Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Green Memo: 'His Royal Greenness' Britain's Prince Charles Reveals His Prized 38-Year Old Austin Martin Now Runs on Fuel Made From Wine and Cheese

Britain's Prince Charles, who in addition to conducting his regular duties as the male head of the Royal Family also is the founder of the fast-growing United Kingdom-based Duchy Originals premium, organic foods company, revealed yesterday he has converted his prized 1970 Austin Martin DB5 motor car (pictured above) to run on biofuel, produced from surplus white wine and cheese.

The Austin Martin was a 21rst birthday present to the UK's leading environmentalist from the Queen Mum.

The fuel for Prince Charles 38-year old Austin Martin DB5 comes from Greenfuels in Gloucestershire, and is made from surplus white wine from a vineyard in Wiltshire, and whey obtained from local cheesemakers.

Some time ago the Prince was telling friends he desired to run his pristine Austin Martin DB5 on biofuel, but said he wondered if doing so was possible since the car is 38 years old.

Austin Martin, the producers of the car, heard "His Royal Greenness" wanted to be able to run the car on biofuels, so they contacted Greenfuels for help. The alternative fuel company hatched a scheme in which it obtained 8,000 litres of surplus UK-produced white wine from a vineyard in Wiltshire, which they purchased for only ~1-p (British pound) per-litre.

Greenfuels then ran the surplus white wine through their distillery. By boiling off the wine's 11% alcohol content, the green fuel firm said it ended up with hundreds of gallons of 99.8% pure ethanol. They then topped the near 100% pure ethanol off with fermented whey, a by-product of cheese making, which they obtained from local cheesemakers.

Once the wine and cheese-based fuel was produced, auto company Austin Martin says it merely gave the carburetors on the Prince's Austin Martin DB5 a special tune up, which allowed more fuel to get into the engine, and "His Royal Greenness" was good to go in his wine and cheese biofuel-powered car. The biofuel is a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol.

By converting his prized Austin Martin, which the Prince says he only drives on special occasions, to biofuels, the Prince, organic gentleman farmer, and organic foods industry pioneer, continues to burnish his green credentials as not only the UK's top environmentalist, but most likely the greenest royal in the world.

Prince Charles operates his Duchy Originals premium organic food company, 100% of the profits of which he gives to various charities, on the Duchy of Cornwell Estate. The estate's business includes organic farming, the premium, organic foods company and a "green" garden tools business (which is part of Duchy Originals.)

The company is doing very well indeed. The profits from the Duchy of Cornwell Estate, the majority which comes from the Duchy Originals premium organic food company product sales, increased by 7% in the last fiscal year, to ~16.3 million-p (British pounds).

Duchy Originals continues to grow, both in distribution and by the regular addition of new products, including one of the latest new lines, ready-to-eat gourmet sandwiches made using all organic ingredients. The Prince recently hired a new CEO, who comes from the UK-based food and beverage giant Cadbury PLC, who plans to eliminate some of the less popular of the now 300 items in the Duchy Originals line and grow the company by focusing on top performers, newer niche products, and increased international distribution.

Numerous Duchy Originals food and grocery products are gaining increased distribution in upscale supermarkets, specialty stores and natural foods markets in the U.S., as well as throughout Europe, India and elsewhere in the world.

The Prince uses all UK-produced organic ingredients in the Duchy Original brand food products, which range from packaged biscuits, snacks, fresh breads and organic fresh milk, to fresh meats, condiments, preserves, fresh soups, deserts and more. Click here for a complete list of the Duchy Originals products, including the body care and garden tools lines.

The Prince, who is a major advocate of sustainable and organic farming in the UK and globally, also is a major supporters of Britain's farmers, along with being a chief spokesperson for buying locally-produced foods in the nation.

Since the surplus wine and whey used to make the biofuel are both produced in the UK, as well as the fuel being distilled locally, "His Royal Greenness" not only is upping his already solid green credentials by converting the Austin Martin, which was once British Secret Service Agent James Bond's (Agent 007), car of choice, to run on the biofuel, the Prince also is further burnishing his "local" credentials at the same time. It's hard to get much "greener" than that.

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