Sodexo Live!’s regenerative farm is helping to feed Brighton & Hove Albion fans more sustainably

With the new Premier League season well underway, Brighton & Hove Albion fans are being fed a lot more sustainably, as food waste from the American Express Stadium has started to be sent to a regenerative farm in West Sussex that the club’s venue partner, Sodexo Live! works with. The food waste is then used to help grow future crops and produce that are sent back and used in the club’s kitchens.

Sodexo Live! has had 1.5 acres of exclusive farmland at Full Circle Farms, in West Hoathly, for several years, which uses fully regenerative methods to grow crops and produce. Since working with the farm more than three tonnes of organic vegetables, the equivalent weight to more than 7,600 Premier League footballs, has been used across venues and events where Sodexo Live! operates.

Since August food waste from the American Express Stadium has joined this process and in turn is helping to feed the thousands of fans and guests that visit each week more sustainably.

Once received the food waste is composted on-site, in Full Circle Farm’s mobile composting systems, and once the compost has been at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees for a minimum of two weeks, the machines are then emptied, and the compost is delivered to the farm to feed the soil to help grow the next set of crops. These will include cucumbers, kale, courgettes and onions.

In order to deliver fruit and vegetables to sites within hours of being picked, the produce is harvested in the early morning when the weather is at its coolest, loaded directly into crates, and driven to its destination, arriving at sites by about 8:00 am. The farm delivers the seasonal produce within a 1.5-hour radius, eliminating the need for a refrigerated van, which reduces energy use.

No fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides are used on the farm. Instead, Farmer Tom Morphew, CEO of Full Circle Farms, and his team, build soil fertility using organic compost and manures. This helps improve all ecosystem processes, such as the water cycle and mineral cycle availability. In a highly natural process, animals are also used to manage the land and help restore the soil. For example, a pig will support the turning of the soil and mixing-in of green renewals. This process feeds the nutrients back into the soil to help produce vegetables.

As well as helping to feed fans more sustainably, Sodexo Live!’s partnership with Full Circle Farms also helps to work towards its own CSR aims and objectives. Its target is to be carbon neutral for its own direct operations by 2025, and to reach Net Zero by 2040. Growing the regenerative farm offering will allow Sodexo Live! to achieve these aims and bolsters its Appetite for Action campaign to further reduce food waste.