Wyke Farms’ ‘Net Positive Farming’ sustainability study finds that eating cheddar from Somerset could cut your cheese consumption carbon footprint by 55%.
Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producers and producers of renewable energy, today release the results of a study undertaken with their milk supply base to assess the on-farm carbon footprint of milk production on their own farms and in their supply chain.
The project included measurement and assessment of a pilot group of farms who supply milk to Somerset based Wyke Farms, which included their own family farms and Michael Eavis’s world famous Worthy Farm, home of the Glastonbury Festival. Working with Promar International and utilising their in-house tool designed in line with IPCC methodology (2019 refinement), the assessment covered emissions from management of livestock, including heifer rearing, for milk production to ‘farm gate’. Additional questions to the GHG Emissions data set were asked to provide a wider view of the sustainability of the farm business including the following: Animal health and welfare, waste management, land management, water efficiency and energy efficiency.
The results found that the Wyke Farms Pilot Group was 1.12 kgCO₂(e)/kgFPCM, significantly lower than the UK average of 1.55 kgCO₂(e)/kgFPCM *¹ and 55% lower than the global average of 2.5 kgCO₂(e)/kgFPCM *²
The Wyke Farms pilot result was also compared to three Promar Carbon Benchmark data sets of conventional farms who operate similar systems, showing that the Wyke Farms Pilot group is lower by 0.2 kgCO₂(e)/kgFPCM than the closest data set average. This indicates that the pilot farms are delivering an effective performance based on the information provided, maintaining low emissions against production targets for the individual farm.
The pilot is the first phase of the Wyke Farms ‘Net Positive Farming’ project to work with their milk producers to reduce emissions. Rich Clothier, Managing Director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, says: “Somerset, is the true home of Cheddar cheese and is the best place in the world for dairy farming where we can work in synergy with our environment, rather than having to fight against it. Just by getting all our milk supplying farms up to the best 10% we can save 100k tonnes CO on the cheese we make. We are committed to a carbon neutral future for dairying – it is the only way forward.”
Wyke Farms having spent the past 15 years integrating sustainability into the business and:
- Generate all required gas and electricity from renewables
- Are one of the UK’s largest independent generators of green gas from waste
- Produce natural fertilisers for local farms
- Recover up to 90% of water
*¹Ecoinvent Data 3.7.1.
*² FAO: http:www.fao.org/3/ca3165EN.pdf
Wyke Farms’ cheese and butter is made with the milk from their cows grazing the lush pastures of the Mendip Hills in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset.
Wyke Farms branded products are available in selected Lidl stores and in Southwest UK ASDA and Tesco stores. All products are available online at: www.wykefarms.com/shop
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