Food Sustainability at Eden (WI)

Our Food Choices
Where do want our food to come from ?
What food do we need ?
How much food do we need ?
What do we do with what is left over ?
Who will grow it for us ?
Population Growth
As of 1 July 2014, world population is estimated at 7.243 billion.
By 2050, world population will reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion.
Requires food production to increase by 70 per cent.
The World’s Food
The world’s food supply depends on
about 150 plant species.
More than 80% of
world’s food
energy comes from
rice, wheat, and
Root vegetables
(eg. potatoes,
sweet potatoes,
yams, cassava) and
soybeans provide
most of remainder.
We exhibit these
crops growing at
Eden – to
demonstrate our
dependence on
Global demand for more meat in diet growing,
particularly from China and India ->
80% growth in meat production by 2022.
1/3rd of world’s cereal crop feeds
farm animals.
Rearing farm animals uses valuable water
– becoming scarce globally.
Demand for cereal
crop to feed animals
impacts availability
of food crops to feed
Eating less meat & more plants ->
availability of meat for others,
releases land for food crops,
reduces impact on environment.
Eden’s Food
Feeding Our Visitors at Eden
In 2013 we had 860,000 visitors to Eden Project.
About 70% of our visitors will have a meal.
That’s 600,000 meals we freshly prepare annually.
We spend about £2million buying food each year £1.5million for catering and £0.5million for shop.
The choices Eden makes about food are significant.
Our Food Ethos
From plant to plate – it reflects the stories we
tell in our exhibits.
Responsibly sourced, fairly traded, singlesource, organic, seasonal and/or local and
freshly made, often in front your eyes.
80% of our catering food suppliers by number
are local.
91% of catering food supplies by cost are local.
Eden’s Food
Less reliance on meat
Sustainably sourced fish – ‘by catches’
Plant based
Highlight our dependence on plants
Ingredients that bring new income to areas
needing it – eg. Columbia
Linked with our exhibits
Sourcing our Meat
Tywardreath Butchers
2.5 miles from Eden
Six generations – award winning
All locally sourced
Have supplied all our meat since 2001
Work with us to develop
new products –
Eg. The Eden sausage
Helped them to develop a new retail market
Ice Cream Story
Roskilly’s – St Keverne
Started with fudge – now
also toffee, chutney, jam,
mayonnaise and ice cream
Embraced our ideas –
eg. Use of Kilner jar for chutney, jams etc.
Worked with them to develop new
flavours inspired by plants at Eden
Have grown business with Roskilly’s in 5
years from £0 to > £200,000 p.a.
Ice Cream Story
Unrefined Colombian whole cane sugar
Traditional, sustainable production
300,000 Columbians benefit from
panela production
An African superfruit rich in vitamins B2 and C
Sustainably harvested in
Income to PhytoTrade
Africa -supporting rural
growers in southern Africa
Pasty Story
Worked with James Strawbridge and local suppliers to create recipes
Launched our extra-ordinary pasties in 2014
Recyclable packaging tells the story
Now handmade by Crantock Bakery
Eden Chocolate
Locally made Cornish chocolate
Uses cocoa and sugar from fair trade co-operatives in
Central and Latin America and West Africa
Uses baobab
Eden Wine
Wanted a house wine for our Med eating area
Local in short supply and too expensive
for ‘house’ wine
Needed to be close Med and sustainably sourced
Languedoc vineyard – 3km from Med sea
Organic production using seaweed as fertilizer
Cornish wine broker
Light bottle
Screw cap – didn’t require ageing, works with lighter
bottle, less waste from tainting by cork
Doubled variety of cork products sold in shop to show
Eden’s commitment to cork
Food Waste Facts
We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of
food and drink from our homes in
UK each year.
The average family throws away
around £700 of food annually.
Food waste costs £12 billion each year to UK households.
Landfill food waste produces methane
21 x more potent than CO2 .
Food Waste
Neter 30
Installed in 2005 –
With funding from Viridor, BOC, SITA Trust
& Combined Universities of Cornwall
Uses aerobic digestion - microorganisms consume organic matter in the
presence of air
Converts food waste into a nitrogen-rich compost
Food Waste at Eden
Food waste collected from the CPU
and all catering outlets
Fed in with recycled cardboard dust
to help the composting process
Rotating drum moves contents along
the cylinder mixing it with oxygen
Composting process - about 80 days
Contents reach more than 600C killing unwanted bacteria
Output is a rich fertilizer that is mixed with soil or used as mulch
Educational for visitors
In 2013-2014 we composted 25 tonnes of food waste,
saving 7 tonnes of CO2.
Lessons from China
Unfettered construction –>
Loss of prime agricultural land & loss of
farmers to city jobs.
Crippling shortage of foodstuffs such as milk
and dried baby milk –>
Growth in black market & increase in child
Rising food prices –>
Recycling of tainted food and repackaging
Skills in growing plants needed globally,
now and in future.
UK is acknowledged world leader in land and
plant science, agronomy and horticulture.
Issues in UK
Horticulture Matters – 2013 report compiled by
RHS and key stakeholders
Importance of horticulture -
 Helps combat the harmful effects of man’s impact
on the environment.
 Helps food security by providing constant supply of
safe and nutritious food.
Shortage of skilled professionals in UK  Skills vital for UK’s food security & reducing the impact of climate
 Over 70% of businesses can’t find the skilled horticulture workers they
Eden’s Response (Grow)
Cornwall has best gardens as a group in the world.
Eden driving a Cornish push on standards and career
opportunities part of UK wide initiative in agronomy,
horticulture and food production.
5 Horticulture apprentices now, further 3 early 2015 ->
Further 12 in Sept 2015.
Horticulture Degree course developed with Plymouth
University and Cornwall College, starting Sept 2015.
Working with other gardens in Cornwall, eg. Heligan,
Tresco, Tregothnan and Trenython Manor.
Eden’s Response (Cook)
4 Chef apprentices now -> Further 12 in 2015.
NVQ level 2 qualifications in multiple modules.
Multiple placements – experience of different working
Different ‘holistic’ way of thinking
encouraged, ‘in tune’ with their
Learn about sustainability issues, and
impacts of horticulture, such as seasonality.
Our Food Choices
Where do want our food to come from ?
What food do we need ?
How much food do we need ?
What do we do with what is left over ?
Who will grow it for us ?
Who will cook it for us ?

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