The toolkit was launched as an online self-assessment was launched in January 2015. Click here to go to the Sustainable Business Review.

Please scroll down to check on progress

Food businesses that demonstrate positive values can reap rewards from the growth in ethical consumerism. In food and drink this increased by 7.8% between 2010-11, to be worth £7.5bn (source: The Co-operative Ethical Consumer Markets Report 2012).

Doing business sustainably provides ways for small food companies to innovate along their supply chain, to save money and gain competitive advantage. It opens doors to new markets because larger buyers will actively seek out suppliers that can help them meet their corporate social responsibility targets and legal obligations.

The fact is that Wales has a number of small food businesses that are leading the way, however many more are yet to take advantage of this opportunity. This project aims to provide a self-assessment toolkit to help small food business achieve supply chain sustainability.  Our intention is to create accessible, practical and self-guiding support for small businesses.

The toolkit will be developed using evaluation findings and experience gained from phase 1 of the Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, where we piloted innovative ways to assist small businesses to embrace sustainable practices and importantly we created a framework of 50 indicators to help benchmark sustainability in five food supply chain projects. Along with Ecostudio’s expertise in designing the criteria for the True Taste Contribution to Sustainable Development Award and in developing approaches for ecological footprinting for Welsh food SMEs on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The output will provide small food businesses with a baseline of current performance and identify action areas for improvements. Crucially this toolkit will assist the user in setting priorities that they identify thereby responding to real and not perceived small business needs.

Up to 6 food businesses will receive coaching and support us in developing the toolkit. To find out if your business is eligible contact us.


Progress bulletin:

September 2014:

  • An online self assessment and knowledge  resource will be launched under a new name the Sustainable Business Review in October.
  • Development of the self assessment toolkit is now complete following extensive functional testing over the summer months.
  • We are working with several food businesses to finalise good practice case studies prior to launch.

July 2014:

  • We are delighted to announce we have been awarded Welsh Government funding to continue our work in supporting Welsh food businesses to take advantage of the significant and growing demand for sustainable food.

May 2014:

  • In addition to the development of the toolkit, the past few months have involved analysis and evaluation of the work so far and planning for the next stage.
  • The self assessment toolkit is currently being prepared by our technical partners. It will be available for online functional testing in June.
  • A strategic plan is now in place that enables us to build on the success of the programme and work with a wider a number of food companies.
  • We will announce a launch date for the toolkit and what happens next very soon. Please check back or contact us for further information.

January 2014:

  • Development of the toolkit is near completion and will be launched online in the autumn.
  • We are working closely with several food businesses and enterprises to develop sustainable strategies and gaining their feedback to inform this work. Whilst consulting with academic, trade and public sector partners.
  • At the core of the toolkit are 21 indicators. These are designed to cover all aspects of a food operation and provide the means for organisations to consider their individual business goals.
  • Businesses can select indicators that most closely define their own approach – both what they do now and how they want to grow in the future. An action plan is then drawn up that enables them to demonstrate their commercial, environmental and community credentials and share this with their customers.
  • This is work in progress so here’s a sample of some  of the indicators:
    • Developing a clear and consistent brand:  Accurately reflecting your company’s good practice in ways that are easily understood by customers
    • Providing decent employment: Ways your company ensures it is a good employer
    • Preventing food waste: Steps your company is taking to manage, monitor and reduce food waste
    • Appropriate packaging use: Steps your company is taking to ensure packaging protects products and the environment
    • Participating with local communities: Ways your company demonstrates and approach that considers the environment and communities
    • Working with responsible suppliers: Steps your company is taking to encourage good practice within your supply chain
    • Trading locally: How far the supplies that you buy and sell contribute to the local economy
    • Being innovative: The extent your company is actively creating new market opportunities
    • Providing healthy food choices: Your company offers products that benefit human health and well-being
    • Reducing reliance on fossil fuels: Steps your company is taking to improve resource efficiency

October 2013:

  • Several Welsh food businesses are on board with coaching sessions happening in November and January 2014. These are Parsnipship, Ty Tanglwyst Dairy, Patchwork Pate  and Cwm Harry Land Trust.
  • The toolkit will remain in development throughout the consultation process that is currently underway with key stakeholders from industry, trade bodies, academia and the public sector.
  • Places are still available for up to 2 eligible companies. We expect these to be filled very soon so if you would like to be involved please contact us for further information.

September 2013:

  • initial concept for toolkit is complete
  • business engagement underway

August 2013:

  • a review of current methods and approaches, tools and techniques and policy measures in relation to social, environmental and economic performance of supply chains is underway
  • this research is being used to inform the scope and initial concept for the toolkit