Repurposing in the Pandemic

We were delighted to read in the Yorkshire Post about how one of our members has adapted to the pandemic by repurposing itself from making pizzas to Yorkshire Handmade Pies.  We wanted to highlight this responsible business on our website also.  Sturdy Foods lost 95% of their turnover almost overnight when the hospitality industry shut down earlier this year, because it had been supplying pizza products to pubs and restaurants.

James Sturdy, owner of Sturdy Foods, cares passionately about social responsibility and giving back to society.  Back in February Sturdy Foods became one of our founder members of the Good Business Charter. James said, on receiving our accreditation:

“Sturdy Foods is delighted to have become a member of the Good Business Charter. Our company vision is to enrich people’s lives through making exceptional food products and we believe holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards is a key part of achieving our company vision and goals. We feel joining the GBC is an important step in the growth of our business.”

Little did any of us know the challenges which lay ahead at that point.  We want to applaud Sturdy Foods for their innovation and successful repurposing of their business.  Yorkshire Handmade Pies uses meat which is produced a couple of miles away from their base in Melmerby, North Yorkshire, and they use beer from the brewery next door.  Expecting customers from Yorkshire they have been astounded to find orders even coming from the Isle of Wight and Northern Ireland.

Such a successful reinvention has ensured Sturdy Foods continues to provide good employment, aligned with our first 5 components around care for employees, but even more than that, James has looked at how they can give back in a meaningful way, which has led them to partner with FoodCycle, a charity which runs projects across the country serving meals made from surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste.  For James, this aligned with his company’s ethos around food wastage, environmental responsibilities and wellbeing beliefs.

It is wonderful to hear of how Sturdy Foods has used innovation, been agile in reinventing itself and is thriving, all whilst prioritising their social and environmental responsibility.  A really good news story in the midst of all the current challenges.  Great job James and team.