26th September 2007
Hello. It’s not every week we get to tell you about a world first. But we did it – we made a bottle from 100% recycled plastic. And it’s on the shelves now...
Doing it first
Our bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic. It's a world first, and heralds a huge reduction in our carbon footprint. Here are some facts, comparing the new bottle's impact versus the old 50% recycled version:
20% reduction in materials (we've made the bottle lighter)
55% carbon reduction
100% recycled content
Next up, we're changing our label paper so that it's made from 25% recycled content and 75% FSC certified paper, and we'll be working on getting this better too.
Making our business better involves a series of steps. Sometimes they're small and almost unnoticeable; sometimes they're pretty big and have a large impact on the way we treat the planet. Today is one of the slightly bigger days, but we'll keep doing the small stuff too. We'll keep working on the rest, because we want to build a company that we can be proud of.
Local drinks for all the people
We are very proud to introduce our new innocent smoothies for autumn. We’re using ingredients from the UK in these two special ones – damsons, blackberries and elderflowers in our little bottles and damsons, blackberries and apples in the big cartons. All of these tasty local ingredients come straight from this season’s harvest, so we’d like to say a big thank you to the farmers of Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Essex for their fine fruits. You might notice the slight difference between the two recipes – that’s because this year’s elderflower harvest was a bit poor, so we ran out. Nature’s tough like that.
Anyway, there’s loads more to read on our website and there is an excellent film to watch too. And if you fancy freeloading yourself a case of this autumnal delight, click here and answer the traditional stupid question.
Back to the needles
There are three key messages emanating from the Big Knit control tower this week...
You only have 4 weeks left to get your needles out and knit us a little hat. Please.
If you have a moment, check the Big Knit knitter-knatter blog. Guest bloggers from across the country are posting – go and learn from their woollen wisdom.
It's not too late to have your own little Big Knit party. Email Charlotte at email@example.com along with your name and postal address and we’ll send you a kit to help you organise your party (stern knitting teacher not included).
Fancy blasting pumpkins into the air in custom-built machines?
Hat of the week.
A-foraging we shall go.
19th September 2007
It seems to be getting chilly. Time to put on your itchy woollen pants and go roller skating, because that’s how autumn goes (there are leaves and bonfires too – they come later).
More, more, more from Brazil
Some more news from our recent trip to the land where everyone’s good at football and not wearing itchy woollen pants – Brazil. After last week’s news featuring the best tasting, most sustainable acai we could find, it was on to the state of Ceara to check out the acerola cherry. This involved a 4 hour drive from the airport with Geraldo the amateur rally driver. Interesting.
Acerola cherries are incredibly high in Vitamin C (20 times the amount in an orange, by weight), so that’s why we use them in one of our superfoods recipes. All of our cherries are handpicked within 2-3 days of ripening so they don't spoil on the tree. And seeing as it's such a labour intensive process we had lots of questions for our growers about the working conditions, who the pickers were and how much they were paid.
On one of the farms we visited we met this chap. He and his lovely lady friends help to provide nutrients for the acerola trees. He was nice, on the other side of the fence.
Witaj na Poland
As well as going to Brazil, we also went to Poland a few weeks ago, to see how the strawberry harvest was going. This season’s crop is tasting a bit good (grab one of our strawberries and bananas smoothies immediately to see what we mean) and so we made a short film that tells you why they’re tasting so fine. You can watch it here and it lets you in on the secret as to why our strawberries are the best – it’s because we’re fussy and only use a variety called Senga Sengana. They’re deep red, taste perfect when making smoothies, but aren’t grown in the UK – so that’s why we went to Poland.
As you know, we’re committed to using UK ingredients where the quantity and quality is available (blackcurrants, blackberries, apples, yoghurt etc), but for this particular variety we have to go to Poland, although as you also may know, we never air-freight. That would be dumb. PS Check next week’s news to find out about a special new UK-based recipe...
And the winners are...
The Turner Prize is good, but the elephant poo guy doesn’t even come close to holding a candle to any of our fete photo winners. These guys have got more art than Jimmy Whistler, and better names too – Little Teabag, Pirate Internet and Richard S (that last one is a belter) are our champions. They each receive a year’s supply of smoothies, and a little note advising them not to drink them all in one sitting. Check out Richard S’s "Best Fete Game Picture", Little Teabag’s "Best Picture of Bunting" and Pirate Internet’s "Best Overall Fete Picture" here. Awesome.
If attacked, fight back
Forced to listen to Manilow
The world’s highest belly flop
Hat of the week
12th September 2007
This week we’d like to take you on a journey. A metaphorical journey that is, unless you fancy coming over to Shepherds Bush and walking to the sandwich shop with us. Either way, we’ve got to be back by 2 so let’s get moving.
First up, Brazil
We have a confession to make. As much as we spend most of our time in this newsletter waffling on about nonsense, we do actually take this smoothie making malarkey quite seriously. We’re dedicated to making you the best smoothies around even if that means we get to play slightly less bubble bobble than we’d like.
A big part of this is using the best ingredients around. So our Jess and Rozanne have been in Brazil checking out the quality and sustainability of our acai berries, acerola cherries and oranges. Here's their first instalment (about acai) and comes straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak...
"Acai berries are native to the Amazon estuary, with the palms growing in the tidal wetlands. As long as they’re harvested sustainably, acai collection is a great way of preserving the forest against clearing for logging or cattle ranching. Our acai supplier is certified as organic, and is working with their acai collectors to preserve biodiversity, address social issues such as adequate nutrition and to develop other sustainable local industries such as jewellery made from acai seeds.
Acai berries are collected by scaling up the acai tree (easier said than done). The berries are then 'threshed' from the branch, and placed in baskets for transportation. Apparently the empty branches make a great broom, and we also saw them at a local market turned into placemats. The locals tend to eat acai with sugar, tapioca and shrimp."
Thanks Jess. If you fancy trying our acai, we use them in our shrimp-free detox smoothie.
Returning a little closer to home, you may remember that we started a fete flickr group with a year's supply of smoothies on offer for the finest photos from our village fete. Well the time has come to pick the winners and we'd be honoured if you'd decide for us which you think are the best of the best.
Click here and select your favourites from our shortlist. We'll then announce the winners in this very newsletter next week.
Next stop, hatform 1
Yes this tedious journey metaphor has almost come to an end, but before it does we'd like to introduce our first Hat of the Week 2007. This means that until the hats hit the shelves in November we’re going to show you our favourite big knit hat in the hope that it might inspire you to arm yourself with some needles and try and do one better. Hogging the limelight this week are these crackling little numbers.
You have arrived...
Seven amazing holes.
Congratulations to Scouting For Girls.
The best shadow puppet bunny rabbit you'll ever see.
5th September 2007
Whoopee-doo, it’s September. Haven’t the months just flown by, unless you’ve been in prison – then it’s probably dragged a bit. Anyway, we’re here now, so sit back, relax and prepare yourself for autumn and some exciting news about Roy Walker’s second coming.
Love is in the air
We know we shouldn’t have favourites, but here at Fruit Towers we had an indecent amount of love for peaches and purple passion fruits, our smoothie of the month for August. It was like a wonderful holiday romance but without the tall stories, fake email addresses, or tearful goodbye at Luton airport. But luckily we have something big to fill the gaping void; our smoothie for September – blackcurrants and gooseberries. It’s a class act, straight from the world’s finest bushes, and it’s in the shops from this week. Pick one up while you can, for soon it will be gone forever.
Say what you see
For some reason we thought that Irish funny man and Catchphrase legend Roy Walker might have moved on to the big TV studio in the sky. So imagine our surprise and delight when he popped up at the Assist trade show in St Andrews to present us with an award for best stand. We’re happy to report that Roy is very much alive and was on great form. Sadly, co-host Mr Chips didn’t cope so well with the show’s cancellation and hasn’t been heard of since his arrest for shoplifting toiletries from Woolworths, South Malden.
Back on the box
Name dropping is a shameful practice (as Sir Sean Connery so often tells me) but as well as getting an award from our new best friend Roy Walker, we’ve also been in a recording studio with Johnny Ball. Sadly this wasn’t to record our own version of Islands in the Stream but to do a new voiceover for our TV ad. It’ll be on a small screen near you soon or you can watch it first here.
A good cause
Samaritans, one of the charities we raised money for at our fete, is looking for more volunteers to help out. If you can spare some time please visit www.samaritans.org/volunteer to find out more about helping a great cause.
The Official Mustache Database
I lost my pants
Oh boy it’s a monster spider web
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