The initial step for the partnership has been to work with a group of First Milk’s dairy farmers in Ayrshire on projects that can boost efficiencies on-farm. After discussing a range of options, the producer group put forward two renewable energy projects.
Firstly, investigating the potential to use wind turbines to generate, use and/or sell electricity. Secondly, exploring the recovery of heat used in bulk milk tanks in order to produce hot water. Morrisons has agreed to support the initial trials for both projects and assist in the rollout to the wider First Milk membership.
First Milk’s chief executive Kate Allum said: “We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and want to reduce energy usage and dependency by our sites and our producers. By working alongside Morrisons on these renewable energy projects, we can introduce members to alternative methods of energy consumption, while delivering financial savings to them that can be reinvested in other areas of their business.
“We will now trial both projects and, following a review, plan to make the technology and learnings available to all our farmers.”
Morrisons head of agriculture David Evans said: “Our partnership with First Milk epitomises what the Morrisons Farm Programme is all about. We’re working directly with farmers and investing in projects that have the potential to deliver long-term benefits to the farming industry.
“The new ‘on-farm’ trials of wind turbines and heat recovery in Ayrshire are particularly satisfying, as these have developed from our earlier research work which identified that dairy farmers could use renewable energy forms to cut annual electricity bills by a third.
“As with other research projects developed through the Morrisons Farm Programme, we’re committed to sharing what we learn from the trials in Ayrshire with the wider farming community.”
Source: First Milk
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