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With a Market Hall of 28,700sq metres (309,000 sq. ft.) New Spitalfields Market is the UK’s largest wholesale fruit & vegetable market and is owned and administered by The City of London Corporation. With over 140 tenants across a footprint of circa 32 acres, the market offers the widest range of fruit, vegetables and flowers in the UK. Operating under a Royal Charter, granted in 1682, Spitalfields Market moved out of the City in 1991 and now occupies a purpose-built site in Leyton, East London.
- In 2017, in association with The City of London, Countrystyle introduced the London Living Wage (LLW) to all employees at the market. A major driver for introducing the LLW was to recruit & retain a local and stable workforce
- New Spitalfields Market was awarded Best Wholesale Market in the Market of the Year Competition 2013 and again in 2018. The waste management services provided by Countrystyle were recognised and commended by the judges
- Countrystyle began working with The City of London and New Spitalfields Market in August 2010 and was re-awarded the contract in 2017
Market tenants stock every conceivable type of fruit and vegetable with the aim of maximising throughput during marking trading hours from 12 midnight to 09:00. Tenants expressed an interest in increasing recycling and on-site segregation in a bid to reduce waste collection and treatment costs.
Daily trading results in a vast amount of food waste – a considerably heavy waste stream – and therefore transportation costs were also a factor to consider. The complexity and number of businesses operating on site meant that complete site management was needed to minimise disruption to businesses and to ensure that all waste streams were handled effectively.
Countrystyle began working with The City of London Corporation in 2010 and quickly implemented segregation initiatives at the on-site recycling area for waste streams including wood, plastics, general waste, cardboard and organics.
Over time, the relationship flourished and as the best value provider via competitive tendering, Countrystyle was reawarded the contract for a further 5 years in 2017. Under the new contract, site cleanliness, health and safety and the principles of “waste polluter pays” were the key drivers.
Countrystyle implemented The City of London’s policy of paying all staff the London Living Wage. Additionally, there was a focus on recruiting new workers from deprived areas of inner London boroughs and those considered to be from ‘vulnerable’ or ‘at risk’ groups.
In order to increase segregation and ensure that tenants understood the importance of not contaminating waste, Countrystyle has worked with The City of London to develop co-branded information packs, new signage, waste specifications and stickers to make the process easier for tenants to understand and follow, especially where English isn’t their first language.
Alongside the new signage, information packs and friendly staff, the City of London has seen a significant improvement, with less contamination of recyclables and driving savings for The City of London. Handling the combined cleaning, waste collection, on-site segregation, recycling and ground maintenance of the whole site, Spitalfields has significantly improved its landfill diversion rate with a consistent recovery & recycling rate of 100%.
Waste culture and sustainability are very high on the agenda at New Spitalfields and the innovative new contract with Countrystyle will help drive some significant changes over the next 5 years. Countrystyle have helped us deliver a pioneering and forward thinking new waste accounting system that has ensured that we reduce our overall waste whilst maximising our income from recyclables. Countrystyle are a very valuable resource for the Market. Their hard work and invaluable advice have been pivotal in ensuring the Market is always ready for trade.”
Ben Milligan, Superintendent, New Spitalfields Market