Somerset dairy farm opens £1m water recovery plant



Cheese producer Wyke Farms has opened a facility in Somerset to recover up to 95% of its wastewater and reduce its ecological footprint, as part of a £10m sustainability drive.

The measure is part of the farm’s 100% Green Initiative, aimed at making the business more sustainable by using renewable electricity and develop anaerobic digestion plants.

The new water facility will allow the farm to reuse over 70% and up to 95% of the water employed for its operations, saving it 850,000 litres of water a day.

Energy and climate change minister Lady Verma, who cut the ribbon on the plant, 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.”

Next year the farm plans to open up its £2m of upgraded biogas per year and slowly become the first cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient in green energy.

Richard Clothier, managing director at Wyke Farms, said, “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 agriculture and food sector has come increasingly under scrutiny, with scientists and MPs warning that unsustainable carbon-intensive diets based on meat and dairy and shortage of agricultural land are threatening food security and the environment.

Further reading:

UK’s food security at risk from climate change and unsustainable diets

Study: food of the future needs to be sustainable and healthy

World needs to sustainably produce 70% more food by 2050

One third of corn grown in water-stressed areas

40% of UK farmers use renewable energy – up from 5% in 2010



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