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Kent Sustainable Food & Drink Award Winner: Frasers

Frasers of Coldharbour is a small 300-acre eco-estate that operates on a sustainable ethos. The farm and diversifications are intrinsically linked, ensuring a closed loop system that maximises efficiency. The core business comprises a large commercial kitchen offering on- and off-site catering services.

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Frasers of Coldharbour is a small 300-acre eco-estate that operates on a sustainable ethos. The farm and diversifications are intrinsically linked, ensuring a closed loop system that maximises efficiency. The core business comprises a large commercial kitchen offering on- and off-site catering services.

A traditionally constructed oak framed building offers a flexible event space for dining and corporate hospitality. Former agricultural buildings, including an oast house, atcost barn, brick-built stable block and cart barn have all been sympathetically converted into luxury accommodation. We are looking to maximise the use of produce grown on site or in the locality. We have achieved this through collaboration with local farmers, who graze the land with their livestock, with the resulting meat being used in our kitchens.

We have also installed a polytunnel and developed kitchen gardens, utilising the horse manure from our livery yard to fertilise and grow produce for the venue. Our land use is environmentally linked to our ‘live business’. The farmland is registered with Natural England under the mid-tier scheme, we are active members of the Upper Beult Farm Cluster, we have worked with the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership to deliver six great crested newt ponds. We are working with Kent Wildlife Trust on an ongoing tree sparrow project and with the South East Rivers Trust in developing nature-based solutions to address water quality and improve biodiversity within our river catchment. We have personally invested in wetland scrape creations and put up four kestrel and owl boxes along with feeding stations for farmland birds.

The whole farm is run with a sustainable ethos environmentally, socially and economically. We seek to reduce resources via the utilisation of renewable-energy techniques, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.

For example, excess energy from our solar array is used in our commercial kitchen. Water consumption is reduced with our rainwater-harvesting system. All laundry equipment is energy efficient (A++) and utilises the power generated from the solar array. Kitchen waste has been reduced from 55% to 5% by asking all guests to pre-choose their food choices.

Meat is purchased as ‘whole carcases’ from our local suppliers which minimises waste, thereby enabling our chef to create the finest local seasonal and sustainable selections and any waste is recycled for compost. Our menus are changed monthly to maximise seasonality of ingredients, sourcing from our own farm kitchen garden and local artisan farmers and producers.

Purchasing from local suppliers enables the business to support other businesses and maximises
the financial benefit to the rural economy. We actively reuse all resources, for example utilising second-hand furniture, china, glasses and cutlery.

Rainwater harvesting and rainwater collection enables us to reuse water resources on the buildings, gardens and kitchen gardens. Used coffee grounds are reused as a medium in which to grow mushrooms for the restaurant. All our annual bedding plants are overwintered in the polytunnel and cuttings taken, thereby reusing existing resources.

Any vegetable matter is recycled into compost for the kitchen gardens and grounds to improve soil quality. Collection of run-off water for watering the garden reduces water consumption, usage and waste.

Oil from the kitchen is collected by a used-cooking-oil recycling service.

We minimise printing and paper usage throughout the business, instead utilising electronic communications. No packaging is single-use, any unused waste is recycled by Countrystyle recycling.

Our aim for the business is to be carbon neutral by 2025. Any negative environmental impacts and subsequent carbon production will be offset and negated by our low-intensity grassland, wetland creation and renewable energy going back to grid.