Once upon a time, the word "green" simply identified a section of the colour spectrum.
Today, of course, "green" implies a huge spectrum of ideas, practices, and philosophies. "Green" is a priority, and the focus on being green—environmentally responsible and proactive—is growing.
Flanagan Foodservice is committed to the cause. The company is proactively "green" on a number of fronts.
The brand new, 65,000 square foot addition to Flanagan's Kitchener headquarters includes many environmentally friendly innovations, including using heat generated by compressors to heat the freezer floor; a system that collects rainwater, used for washing trucks and defrosting freezers; and an environmentally friendly roof.
However, important though those features are, there are other, much more direct ways in which Flanagan's focus on green impacts in positive ways on Flanagan customers.
Flanagan is involved in the emphasis on marketing locally grown produce, whenever possible.
The Roseland Produce arm of the company states proudly that it "has supported local farmers since 1978." Roseland offers "home-grown produce" year round, fully listed and illustrated on its website. The company says, "We understand the importance of produce to your menu, and work diligently to ensure you are able to satisfy your customers' desires." Flanagan President Dan Flanagan notes that a lot of effort has gone into identifying the precise source of products. "We've been working to have our suppliers identify our products, as to where they come from. We've put a lot of time and effort into getting this information from our suppliers."
One of the newest eco-innovations at Flanagan's is a Green Catalogue. Marketing Representative Jackie Oakes is the point person on this environmental initiative; she says that everything green is developing so quickly that it is a challenge to keep current with all the opportunities that are now available to clients.
Highlighting those opportunities for their customers is a priority with Flanagan's.
She points to a wide range of products that are seeing "green" developments on an ongoing basis, from chemicals to cutlery to packaging. All of this will be outlined in the green catalogue.
Dan Flanagan sees "green" as a vital concern of the foodservice business. "We are getting an ever-growing demand from our customers for products that are biodegradable or recycled materials," he says. "All these component are being requested by our customers."
He notes that the most significant barrier facing businesses that want to go green—the extra cost—is starting to lessen or even disappear. "Prices are not yet competitive with non-environmentally friendly products, but they're getting closer. If the demand continues to grow, ultimately it will be very price competitive. And that's not too far off, either."
Flanagan says many companies are emphasizing eco-products. Both he and Oakes point to Cascades, which supplies paper products, as an industry leader. Says Flanagan, "Cascades is one of the companies that has done a lot."
Ask your sales representative for your copy of the green catalogue; offering more opportunities to make it easy to be green.