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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January 2005, 17:52 GMT
Environmentally profitable
George Robinson
George Robinson

At Abbey farm in rural Lincolnshire they're keeping traditions alive.

The farm's herd of Lincoln reds is part of an increasingly rare breed these days.

They've also caught the attention of George Robinson who thinks his business could make good use of the meat from the cattle.

By supplying regular orders he believes he'll be helping to make the farmers attempts to keep the breed alive, commercially viable.

Biodegradable

George's company, Foo Goo, tries to be as environmentally aware as possible.

It produces sandwiches and snacks, using only organic and local produce.

All of its packaging is also biodegradable.

It operates from a former Lincolnshire farm which has been restored and converted.

The company chose this option rather than move to a new build on an industrial estate.

Seventeen people now work there covering outlets across the country.

Profitable

Despite its rural setting though, the company's seen some rapid growth, in just three years turnover has reached 6.5m a year.

And there are plans for further expansion on the site.

It is a strong advert for the case that company's can be environmentally friendly and profitable at the same time.


Student Guide
Millions of people buy their lunch from sandwich shops and supermarkets every day.

They have a choice of masses of tasty snacks and an enormous range of interesting drinks.

But there's no choice of wrappings.

  • Sandwiches come in plastic triangles.
  • Salads come in plastic boxes.
  • Drinks come in plastic bottles.

    In summer when everyone eats in the park - you can see the debris piling up around the benches or spilling out of the bin.

    It's not very green.

    Just think...

    What do you think has happened to the snack food market in recent years?

    What impact does it have on the environment?

    Why packaging?

    Packaging is hard to avoid.

    There are laws to ensure that food can't be contaminated.

    Food that is stored needs to be protected so it still looks good when it's sold.

    It needs to be easily packable and stackable for distribution. But it all ends up in landfill sites - and the plastic may take 200 years to breakdown because it's not biodegradable.

    It's not very green.

    Just think...

    Many businesses have been criticized for the amount of packaging enveloping their products.

    Why do you think a new television comes in masses of packaging? How about a dozen eggs or a bag of carrots?

    Why is packaging a problem?

    A solution?

    FooGo is a company which makes up-market snack foods.

    The company's products are of the highest standards.

    They choose organic and local produce whenever possible.

    Local produce means they keep the food miles down. They're not burning fossil fuels to source the food.

    Foo Go has come up with a solution.

    It's sandwich triangles and salad boxes are biodegradable.

    They are made from cards, inks and coating that are biodegradable.

    The windows - because everyone wants to see what they are buying - are made of corn starch.

    They are now looking for biodegradable bottles for smoothies and juices.

    They are also after salad boxes.

    Lots of companies sell sandwiches in card boxes but they are covered in coatings which mean they won't degrade quickly.

    Just think...

    Have a look in you fridge or lunch box to find out where your food has come from.

    The further away - the more the food miles.

    Are there items which could be substituted by products from nearby?

    Are there items which could be packaged in biodegradable products instead of plastic?

    How does selling products in biodegradable containers reduce costs for the community? Looking after the stakeholders

    All organisations have stakeholders.

    Your school has students, parents, the local community, employers and staff.

    A business has a group of internal stakeholders including employees and owners - or shareholders.

    Beyond the business there are customers, suppliers, creditors as well as the community.

    FooGo is certainly helping the community by selling its products in biodegradable packaging.

    Just imagine - plastic sandwich triangles might still be in those landfill sites when your great, great, great grandchildren are born!

    Just think...

    Why is it important for a business to look after its stakeholders?

    Why is the community a stakeholder?

    Why do you think that selling products in biodegradable packaging might be a good marketing strategy?



  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    The BBC's Rob Pittam
    "All of its packaging is also biodegradable"



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