1st July 2012, saw Barfoots of Botley, semi-exotic vegetable and sweetcorn growers, become carbon neutral by powering all their factories with energy harnessed from a built in biodigester.
The move builds upon Barfoots of Botley's existing green credentials. Their biodigester, which turns their sweetcorn and farming waste to fuel, was previously used by the national grid to produce the equivalent energy to power 2000 homes a day. With the connection of a private wire to the national grid, Barfoots of Botley are now harnessing this energy to power all their factories negating the need for any outside energy source.
With the surplus energy created by the biodigester, Barfoots are also fuelling the equivalent of 1200 homes up and down the country in a bid to help the UK become more self-sufficient with their energy use.
With plans to introduce six new biodigesters, Barfoots will look to power even more homes with their renewable energy program and will also service local communities as the new biodigesters will be able to process household food waste.
Barfoots are committed to sustainable farming practices and working with communities to reduce our carbon footprint, which is why they have also recently invested in a new electric transportation fleet, which will also be powered by the biodigester. From August, Barfoots will have two electric vans and three electric company pool cars that will be made available for staff use. Each van and car will be able to run for 150 miles on a single electric charge made possible by the biodigester.
With energy made possible from the introduction of the 6 planned biodigesters, this forward-thinking company, have plans to run a carbon natural company car scheme for all staff at their factories to ensure they continue with their green commitment.
Peter Barfoot, Chairman of Barfoots of Botley said: "We are committed to ensure all our farming methods are as environmentally sensitive and sustainable as possible.
"By using clever precision farming techniques and turning waste to fuel with our biodigester we can ensure our factories and farms are powered in a green and environmental way, and can help the UK to cut down on its use of fossil fuels to power and heat homes.
"We hope our biodigester expansion and the introduction of an electric transportation fleet will help us continue in our mission to become 100% carbon neutral and alert the community of West Sussex and across the UK the importance of recycling food waste to ensure we have a brighter and greener future."
Barfoots of Botley grows a range of semi-exotic produce including sweetcorn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and runner beans. Established in the early 1970s by Peter Barfoot, the family business has grown to employ over 200 people today. Barfoots existing customers include the major retailers within the UK and the fast expanding Food Service sector.
They are the UKs biggest producers of corn and farm 60% of their land with sweetcorn.
Barfoots of Botley Ltd follows a regime that cares for the environment and this achievement has been recognised by the variety of awards that have been won by the company over the last few years including:
Leaf Marque Grower of the Year
Leaf Marque Standard
Barfoots of Botley Mission Statement
"To run a viable farming system which is environmentally and socially acceptable, ensuring the continuity of supply of wholesome, affordable food and enhancing the fabric and wildlife of the British countryside."
The company follows a farming regime that cares for the environment; this philosophy has been integrated throughout the whole business from growing the produce through to its processing, packing and sale to the end customer
A biodigester is an anaerobic tank, which digests organic material biologically. When organic material decomposes without oxygen, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Biodigesters combust this methane, ensuring it is not released into the atmosphere, and instead allow it to be used as gas that is used for fuel (cooking, lighting and heating).
For further Barfoots information please visit - www.barfoots.co.uk
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