MILLBROOK, Cornwall, England – 2 November 2015 – Grayhound Lugger Sailing, which provides sustainable cargo transport onboard the only 18th century lugger sailing ship in the world, announced that Grayhound is now flying the flag of sustainable cargo, along with Netherlands-based Fairtransport Shipping and France/Breton-based shipping company Trans Oceanic Wind Transport (TOWT).
By joining with up to twenty small businesses to create the Sailing Cargo Alliance (SCA), Grayhound Lugger Sailing, one of the world’s first modern day low emission sailing companies, is strengthening its already fierce commitment to sustainable shipping.
Back to the future
For those unfamiliar with Grayhound, she is a replica of an 18th century three-masted Cornish lugger sailing ship. When she carries organic ale, wine, tea and honey across the English Channel, she does so in the tradition of sailors hundreds of years ago: with minimal engine usage. The products transported are labeled individually to identify the specific amount of CO2 emissions saved, as well as route characteristics. (See the TOWT website http://www.towt.eu/144-the-des-acores/)
One cargo run alone can save up to 5 tonnes of CO2.
“Onboard Grayhound, we are passionate about treading as lightly as possible on our planet’s resources. We wanted to start a small family run business that would reflect this, so operating as a sailing cargo ship is ideal. We are actively living it, while offering others a practical way to get their specialist goods to market while reducing the release of harmful emissions,” said Freya Pomeroy-Rowden, Partner at Grayhound Lugger Sailing. “With the support of Fairtransport and TOWT, we are very excited, especially with regard to what it means to the future of sailing cargo and low emission transport and our ability to contribute to it. Together we are stronger and more powerful. Plus, as neighbouring countries, we work together in to support one another through the SCA,” she added.
Practically speaking, the French broker TOWT organises the UK and Breton products that the ship carries. Grayhound’s own office will assign the cargo crew that it receives, with the help of its agents. As a result, Grayhound is well supported, so that she can do what she does best: transport cargo safely and efficiently, while TOWT liaises with the cargo owners and organises the best shipping option and market for this specialist service.
Ethical organic cargo sails across Channel using low emissions
Sailing low emission cargo is just part of the story. The cargo that Grayhound carries in her hold is distinctive. Organic wines, ales, tea and food – such as Muscadet and Bordeaux bio dynamic wines, specialist local Breton tinned sardines, salted caramel and honey- that have been organically produced by merchants who want to ensure that their goods are transported to market via clean shipping. Since May, Grayhound has sailed nearly 20 tonnes of cargo from West Country ports Brixham, Plymouth and Falmouth to Douarnenez and Nantes in France. A selection of organic Bordeaux and Muscadet wines travelled across the Channel to Falmouth, destined for Cusgarne Organic Farm near Truro, near the Cornish coast. The last delivery took place in September when three tonnes of wine were offloaded for the winter trade.
Looking ahead, the service will resume at Easter. Grayhound’s new 2016 schedule is now online and will sail eight cargo runs from April to October the 2015 model.
Sparking discussion, raising awareness
Freya and her husband, Marcus Pomeroy-Rowden, Partner at Grayhound Lugger Sailing, became aware of Fairtransport when they saw one of its fleet, the brigantine Tres Hombres, sailing and working. “Ever since, we wanted to work with Fairtransport. We all have very similar values and are working ships, loading and offloading cargo,” said Marcus.
For Marcus and Freya, cargo sailing is much more than delivering goods safely and on time. “It is our hope to make our trainees and onlookers think, if but for a second, ‘there really are people out there doing something that challenges old ways and breaks the mould.’ If what we do simply kickstarts a discussion, then it is worth it. Working with our buyers and producers, we take pride in trying to achieve ‘fair transport.’ It’s what we are all striving towards. We look forward to sailing with more trainees next year and building sail cargo’s future,” added Marcus.
Merchants interested in shipping cargo sustainably across the English Channel should contact TOWT or Grayhound. Individuals keen to join as a trainee or crewmember on the Grayhound should visit Grayhound’s website www.grayhoundluggersailing.co.uk