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we'd like to thank the academy

A couple of weeks back we told you we’d been nominated for a Guardian Sustainable Business Award for a project to reduce the amount of water used to grow our strawberries. This little film explains what the project was about:

We had our gracious loser face down to a fine art by the time we made our way to the ceremony, but, to our complete shock, we actually went and won the thing. No award is complete without an acceptance speech, so we’ve asked Jess, who leads our sustainability team, to say a few words:

“We are beyond thrilled to have won this award. We have been working with our Spanish farmers and the University of Cordoba for six and a half years to reduce the amount of water used in strawberry growing and, in doing so, protect the wetlands of the Doñana National Park. Our little project has grown from working with just four farmers, to now influencing the water management of 87% of all the strawberry farms (even though we only buy 1% of the strawberries grown on them.)  It proves that even if your idea starts small, if you find the right solution, and get everyone involved, you can make a big difference.  We are now sharing what we’ve learned with our berry farmers in Poland, and will see if we can use it with other fruits in the future too.”

The award itself is pretty special, and has taken pride of place on our Reception desk here in Fruit Towers:

 

As a business we’ve always wanted to leave things a bit better than we found them, so we’re really proud to be recognised for making a difference. We know there’s loads more we could do though, and we still have a long way to go before everything we do is award-worthy. We’ve got lots of exciting plans to get even greener in the next few years, so watch this space.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to the after party.

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the boys are waiting

We’re ambitious. We have dreams. If it was up to us, every fridge across the land would be stuffed full of smoothies. But for some reason, people occasionally choose other drinks over the delicious, healthy, unquestionably brilliant and always humble smoothie. For instance, people in Scotland really like an Irn Bru. In the North of England, it’s against the law for a scone to be consumed without a cup of tea. Residents of East London will happily pay £4.50 for an artisanal flat white served in a miniature upcycled wheelbarrow. And whenever people want to encourage the boys to gather in their yard, they reach for a milkshake because Kelis made it clear in her 2003 hit song of the same name that that was the right thing to do.

However, this piece of breaking news from the Irish Daily Star might make you question your future beverage purchasing preferences:

That’s right: Kelis has never had a milkshake. But she did have a smoothie the other day and it was “really good.”

So, there you have it. Smoothies, not milkshakes, are now considered the official yard-bringing beverage of choice.

If you’re not sure how to make a smoothie, we could teach you, but we’d have to charge.  

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slightly more than nul points

Nothing says ‘summer is coming’ like staying indoors on a Saturday night in May to watch a contest that the UK hasn’t even the slightest hope of winning. Sure, the rest of Europe stopped backing our Eurovision entries decades ago, but this year would be different, wouldn’t it? We brewed the first of several dozen cups of tea and sat down to watch it unfold.

Before we start, you need to know that Australia were back in the competition for the second time. Don’t worry if that doesn’t immediately make sense to you. It’s all perfectly reasonable really.

 

Belgium were up first with a copy of a recent, world-famous fusion of pop and funk music.

 

Germany’s performance stood by the old saying, “If what you’re singing isn’t very good, just wear a hat made exclusively out of tiny bow ties.”

 

Then again, sometimes Eurovision outfits just don’t work and half of what you’re wearing has to go go.

 

Poland’s style inspiration came from a popular West End musical with a continental flare.

 

At this point, we remembered that we make smoothies and we should try to sell them.

 

During the half-time break, the organisers pulled out all the stops with a cameo from none other than Justin Timberlake, who made it clear that he was a true fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and was in absolutely no way motivated by anything else when he agreed to do this.

Finally, with all of that singing lark well and truly over it was time for the results of the voting.

Iceland used a dog to help them announce their results for some reason.

 

Malta gave us 12 points and we realised that we’ve always loved the Maltese with their falcons, addictive chocolate sweets and all of that other great Maltese stuff.

Then Australia gave their scores

 

Everybody was confused by the new voting system.

 

But in the end, despite Malta’s best efforts, Joe and Jake didn’t get much of a look in. But the important thing is that we reminded everyone to buy smoothies, and have probably kept our jobs for another year. 

 

 

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and the award goes to...maybe us

You shouldn’t really brag about awards you’ve been nominated for. If Hollywood film stars have taught us anything, it’s that when you get nominated for something you’re supposed to say things like, “I’m just in shock right now,” and “this is so unexpected,” and “it’s an honour just to be nominated.”

But as a business we’ve always wanted to leave things a bit better than we found them, so we’re going to put our modesty aside and proudly announce that we’ve been nominated for a Guardian Sustainable Business Award. We’ve been recognised for a project we’ve been working on to reduce the amount of water used to grow our strawberries in Spain. This little film explains what we’ve been up to:

All we have to do now is find something presentable to wear and head to the awards ceremony on the 26th May. We have no idea if we’re going to win, but we’ll be sure to let you know either way. And, whatever happens, we’re just in shock right now, this is so unexpected and it’s an honour just to be nominated. 

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When life gives you lemons

Lemon juice. Useful for cooking (or baking a fine lemon drizzle cake) but you probably wouldn’t want to wash your lunch down with a bottle of the stuff. Which is why you won’t see an ‘innocent 100% lemon juice’ included in your supermarket meal deal. We know what the people (don’t) want.

While it’s not the best on it’s own, we do use lemon juice in some of our drinks (like these ones here). Lemon juice is excellent for it’s natural sharpness and helps give our recipes that zesty kick. But not too zesty or kicky. Just the right zesty kickiness.

photo: our lemons growing in the sunshine

What we don’t use is the skin. Lemon skin isn’t really suitable for smoothies. But luckily we know some people who will happily take the skins off our hands. You see, when you scratch an un-waxed lemon it realises essential oils and essences. These can be used as flavourings in food or as scents in perfume (so next time you’re down the shops buying a bottle of limone e’au de toilette, you know where it’s come from).

The skins can also be dried and used in teabags. Think lemon & ginger. And, if you like a side of jam with your tea and scones, then you’ll be pleased to hear that lemon peel is a key ingredient in pectin, the ingredient that sets the jam and makes it spreadable.

The rest is just leftovers. And who would want a pile of citrus-scented leftovers? Cows, that’s who. Those citrusy leftovers can be made into animal pellets and fed to cattle.

So, quite a useful little fruit really. We love it here at innocent and dedicate a lot of time to making sure we get the sweetest, least bitter juice for our drinks. Our fruit team have recently been in Europe making sure that we’re only sourcing the best tasting lemons (and occasionally making this face).

So, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. And innocent drinks. And perfume. And teabags. And jam. And cow pellets. As the old saying goes.

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