Pizza Pilgrims announced a new partnership with leading hydroponic farming company Harvest London, which will see the restaurant business source ingredients with a new, sustainably focused approach. Pizza Pilgrims will now source all of its basil exclusively from Harvest London who have created a bespoke unit dedicated to growing the herb in their eco-friendly, vertical farm in Leyton.
The supply chain move will save Pizza Pilgrims over 250,000 food miles per year as they switch from an overseas supplier to the vertical farming unit just a few miles from their London restaurant sites. The controlled agricultural environment is more space-efficient, uses 95% less water than traditional farming methods and is pesticide-free.
Not only is the basil grown more planet-friendly, but it actually tastes better too. Pizza Pilgrims Founder James Elliot worked closely with Harvest London to create the perfect taste and texture of the basil leaf for their Neapolitan pizzas, hand selected from 14 different strains of the herb.
Pizza Pilgrims Co-Founder James Elliot says: “We’re very passionate about the prospect of working with the team at Harvest London to create a more sustainable way of sourcing fresh ingredients for our menus. As expected, basil is our most used herb and we go through 82kgs a week, so by switching to local, vertical farming it’s had a huge impact on Pizza Pilgrims’ carbon footprint.
Basil is just the start, with this new science and technology we plan to be able to grow specific pizza ingredients any time of year, not needing to rely on particular seasons.”
Pizza Pilgrims is the first UK restaurant collection to source one sole ingredient from a hydroponic farm and is setting the bar for restaurants and food businesses to re-think their supply chains and look closer to home. The move towards a more sustainable and efficient food ecosystem is just one of the many ways Pizza Pilgrims is making positive changes, as the brand continues to build on its’ sustainability across all aspects of the business, from packaging, to energy usage and beyond.
Harvest London have previously worked with top London chef Adam Handling at his restaurant, The Frog Hoxton, and with Through the Woods in Crouch End, to supply fresher, more environmentally friendly ingredients.
Chris Davies, CEO of Harvest London, comments: "We're very excited to be working with Pizza Pilgrims to bring their customers this classic pizza ingredient, grown in London without pesticides and with dramatically lower water use and food miles than imported basil. Using vertical farming within a few miles of the restaurants means we can put incredibly fresh basil onto the pizzas - it's only hours from harvesting to eating, not days. This means our crop not only saves emissions from transport, but the freshness also makes it taste better.
Making our food system more sustainable is a major challenge for the UK. There is no one solution, but technology can give us greater control over what and how we grow in this country, and the impact it has on the environment."
The vertically grown Basil in partnership with Harvest London is now being used in all of Pizza Pilgrims thirteen restaurants and within their nationwide Pizza in the Post kits.
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