Not so woolly thinking!

 

Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to global warming, so any activity that promotes reduction in CO2 emissions can only be a good thing. 

 

PepsiCo, one of the largest producers of crisps and potato chips in the world, may well be carbon negative in their potato growing activity within 10 years. The company is converting potato peelings from its Leicester (UK) factory into fertiliser. Using an anaerobic digestor (AD) to convert food waste into electricity, they are able to power their factory and convert the by-product from their AD plant into fertilizer for their potatoes. Future-proofing their potato crop against the risk of carbon regulation makes business sense as well as environmental sense. 

 

We were inspired by the nice work of @David Wilkinson PepsiCo’s Senior Director of European Agriculture and his team and wanted to run our own experiments at one of our farms. 

 

Over the last few years, the price of sheep’s wool has not performed well and sheering sheep is actually more expensive than the sale value of the wool. This has left many farmers making a huge loss. 

 

One farmer decided to innovate with alternative uses for sheep’s wool.  Could it be used to improve soil quality? The wool acts as a natural insulator protecting seedlings against hard frost and soil against UV light. It also helps retain moisture in the soil absorbing rain water and releasing it slowly into the ground.  Genius idea! 

 

We have started the test on a very small scale and have inspired a small but growing following of corporate partners and academics eager for updates and results. Early results are positive and if it proves successful, this could lead to a whole new irrigation system utilising a product what would otherwise have gone to waste. 

 

Our ambition is to connect waste producers with food growers who could utilise the waste in much the same way PepsiCo have with their own potato crop. All brands could play a role here and educate consumers to make smarter choices and reduce waste. 

 

Want to find out more, drop us a line and we’d be happy to chat about this initiative. 

2 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Crispin Beale
May 11, 2021 at 11:28 am

Here, as is so often the case, farming can be part of the solution, not a problem. Clearly there are radically different sorts of agriculture – large corn fed barn based cattle operations where animals never see daylight compared with small local mixed grazed community cattle/sheep farms to cite one example (As everyone would hopefully appreciate, these have radically different environmental footprints but this differentiation unfortunately can get lost in generalisations).. Most farmers care passionately about the environment and their livestock. Facts and data can be selectively picked but as a passionate conservationist (having planted 7000 trees this year alone), and a farmer, I have seen over several decades the huge commitment and benefits that many in the farming community contribute to delivering a sustainable and balanced environment. Working together to exceed “net zero” and eliminate single use plastic (to name another of my pet hates) is fundamental. Well done Citizen Good for pushing this …

Crispin Beale
May 11, 2021 at 11:40 am

Here, as is so often the case, farming can be part of the solution, not a problem. Clearly there are radically different sorts of agriculture – large corn fed barn based cattle operations where animals never see daylight compared with small local mixed grazed community cattle/sheep farms to cite one example (As everyone would hopefully appreciate, these have radically different environmental footprints but this differentiation unfortunately can get lost in generalisations).. Most farmers care passionately about the environment and their livestock. Facts and data can be selectively picked but as a passionate conservationist (having planted 7000 trees this year alone), and a farmer, I have seen over several decades the huge commitment and benefits that many in the farming community contribute to delivering a sustainable and balanced environment. Working together to exceed “net zero” and eliminate single use plastic (to name another of my pet hates) is fundamental. Well done Citizen Good for pushing this …