FRUIT CREAM ICE
Alder Tree was founded on the non-negotiable belief that everything our business did should be done in the most ethical and sustainable way possible. We are always on the lookout for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint yet further, a mindset that has already helped us swap our big clomping, mud-drenched wellies for a pair of lighter-on-the-land sandals.
This isn’t to say that we couldn’t do more, which is why if you have any wise thoughts on what we could do better, please drop us a line with your ideas.
We stubbornly refuse to use anything but the finest available ingredients and never resort to any quick-fix artificial nasties (flavours, colours or preservatives).
Reducing food miles is also high on our ‘to do’ list, although we’re fortunate that 30-60% of our fruit needs already come from our farm (depending on how the fruit growing has gone that year), whilst the remainder is purchased from either our family farm in Bury St Edmunds or from a friendly group of like-minded fruit growers in East Anglia.
In addition, all our sugar is harvested in East Anglia, whilst all fresh cream needs are met by happy British cows. When occasionally we do have to look further afield for more exotic ingredients (e.g. vanilla and ginger) we insist that they are fairly traded from sustainable sources.
Palm oil is something of a dirty word these days, on account of the far-reaching problems (large-scale deforestation and precious wildlife habitat destruction) that its production causes.
The vision is one day to be totally free of it, but as of yet haven’t found the perfect alternative toffee pieces, although we do source from a supplier that only uses palm oil from sustainable sources.
At Alder Carr Farm we seek to work in a way that is sympathetic to the environment, (DEFRA’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme) using as little pesticide as we can, whilst leaving significant tracts of land overgrown and untouched for the benefit of the Suffolk insect and wildlife communities.
We’re chuffed that over 70 bird and 250 plant species have already been spotted within the grounds of the farm and the surrounding area of wet woodland known as the Alder Carr, an area of outstanding natural beauty that has also been designated an official Suffolk Wildlife Trust Otter Haven.
We purchase all of our electricity needs from a renewable energy tariff, as well as participating in a carbon balance partnership with the World Land Trust. In 2011 we embraced solar panel technology, which our sums tell us will generate over 30% of our business use needs.
All our paper and cardboard packaging is recycled or FSC certified whilst our 4 litre tubs are made from polypropylene which Greenpeace reassures us has one of the lowest impacts on the environment of any plastic.
In short we reduce, reuse or recycle wherever possible. Our food waste is composted whilst cardboard, glass and rigid plastic is collected for recycling. We’ve even found some space on our site to set up a recycling centre so that our farm shop customers can also be encouraged to do their bit.