Vegware

Vegware wins FSB's best small business in UK, Queen's Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, and announces Australian expansion

Press release   •   Apr 22, 2013 09:54 BST

Eco packaging pioneers Vegware win two major prizes in one week, winning the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development and scooping the £10,000 top prize in The FSB Streamline UK Business Awards. These extremely competitive awards commend the high-growth Edinburgh firm for developing innovative zero-waste foodservice packaging, promoting sustainability and reducing landfill waste in the catering and hospitality sector. To celebrate, the SME has designed its own original Vegware tartan, and announced its expansion into Australia, and the tripling of its Edinburgh office space to support UK and international growth.

Joe Frankel, founder and MD of the global packaging firm said, “We saw that foodservice needed packaging which can actually be recycled after use and responded to that challenge. Our unique solution of certified compostable catering disposals and full recycling support is helping the UK’s biggest operators meet sustainability targets and save money. As a result, we have enjoyed tenfold growth in three years, and now employ a team of 26, up from 2 in late 2009. The Queen’s Award is royal recognition that Vegware is making a positive contribution to the UK economy and global sustainability, and the competitive FSB Streamline Awards celebrates Vegware as the UK’s best small business. Winning either of these is fantastic but this double win is a major coup and we are all absolutely delighted with the recognition. The FSB prize money will be great contribution to our product development programme - as it happens we already have a project earmarked for this, secret of course, for now. We've got a great product, a fantastic team, and the time is right so watch this space!”

These prestigious titles bring Vegware’s accolades up to 24 awards and 2 Scottish Parliamentary Motions. Founded and run from its expanded Edinburgh HQ, Vegware is now a global brand with operations in the UK, US, South Africa, Central Europe and distribution from Iceland to Portugal. Newly-founded Vegware Australia operates out of Sydney. Vegware’s new larger Edinburgh office will be officially opened on 29th May 2013 by Richard Lochhead MSP, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

Vegware develops, manufactures and distributes a full range of certified compostable catering disposables, made from recycled and sustainably-sourced eco materials. The firm’s packaging is suitable for food waste recycling after use, allowing caterers to recycle food-contaminated coffee cups and takeaway boxes which often otherwise go to landfill. Their non-profit initiative The Food Waste Network is a free service matchmaking any UK business with local food waste collections and promoting zero waste, supporting WRAP’s Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement and helping Scottish businesses comply with the new waste Regs.

The Queen’s Award office congratulated Vegware, saying: “From its leadership position, the company has educated other firms in the sector about benefits of pursuing sustainable choices. It founded the Vegware Community Fund to support non-profit sustainability groups. It is the only packaging firm to offer, with every order, tailored Eco Audits quantifying carbon savings, virgin material savings and potential landfill diversion.” Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants will present the award at a ceremony at the firm’s Edinburgh global HQ later on this year, and Vegware will be invited to a summer reception at Buckingham Palace.

The celebratory Vegware Tartan is predominantly green with highlights of burgundy, pink, blue and white. The firm enjoys creativity: its www.FoodWasteNetwork.org.uk imagery includes a life-size map of the British Isles made out of regionally relevant food. On winning the BCE Award for Environmental Leadership in 2012, the firm celebrated by recording The Vegware Song - a jaunty bluegrass song about eco packaging, now viewed over 1,300 times on youtube.com/vegware

CONGRATULATORY QUOTES

1.  Colin Willman, Chairman, FSB (Member Services) commented: “We were impressed by the staggering growth of this company, which now has an established footprint in countries from the US to Australia. Vegware fulfills a real need in the world of catering and proves that eco credentials are right at the heart of our economy’s future.”

2.  Darren Wilson, Managing Director, Streamline said: “Small businesses play a crucial role in supporting the UK economy and as Vegware has shown, the trajectory for growth can be staggering. Vegware identified a clear need in the marketplace, recognised the incentives for businesses to get on board, and made a compelling financial and environmental case for potential customers.”

3.  Quote from Vegware’s Local Green Councillor Gavin Corbett: "As a member of the city's Economy Committee, I still see too many examples of where economic policy and a greener future seem at odds. So it is fantastic to have on my own doorstep a company that is reconciling the two and prospering in the process." Gavin Corbett is Green Councillor for Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart, Edinburgh.

4.  Quote from The Foodservice Packaging Association’s Chief Operating Officer Martin Kersh:  “This is a fantastic and well earned achievement for Vegware and their talented team, and we are delighted the foodservice packaging industry has been recognised by the award of such a highly prestigious accolade to one of our members. Vegware embody the passion, environmental commitment and creativity of the foodservice packaging industry serving a dynamic and growing market. There are many challenges facing our market and this award is a testament to Vegware's dedication and enthusiasm in addressing these issues and to their betterment of the wider community”.

ENDS

Note to Editors:

1.  Vegware has won a total of 24 awards and accolades, plus two Scottish Parliamentary Motions – full list here.

2.  April was a big month for wins!

a.  10th April: Vegware’s gourmet hot box wins ‘Highly Commended’ in the Essential Café trade awards.

b.  18th April: FSB Streamline award announced. Vegware is the Scottish Area Finalist, winner of the Business Innovation category, and wins the top prize, being named FSB Streamline UK Business of the Year.

c.  19th April: Vegware is shortlisted in 2 categories in the Foodservice Footprint Awards 2013.

d.  21st April: Queen’s Award win announced – Vegware wins the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.

3.  Vegware’s zero waste initiative The Food Waste Network is mapping all UK trade food waste collections by postcode, and offers a free matchmaking service for any UK business seeking food waste recycling. www.foodwastenetwork.org.uk

4.  Vegware is a Founding Supporter of WRAP’s Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement which is uniting the foodservice sector around two targets: reducing food and associated packaging waste by 5% and recycling over 70%. Vegware’s pledge to support this is the Food Waste Network – see our HafSA blog Food Waste Stories.

5.  From 1st January 2014, all Scottish businesses will be required to recycle, including many having to introduce food waste recycling – full info here.

6.  The Vegware Community Fund gives small monthly grants to 13 non-profit sustainability projects, with a new recipient being added every quarter as Vegware grows – info here.

About Vegware:

Vegware Ltd is the UK’s first and only completely compostable food packaging company. The multiple award-winning firm specialises in the development, manufacture and distribution of compostable packaging for food service. Vegware’s Food Waste Network matchmakes any UK business with food and used Vegware packaging from caterers, recycling it into topsoil, biogas or compost. Vegware invests in product development and has brought many compostable innovations to market, including hot cup lids, double wall cups, high-heat cutlery and soup containers.

Clients range from the UK’s biggest contract caterers and food distributors through to UK government offices, NHS units and independent artisan delis and cafes. Vegware is owned and managed by its founders. It is based in Edinburgh and distributes out of London, shipping to all over the UK, EU and beyond. The company's products are distributed worldwide form North America (Vegware US), to South Africa, including Europe from Iceland to Hungary. Visit www.vegware.com for the full catalogue and further information.

Further information, interviews and images:

Lucy Frankel

Communications Manager, Vegware

0845 643 0406 / 07906 635 139

lucy@vegware.co.uk

www.vegware.com

Photography

Images can be downloaded from our Queen’s Award win dropbox gallery – low res images include _800x in the file name and high-res images do not.

General images of our products can be found here.


Vegware Ltd is the UK’s first and only completely compostable food packaging company. The multiple award-winning firm specialises in the development, manufacture and distribution of compostable packaging for food service. Vegware’s Food Waste Network matchmakes any UK business with food and used Vegware packaging from caterers, recycling it into topsoil, biogas or compost. Vegware invests in product development and has brought many compostable innovations to market, including hot cup lids, double wall cups, high-heat cutlery and soup containers.

Clients range from the UK’s biggest contract caterers and food distributors through to UK government offices, NHS units and independent artisan delis and cafes. Vegware is owned and managed by its founders. It is based in Edinburgh and distributes out of London, shipping to all over the UK, EU and beyond. The company's products are distributed worldwide form North America (Vegware US), to South Africa, including Europe from Iceland to Hungary. Visit www.vegware.com for the full catalogue and further information.

Vegware Ltd is registered in Scotland, company number SC331521 at Canalside House, 43-45 Polwarth Crescent, Edinburgh, EH11 1HS. Information on Vegware US, Inc can be found at www.vegware.us.