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Sustainability at Elsoms

‘Growing more, from less’

As we confront pressing challenges such as the growth of the global population, the banning of chemicals, and the scarcity of available land for farmers, our company goal – ‘Growing more, from less’ couldn’t be more relevant. With a focus on sustainability, and corporate social responsibility, Elsoms intends to confront these challenges head on.

Elsoms and Norman Borlaugh

Our mission – ‘Growing more, from less,’ is driven by the spirit of Dr. Norman Borlaug, the visionary plant breeder. His pioneering work transformed agriculture and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. Dr. Borlaug’s innovations enabled billions of people to be fed. By introducing semi-dwarf wheat varieties, he dramatically increased yields, offering a blueprint for future plant breeders and innovators. This resonates deeply with our own commitment to sustainability, ‘Growing more, from less’.

How we will do it – As a company

Research and Development Focus

Recognising the urgency of our mission, a quarter of our dedicated team is immersed in research and development. Alongside our own lab team, we fund research projects that explore innovative ways to create better varieties. Our collaborative efforts are driven by a commitment to environmental and social responsibility, echoing Dr. Borlaug’s ethos of finding solutions to global challenges through science and innovation.

Addressing Contemporary Challenges

With restrictions on fertiliser and chemical use compelling farmers to reassess their inputs, and the growing global population placing unprecedented demands on food production, the need for higher-yielding, low input varieties has never been more critical. At Elsoms, our breeding programs are at the forefront of addressing these challenges. We strive to develop varieties that not only maximise yield but also minimise, chemical dependency, and fertiliser usage. By embracing the spirit of ‘Growing more, from less’, we aim to empower farmers with sustainable solutions that meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.

OSR plant being picked for breeding


The CHCx3 project is a collaborative effort funded by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), aimed at pioneering a carbon marketplace framework. This innovative project not only aligns with Elsoms’ commitment to sustainability but also seeks to bolster the viability of natural fibre crops such as flax and hemp. These crops offer a myriad of environmental benefits, including improved soil health, reduced input requirements, and carbon sequestration. By participating in such initiatives, Elsoms contributes to the preservation of our planet while fostering a sustainable agricultural landscape.

Elsoms Trees

As part of the Elsoms group, Elsoms Trees stands as a beacon of provenance-focused nursery practices. Nestled in Scotland, this nursery epitomises the ethos of “right seeds, right plants, right place.” Through meticulous attention to detail and a steadfast commitment to quality, Elsoms Trees collaborates closely with organisations like the Woodland Trust, cultivating native tree species destined to enrich woodlands across the UK. Their mission, succinctly encapsulated, revolves around providing superior-quality tree seedlings to fuel the expansion of the UK’s woodland creation and forestry sectors. With a fusion of technical expertise, staff proficiency, and cutting-edge production techniques, Elsoms Trees strives to maintain a competitive edge in the realm of sustainable plant supply, thereby contributing to the greener future we envision.

How we will do it – As a team

Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our plant breeding work. Alongside our efforts to develop innovative plant varieties, we’ve also established a dedicated sustainability team. This team has been instrumental in implementing a range of internal initiatives aimed at enhancing sustainability practices throughout our operations. From reducing waste to optimising energy usage, these initiatives underscore our unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Reducing Waste

We’ve streamlined our operations by cutting down on office bins, transitioning from one per desk to one per office. This simple change saves an estimated 5,000 bin bags per year, aligning with our goal to minimise waste.

Embracing Digital

Our marketing team has gone digital, utilising tools like Trello and MS Teams to eliminate paper waste and reduce clutter. This shift has resulted in a huge reduction in paper usage, demonstrating our dedication to sustainability.

Promoting Reusables

We’ve bid farewell to disposable cups at our drink machines, introducing reusable staff mugs instead. This move alone has saved an estimated 25,000 cups per year!

Reduced Lighting

By removing excess lights in our warehouse, we’ve significantly reduced our energy consumption and cut down on our carbon footprint.

Organic Seed

Collaborating closely with organic seed providers and growers, we have curated an organic portfolio to meet diverse agricultural needs sustainably. Elsoms is proud to be the exclusive organic seed distributor for the world leading organic seed producer, Bejo.

2 people inspecting a parsnip field

Join Us

Join us as we honor Norman Borlaug’s legacy and strive towards a more sustainable future. Together, we are ‘Growing more, from less’ and paving the way for a greener and more abundant world.