Press releases

Waitrose celebrates 25 years of Duchy brand

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Duchy Originals, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year as sales for the brand surpass £200 million for the first time.

The brand was created by The Prince to champion organic farming and is known today as Waitrose Duchy Organic, following a groundbreaking partnership established between Duchy Originals and Waitrose in 2009.

The brand has come a long way in 25 years since the first product, the ever-popular oaten biscuit, went on sale. Waitrose Duchy Organic is now the UK's largest own-label organic brand and the second largest UK organic brand overall.

To celebrate its success, Waitrose is launching a competition this week inviting customers to submit their ideas for a main course featuring the organic brand's ingredients. The winner will be invited to a celebratory banquet at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland where their winning dish will be served at a dinner hosted by The Prince of Wales.  Details for the competition can be found in Waitrose Weekend, the supermarket's weekly newspaper, from this Thursday.

Rob Collins, Managing Director, Waitrose, says: 'This 25th anniversary highlights the extraordinary vision of The Prince of Wales. In creating the Duchy brand, he has encouraged more sustainable agriculture and expanded the market for organic food in the UK and around the world. We are honoured to be the custodians of the brand and delighted to have achieved the significant milestone of £200m in annual sales.'

A donation from the sale of Waitrose Duchy Organic products is also given to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation. So far, just over £17 million has been donated to charitable causes, including the Duchy Future Farming Programme, which helps farmers develop more sustainable farming practices and The Prince's Countryside Fund, which works to secure a brighter future for those who live and work in the British countryside.

Based on the core values of 'Tastes Good, Is Good, Does Good', the food is produced without the use of artificial fertilisers and to high standards of animal husbandry.  The use of pesticides and antibiotics is very much restricted.

The current range of Waitrose Duchy Organics available in the UK has grown to 300 products, from bacon to fresh fruit and vegetables to beer. The brand has also proved popular overseas. Products are exported to over 30 countries worldwide, including Japan, Germany, USA, Australia, Dubai and Taiwan.  The biggest selling category internationally is shortbread biscuits.


Notes to editors

The groundbreaking partnership between Duchy Originals, which was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, and Waitrose in 2009 gave Waitrose the right to manufacture, distribute and sell products under the Duchy brand and is built on the principles of Good Food, Good Farming, and Good Causes. A donation from the sale of Waitrose Duchy Organic products is also given to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation to support charitable causes ranging from farming charities and disaster relief appeals to hospices and youth organisations.

The Duchy Future Farming Programme is one project funded by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation from the Royalty received from the sale of Duchy products. The network of farmers is backed by a team from LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Innovation for Agriculture, the Organic Research Centre and the Soil Association, is and supported by Waitrose.

The Programme is delivered by the Soil Association and involves farmers from across the country developing innovative techniques aimed at improving yields and nutritional performance in organic and low-input agriculture.  At its heart is a network of on-farm events, led by farmers and growers, where they share their know-how, work with scientists to design field experiments, and pinpoint practical challenges.

Many of the best ideas in farming have always come from farmers, but very little research funding goes to farmers.  The Duchy Future Farming Programme supports farmers to find solutions that work, both for the resilience of their businesses, and for the environment.

The Programme brings together groups of farmers with researchers from top institutions. The groups receive support and research funding to set up practical 'field labs', and results are published online, meaning as many farmers as possible can benefit.

Waitrose - winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 352 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 63 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards


Enquiries

For more information, please contact:

Waitrose

Hannah Chance
Communications Manager (Consumer) Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 82 6804
Email: Hannah.Chance@waitrose.co.uk

Clarence House

Eva Williams
Eva.Williams@royal.gsx.gov.uk
Telephone:020 7024 5728
Mobile: 07802 676 672
Email: Eva.Williams@royal.gsx.gov.uk