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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Cumbrian firm Booths on shortlist for European award

Supermarket Booths is the only British company in the running to be crowned Europe’s most environmental and sustainable business.

Edwin Booth photo
Company chairman Edwin Booth

The regional chain, which has seven stores in Cumbria, is on a shortlist of 10 for the Millicom Award for Environmental and Corporate Sustainability, part of the European Business Awards.

The judges were impressed by its efforts to gauge greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain.

Booths was the first UK supermarket to make public a comprehensive assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions created by everything that it sells.

The findings are used by researchers to understand the climate change impacts of food.

Booths also uses the information to make sourcing decisions.

It has cut out almost all air-freighted Californian cherries, stretched the UK asparagus season and processes most of its prepared fruit in the UK rather than overseas, reducing the need for air freight.

Chairman Edwin Booth said: “We are exceptionally proud of the progress we’ve made in making our business more sustainable and are honoured to be recognised for our achievements.

“Our unique sourcing policy sees that more than 25 per cent of our produce is sourced locally from the regions we operate, including 85 per cent of the meat we sell.

“We also strive to ensure the sustainability of British agriculture by supporting local farmers and producers and ensuring they receive a fair price for their produce.”

The European Business Awards recognise innovation, business excellence and sustainability.

Booths had to pass through three gruelling stages to get this far and receives the ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ simply for making the final 10.

To win overall, it must see off finalists from Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey, Lithuania, Austria and Spain at an awards ceremony in Dusseldorf on February 19.

The Spanish contender is the energy company Iberdrola, which is part of the NuGen consortium planning to build a nuclear power plant at Sellafield.

Booths’ Cumbrian stores are in Keswick, Penrith, Kendal, Windermere, Ulverston, Kirkby Lonsdale and Milnthorpe, which opened in November.

It posted record Christmas trading figures, defying the downturn elsewhere, with like-for-like sales up 3.48 per cent compared with the same period in 2011.

Mr Booth said: “We hope Booths’ encouraging results, twinned with the award success, will emphasise to other businesses the viability of achieving successful commercial results whilst acting responsibly and positively.”

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