Ethical buying at Eden
- Local sourcing
- Key criteria for retail and catering
- Collaborative approach
As a major consumer of goods and services we are committed to spending our money wisely on products that make a difference to the world.
A day in the life of the Eden Bakery
Watch timelapse footage of our innovative catering outlet.Play video
We choose our products either because they have a small impact on the environment, a social benefit for the people who produce them or a positive influence on the consumer's lifestyle.
Working with local suppliers
We've worked closely with thousands of suppliers since we opened, to assess the impact of their products and even to come up with bespoke items that fit our ethical criteria. For example, we encouraged Cornish business Roskilly’s to package the Eden chutneys and jams that we sell in a reusable Kilner jar. They also now use unrefined whole cane sugar in our range of ice creams, supporting producers in Colombia.
It's not only good news for our customers, but it has helped smaller, local businesses differentiate themselves by retailing new, sustainable goods.
How we source our catering supplies
We prepare some 600,000 fresh meals for our visitors each year – so how we choose our supplies really matters. We’re proud that over 80% of the money we spend on catering suppliers is spent on businesses in Cornwall and Devon. We use only Cornish meat, dairy and eggs in our on-site cafes – as well as Cornish salad leaves, when they are in season.
Eden grown produce
We also grow some of our own food at the Eden nursery, and have been experimenting with unusual tomato varieties, cucamelons, tomatillos (also sometimes known as the Mexican husk tomato) and inca berries. Find out more.
We’re part of the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide (CGSG), which is supporting sustainable fisheries in the county. Look for the CGSG eco label next to our dishes containing fresh Cornish seafood, such as the Seafood Linguine and Roast Mackerel. The Guide is packed with listings of sustainable seafood across the county’s restaurants, cafes, fish and chip shops and fishmongers.
How we source the products in our shops
Eden visitors love our on-site gift shops and online shop, with their funky kitchenware, clothes, plants and more. But we don't just choose nice things; we choose each product because it fits at least one of the five criteria we've set.
Our commitment to local sourcing helps to reduce carbon emissions from transport, boost local livelihoods and is a way of sharing our own success with the local community.
Things made of plants
At Eden we like to reconnect people with nature and remind them how much we all rely on plants. So it seems only right that we should showcase the amazing things they are used for. If manufactured in a sustainable way, natural products can have a lower environmental impact than stuff created from virgin plastic or metal.
Our kitchenware range is made of bamboo, a fast-growing, endlessly renewable resource. It thrives naturally without using any pesticides or fertilisers, absorbing greenhouse gases as it grows.
Products that promote sustainable living
We like to sell things that help people live happier, greener, more active lifestyles. For example, our reusable jute bags encourage people to refuse plastic bags when they're out shopping; the hard-wearing flasks we sell are designed to be used again and again in place of plastic mineral water bottles; wind-up torches remind people how precious energy is.
Fairly traded goods
Eden looks for goods where workers are treated with respect, fairly paid, properly equipped and given access to education and medical care. Fairly traded products also mean minimum environmental standards are adhered to. While not every company we buy from has yet achieved fairtrade status, we are happy to work with them on the journey there.
Our range of locally made Eden chocolate is produced using cocoa and sugar from fair trade cooperatives in West Africa and Central and Latin America. Many flavours include baobab too, a nutrient-rich fruit which is providing an income for growers in Malawi. Find out about our passion for baobab.
As well as reducing our own waste, we promise to reinvest in the market for recycled goods (because there's no point in everyone recycling if no one's buying the stuff). Buying recycled means that fewer minerals have to be extracted from the ground, fewer ancient forests are in danger of being chopped down and there are fewer precious materials deteriorating in a landfill site.
For example, our tin can robot kit gets kids making a moving toy out of an old drinks can.