University of Exeter
Falmouth University College

Sustainable Suppliers - Fuerte Fire

6 November 2019
 Credit Evelina Deveikaite


We’re committed to making our campuses more sustainable. As part of this we will be regularly highlighting individual sustainable businesses that we work with.

Fuertefire started life with Andy and Michele growing their own chillies, making chilli sauce and selling it at markets in Fuerteventura.

They moved back to the UK and now sell wraps and flatbreads from their street food van and at their recently opened restaurant ‘Reeds Smokehouse and Diner’ in Perranporth, as well as supplying several of our campus catering outlets. They are still using the large stock of chillies they grew and brought home with them.

Andy and Michele have always been focused on the sustainability aspect of their business, including sourcing as much local produce as possible. They are now using biodegradable packaging, investigating on site composting and have worked on a rebrand that reflects their ethos with Falmouth University academic Darren Whittington and some BA Creative Advertising design students (more to be revealed soon).

Andy explained: “Our aim has always been to reduce to overall food miles of our produce where possible by only using local suppliers. This includes our meat, bread, dairy, salad and veg. Making our produce fresh each day means we do not need to artificially modify the air inside the packaging (MAP), the use of MAP adds another layer to the manufacturing process.

“We use minimal and light weight packaging to lessen the volume of waste sent to landfill. Also, we choose not to use screen printing for our packing, in favour of small produce labels as we feel this removes another layer of the manufacturing process.

“We use Vegware packing which is fully plant based made from Kraft board with PLA windows, which means the packages can be composted in either large commercial composters, or small on-site composters.”

On site compositing means packaging can also be hot composted with other food waste to produce a useable mulch in around 14 – 20 days. Vegware offers a wide range of options and support to help users (including Fuertefire) to identify how to close the loop and send the packing back into the bio system.

FX Plus, which oversees procurement for services including food at Falmouth and Penryn campuses, is also looking into a variety of composting options as part of continuing work to reduce waste.

Chris Jones, FX Plus Head of Procurement, said: “The Falmouth Exeter Plus Procurement team is committed to embedding sustainability in all aspects of the procurement process and our wider activities. As an organisation we understand that the procurement of goods, services and works has a significant impact on the environment, society and the economy.

“Our activities aim to address the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability and to develop partnerships with local businesses, such as Fuertefire.  Andy and Michele have worked pro-actively with the FX Plus procurement and catering teams to develop a collaborative and sustainable partnership. They both deliver a huge level of energy, professionalism and enthusiasm to their work  and we look forward to growing our relationship with them”.