Sustainable UK first for Bolton-based Oliver Kay Produce

Oliver-Kay-Sustainable-Packaging FDMB North West

Bolton-based hospitality greengrocer Oliver Kay Produce is helping its customers to reduce waste with a new sustainability initiative which they claim makes 80% of its packaging recyclable.

Oliver Kay Produce supplies fresh fruit and vegetable to over than 3,500 chefs around the UK, and they say they are the first catering grocer in the UK to replace the polystyrene trays they use to deliver their produce with compostable trays made from sugarcane.

The business, part of the Bidfresh group, has installed an automatic screw press process in its Bolton warehouse, which removes the water from fruit and vegetable waste to reduce the density of the load by 90%, leaving only organic waste behind. This then results in compost that can be collected by farmers delivering goods to Oliver Kay, to use on the fields growing the veg.

“A business of this type and size obviously generates packaging and food waste,” said Paul Leyland, Commercial & Sustainability Director at Oliver Kay.

“Deliveries come in to us in cardboard boxes, and we then separate and re-pack to send out to our customers, and through our strict quality standards and prep department we produce approximately 2.5 tonnes of food waste each day.”

FDMB North West understands that the next step for the company is to upgrade their biodegradable plastic bags, used for delivering produce such as peppers and cabbage, to fully compostable or recyclable material.