Potato growers scoop Suffolk Carbon Charter gold award

Stuart Rickards - Environment Agency (EA), Oliver Ingwallking - Groundwork, Tim Briscoe - Buxtons, G

Stuart Rickards - Environment Agency (EA), Oliver Ingwallking - Groundwork, Tim Briscoe - Buxtons, Glyn Lee - EOE Co-op, Anna Lewis - Credit: Archant

Potato growers have scooped a gold award from the Suffolk Carbon Charter for cutting their carbon footprint.

Buxton Potato Company supplies potatoes to retail chain the East of England Co-op under its Sourced Locally label. It applied to the charter through the East of England Co-op’s pathfinder support programme.

Buxton’s managing director Tim Briscoe: “I am delighted with our gold award. We’ve been working hard to reduce our impact on the environment and have invested in solar panels, GPS precision agriculture systems and variable speed devices on irrigation pumps. Pulling all these measures into one framework has been a good exercise and they have been proved to be key to receiving the award.”

Tim’s farm grows potatoes, including varieties Marfona, Estima, Cara and Juliette, across 550 acres of farmland north of Norwich. It has been a Sourced Locally supplier to the East of England Co-op for five years.

Glyn Lee, energy manager at the East of England Co-op, said: “Well done to Tim – here is a great example of a local food producer thinking seriously about his impact on the local environment. We’re keen to support all our local suppliers in demonstrating their green business credentials by signing up to the Carbon Charter.

“We’re keen to encourage many more of our suppliers to get involved in the Charter. Although our business is too large for Charter accreditation we like to lead by example and this year have accredited two of our stores and exceeded challenging targets to reduce our own carbon emissions and reduce waste.”

The charter is run by Suffolk County Council and the Environment Agency, as part of the Creating the Greenest County partnership, and is delivered by Groundwork Suffolk. It recognises companies across Suffolk and beyond that are monitoring and reducing their carbon emissions.

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Following an assessment by Groundwork Suffolk, Buxton Potato Company was awarded accreditation to the Carbon Charter at Gold Level, defined as: “an exemplar in low carbon management”.

Charles Beardall, Environment Agency area manager for Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “I am delighted that the East of England Co-op has teamed up with the Carbon Charter to promote good environmental practice to its customers and suppliers. The Buxton Potato Company is a great example of a supplier carrying out its business in a sustainable manner by reducing its carbon footprint. I hope this commitment will inspire other Co-op suppliers to do the same.”

Businesses keen to find out more about the Suffolk Carbon Charter can contact Groundwork Suffolk-01473 350370 or email: suffolkcarboncharter@groundwork.org.uk