Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producer and milk processor, today welcomed Baroness Verma, the parliamentary under-secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to officially open its £1m water recovery plant.
David Warburton, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Somerton and Frome also attended to mark the occasion.
The new plant is now fully operational and will enable Wyke to recover up to 95% of its factory wastewater.
The £1.3m investment is part of the cheese brand’s £10m long-term sustainability plan, called 100% Green.
The Water Recovery Plant consists of a new membrane filtration system, 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 future proofing for the company that believe climate change will make water a valuable resource at certain times of the year.
Investing in this technology, rather than more water extraction or bigger incoming mains is a more sustainable approach.
Last year, Wyke Farms became the UK’s first national cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient in green energy after the launch of its on-site biogas plant.
Wyke has continued to reduce carbon emissions by fitting solar panelling across its family owned farms and cheese dairy, as well as 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.
“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 third 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 second phase of Wyke Farms’ Anaerobic Digester (AD) project is already in progress and due to launch later this year.
This will generate up to £2m of upgraded biogas per year, ensuring Wyke Farms buys no gas from grid.
Wyke Farms products are available nationwide and can be found in Asda, Co-op, Makro, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.