Wyke farms, near Bruton, is a traditional cheddar cheese maker that has been making cheese for over 150 years in a traditional way using wooden maturing boxes.
In 2013 the family firm installed three giant anaerobic digesters to break down organic waste into natural energy. They use the by-products of cheese-making, farmyard manure and waste from other producers, such as apple pomace from local cider mills, to produce electricity and gas.The electricity powers the cheese making and the clean biogas powers the grid which in turn feed the boilers and the local town.
Rich Clothier managing director of Wyke comments on their latest award for their green actions: "This is exciting news – we have been selected as the National Champion in the European Business Awards, in the Environmental and Corporate Sustainability category. Wow. We weren’t expecting that!
Our 100% green strategy has attracted a fair amount of wonderful attention here in the UK but to receive European recognition is a real testament to the team all based here in Somerset who have been committed to achieving the 100% self sufficient status. Our integrated green approach runs through renewable energy, water recovery, green farming and transport and all of our energy is generated from solar and biogas.
We like to say that our Cheddar is ‘made from nature by nature’ because that’s exactly what’s happening here as we turn our farm waste into energy that goes on to power the fridges to keep the milk cool, the cheese production process, the cheese maturing store and even the vehicles moving around the farm."
Due to the success of the initial digesters, and having won numerous awards due to their 'green' plans, Wyke Farms increased the number of units in 2016 and are now exporting energy.