Fortnum and Masons goes green with refillable cookie jar projects

Fortnum & Mason is asking customers to keep its iconic packaging a little longer by allowing them to refill their products instead of buying new boxes and jars.

In order to make its business more sustainable, the luxury department store will soon launch a system allowing customers to order refills of cookies, including boxes of “Toffolossus”, by scanning a QR code on the back of the products.

It’s the latest in a series of green policies the store is pursuing, including plans to introduce new paper bags in its food halls.

The store said this would allow it to remove more than 70 tonnes of single-use plastic from its business. The new bags, which now cost 10p, are made from chlorine-free paper, water-based inks and 20% recycled content.

“We know few retailers charge for their paper bags at the moment, so we hope this move will help reduce the number of bags we ship globally,” the company said.

It is also offering £5 gift cards to customers who return Fortnum & Mason baskets and has launched a series of sustainable Christmas products including reusable Christmas crackers and rose petal chutney, made from leftover petals of the production of its rose petal jelly. Meanwhile, the store has removed all plastic from its mince pie wrapper.

“We have a rich history of innovation”

“As a 314-year-old family business, we’ve seen many Christmases come and go. And as we’ve been around all that time, it’s our responsibility to do business in a sustainable way for the next 300 years” , the company said.

“We have a rich history of not only upholding tradition, but also driving innovation. From eliminating plastic from our ambient deliveries, to our refillable and reusable baskets, to ensuring that we support small businesses that also take sustainable change seriously and even more, we strive to be responsible for both people and the planet in everything we do.”

The store says 76% of its packaging is recyclable and has removed plastic from its tea bags so they are now fully compostable.

Tom Athron, the store’s general manager, revealed the latest top-up initiative in an interview with The Sunday Times.

He said the cost of living crisis has not yet weighed on the business as tourists from the Middle East and the United States are returning much faster than expected. The company’s sales are more than 10% higher than in 2019.

“We will never put fewer strawberries in our jam”

As rising costs force major retailers to raise prices or reduce product offerings, Athron said, “We will never put fewer strawberries in our jam.

“We will ensure that the quality of our product is maintained down to the last strawberry. This is the most important thing for us to do.

However, mounting wage pressures forced the company to raise wages by 5% and reinstate a 5% Christmas bonus. Staff discounts on food have also been increased from 25% to 40%.

Mr Arthron said wages could climb even higher next year.

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