DOUBLE FOOTPRINT Awards winner Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producer and milk processor, today welcomes Baroness Verma, (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change), to officially open its £1million water recovery plant.
David Warburton, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton and Frome will also be among guests to mark the occasion. The new plant is now fully operational and will enable Wyke to recover up to 95% of its factory wastewater.
This £1.3 million investment is part of the cheese brand’s £10 million long-term sustainability plan, called 100% Green. The Water Recovery Plant consists of a new membrane filtration system, which is installed in the effluent area of its factory and has already reduced factory water consumption by 70%. It will save Wyke Farms up to 850,000 litres of water per day and offers a certain amount of future proofing for the company who believe climate change will make water a valuable resource at certain times of the year, so investing in cutting edge technology, rather than more water extraction or bigger incoming mains is a more sustainable approach.
The launch of its own on-site biogas plant last year saw Wyke Farms become the UK’s first national cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient in green energy. In addition to the Water Recovery Plant, Wyke has continued to make significant impact on further reducing its carbon emissions by fitting solar panelling across its family owned farms and cheese dairy, using electric vehicles for delivery and reducing its packaging waste.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma said: "Harnessing power from farm waste and the sun has not only helped Wyke Farms reduce carbon emissions, it has helped them cut costs and save money on their energy bills.
She continues: "Wyke's new cutting edge water recovery system will now help save thousands of litres of water a day, ensuring the business is self-sufficient in this valuable resource. It's great to see Wyke leading the way in the South West and beyond, and I wish them every success as they drive forward their '100% Green' plans."
Richard Clothier, Managing Director and 3rd generation family member at Wyke Farms, said: “ 100% Green is an ongoing journey that we remain committed to. We are excited to be communicating our ‘green message’ this year alongside all of the other Wyke brand values that shoppers are familiar with. This will ensure that the Wyke Farms will remain a national grocery brand with a unique point of difference.”
The 2nd phase of Wyke Farms’ Anaerobic Digester (AD) project is already in progress and due to launch later this year. This will generate up to £2 million of upgraded biogas per year, ensuring that Wyke Farms buys no gas from grid.
Wyke Farms has been producing its award-winning cheddar for over a century and has grown to become the largest family-owned cheese maker in Britain selling over 14,000 tonnes annually. The company have achieved substantial growth year on year by staying true to the traditional values behind the brand and have become the fastest growing cheddar brand in the UK.
Wyke Farms has 150 years of family farming experience. 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.
The Wyke Farms products are available nationwide and can be found in Asda, Co-op, Makro, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.