Pilot launched on Scilly Islands microfarm
9 October 2020
Our demo 3 is testing the three CIRC4Life business models on a micro-farm during the production process of vegetables (salads and potatoes) situated on the island of St. Martin’s (Isles of Scilly, UK). The demo was launched in September 2020, and will be running until September 2021.
We are currently running a survey on sustainable consumption with customers and tourists to engage them on sustainable practices, as well as to assess their understanding of the new labels for our lettuces (as shown below).
Values were calculated using the Life-cycle analysis (LCA) method to define the eco-costs of the products (direct environmental impact) .
In addition, we are also testing another label which indicates the carbon footprint of farm produce (see below) resulting from the Farm Carbon Calculator tool.
Scilly Organics has been undertaking carbon footprint assessments for the last 10 years and has been carbon negative since then. This means they sequester far more carbon in biomass and soils than they emit through everything else.
Regarding co-creation, a new product has been developed and is being tested during the demo. Organic apple juice made from apples which normally would be discarded, was identified as a product that customers would be willing to buy
The customer survey is also part of our co-creation activities in which the projects’ concepts are tested with relevant stakeholders. The input we receive from consumers will directly feed into the development of the DEMO, which will be adapted according to this feedback.
With regards to recycling, Scilly Organics is examining how waste can be further sorted at the micro farm and appropriately recycled, in particular with regard to farm plastics. On the farm, organic waste is recycled by turning it into compost, which in turn is reused to fertilise the land.. Organic waste recycling systems have been put into place for:
Paper and cardboard
Batteries, tyres and electrical items
The only packaging which cannot be recycled at the moment on the farm is the plastic packaging used for lettuce. These are made from LDPE plastic and currently not easily recyclable. Scilly Organics is testing alternatives like plant based plastics as these are 100% compostable. Currently undergoing trials.
In addition, Scilly Organics has done extensive survey work with their business customers, working with them on improving the environmental and social impacts of their own businesses and in particular on their waste practices. This work is ongoing.
The Social LCA of Scilly Organics found that the company scores well on its treatment of employees, including on gender pay gap, paying a fair salary and on health and safety issues. It outperforms the industry average on each of these issues in 11 of the 24 indicators evaluated, including by 23% on equal opportunities and 18% on health and safety.
As a small business that cares about its workforce, Scilly Organics values this study as a confirmation of its positive approach to people and the community which it serves. It is within the company's interest to continue to improve its Social LCA because a happy and healthy workforce is more productive, loyal and a greater asset to the company.
Furthermore, Scilly Organics’ reputation is of great importance within a small community where a connection with customers is intrinsic.