through to alliums and brassicas like kale, cabbages and cauliflower. Spring and summer harvests produce salad leaves, berries, summer greens and specialist market garden crops, including the wonderful soft fruit grown here in the south west. Also supplied are a complete range of local dairy lines and chilled goods, dry stores and artisan fine foods.
Roger Rossignol, West Country Managing Director, detailed the many ways WestCountry is a ‘responsible supplier’. He said: “We are committed to supporting FX Plus’ development and promotion of sustainability methods. We will continue to innovate and provide a strategic partnership with FX Plus to maximise the sustainability of our local supply chain, providing the least environmentally impactful route to market, with an emphasis on efficiency and sustainability.
“We already offer a very sustainable and highly efficient collection and delivery network across the region for all our fresh produce and a network of more than 60 local producers of artisan products through Plough to Plate. We continue to explore how we trial and integrate EV vehicle use for our delivery network.
“Where possible we will source materials and products for sale and manufacturing locally, thereby reducing emissions and positively influencing the local economy.
“We will work with the most ethical and sustainable suppliers we can find and will continue to engage with them so as to promote environmental sustainability.
“We will investigate the environmental impact and provenance of any equipment to be purchased, with a view to reducing this impact where possible.
“Vehicles are maintained in house in order to maximise efficiency and reduce emissions. WestCountry will seek low emissions vehicles for its operations where suitable, as existing fleet vehicles near retirement.”
Focus areas for WestCountry’s sustainability agenda are:
- Environment and depots – water/solar/trees.
- Innovation, packaging and recycling.
- Product and vehicle lifespan.
- Vehicle journey optimisation.
- Supply chain and customer collaboration.
- Delivery and collection efficiencies.
- Local provenance and reduce food miles.
- Stockholding and wastage management.
- Working with Carbon Trust.
- Working towards electric vehicle deliveries.
And continuing to:
- Reduce the use of energy, water and other resources.
- Minimise waste by reduction, re-use and recycling.
- Drive best practice back through the supply chain.
- Challenge suppliers on single-use plastic.
Mr. Rossignol added: ““The WestCountry team is committed to operating a highly efficient and sustainable business, one where we strive to minimise our impacts on the environment and contribute positively to the communities that we operate and live in.”
“FX Plus represents one of our most forward-thinking customers, where we are challenged to demonstrate our credentials and our action plan to drive sustainable practice within our business. Regular meetings and dialogue provide an opportunity to review practice and collaborate on initiatives that will improve our shared environment. This clear focus and communication with the university leads to improvements in sustainable practice for our wider supply chain, staff and helps to shape future investment.”