Ellers Farm Distillery in Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, has beaten off stiff opposition to claim the £10,000 prize through the Asda Supplier Sustainability Exchange to fund a nature project.

The brand, also a part of Asda’s nurture programme, produces Dutch Barn Orchard Vodka using British apples and the experience of their world-class award-winning Master Distiller. At the centre of Ellers Farm’s ethos is to produce the best possible spirits in a way that restores and protects both people and the planet.

Open to all Asda suppliers, the competition asked for projects to be submitted that will decrease the impact on nature or that will have a regenerative impact, and which work towards helping Asda’s Better Planet ‘Nature’ pillar priorities – ensuring its top 20 commodities are sustainably sourced and developing a natural resource stewardship program.

As part of their wider plans for nature regeneration on their farm, Ellers Farm Distillery’s proposed plan to plant 2.3 hectares of mixed native woodland and heritage apple orchard as well as 0.5 hectares of wet grassland and wildflower meadow in the area surrounding the distillery was chosen as the recipient of the £10,000 prize. Not only will this project deliver a supply of apples, the base raw material for their vodka, but it will decrease the supply chain transportation emissions as well as have a regenerative impact on the environment surrounding the distillery. The project will begin in the next planting season (October 2022 – March 2023).

The competition was introduced to celebrate 10 years of the Asda Supplier Sustainability Exchange, a platform created with Manufacture 2030, to help suppliers to work together to reduce their environmental impact. The platform has grown from focusing mainly on energy and operational efficiency to covering sustainable sourcing, plastics and packaging, carbon, and beyond. Today, the platform boasts over 2,000 members and over 5,000 posts and case studies!

Asda Sustainability Coordinator, Emma Gibson, said: ‘’We have over 2000 suppliers across the globe joining our sustainability events which continue to grow, and this shows the importance both we and our suppliers place on this issue. We are delighted to award Ellers Farm the prize to mark ten years of landmark collaboration. We loved this project’s simplicity and commitment to the distillery’s surrounding area, whilst being able to see a project that showed clear stages of implementation and delivery. We are very much looking forward to seeing Ellers Farm’s plans unfold over the next year and seeing the prize money being used on such an important area of Sustainability.’’

Tabatha Hurst, Head of Sustainability at Ellers Farm Distillery said: “As a business in its early stages and new supplier into Asda, we are overjoyed to have been chosen as the recipient of this prize, given the variety of businesses and brands we were up against. We’re passionate about having a positive impact on nature and are grateful that our vision resonates. The support given to us by Asda’s nurture and sustainability teams has had a big impact on our business and we look forward to continuing to support Asda’s wider sustainability efforts into the future.”

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