Packaging of food is another area that can produce unnecessary carbon emissions. We use biodegradable packaging wherever possible for our produce. On the cheese itself we use an innovative clear and breathable wrap made from wood; called Natureflex. We are thinking it is better than the traditional white soft cheese wraps as it aids to keep the cheese maturing gradually. So, not only is this wrap natural, but it also improves our products. It can take up to 450 years for some plastics to fully decompose, however Natureflex will only take up to 60 days and most of the compostable packaging will take up to 180 days, this is a massive difference, timewise, and could make a huge impact on the amount of waste which goes to landfill and ends up staying there for centuries.
There is no hiding from the fact that the agriculture industry is not very environmentally friendly, producing 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK in 2019 as shown on the .GOV website. Though there are some farming methods and habits which can be much more beneficial and a lot less harmful for the environment.
According to a study by The Soil Association ‘organic farming (including milk production) does benefit the environment’ they state that it is‘ better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from sprays, produces less CO2, and produces less dangerous wastes.’ Though it would be great if everyone could switch to organic farming, it is, unfortunately, not realistic in the UK as this method of farming requires much more land to work on which the UK does not have available.
Here at Park Farm we try everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. We have invested heavily in renewable energy, selling locally, and biodegradable packaging.
We have 75kw of solar panels on the roofs of the building and 300kw of biomass boilers which produces most of our energy all year round. We are now exploring capturing the gas released by the cow manure to produce even more of the energy used on the farm, we hope one day to power our tractors and delivery vans with it.
We are all responsible for our environment, even if there are some industries do produce more carbon emissions, we can still make a difference by doing our bit. A great way for consumers to reduce their carbon footprint, is to buy locally.
A large proportion of our cheese and milk is sold either directly from our farm shop or from local farmer’s markets. We also try to stay as local as possible when buying produce for our shop and café. So, to do your bit why not go shopping at your local farmer’s market this weekend.