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Cheddar cheese maker becomes self-sufficient

Cheddar cheese maker becomes self-sufficient

Cheesemaker Wyke Farms announced that it has become 100 per cent self-sufficient in green energy on the back of opening its brand new £4 million biogas plant at its Bruton site in Somerset.

The plant, which took around five years to build, will convert as much as 75,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste materials each year to produce energy and gives the firm the ability to source its entire supply of electricity and gas.

Most of the energy will come from biogas and solar power, while the plant will also place any excess power into the national grid.  

As well as the £4 million spent on the plant, Wyke Farms has confirmed that it plans to spend a further £6 million on developing solar power and water recycling facilities throughout its farms and dairy.

Richard Clothier, managing director at Wyke Farms, said that the company was committed to energy efficiency and was proud to be one of the first national food brands to be self-sufficient.

He stated: “We aim to operate our business in a way that has minimal impact on the Somerset environment and create a truly symbiotic relationship with the countryside."

Mr Clothier added that concepts such as sustainability and taking care of the environment was becoming an increasingly important concern for many consumers across the UK, while such an approach also made financial sense to the firm.

"We can now take the cow waste, which has inherently been a problem, and turn it into pure, clean energy to drive all our own needs and more. This in turn leaves a natural fertiliser that we can plough back into the land to invest in the future health and wellbeing of our cattle – and so that cycle starts again.”

Wyke Farms is currently the country's largest family-owned cheesemaker, and sells over 14,000 tonnes of produce to more than 160 countries.

The firm recently featured in an advert for South African television, which starred celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.

 

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