Home » Cabot Creamery Receives National U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award

Cabot Creamery Receives National U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award

The staff at Barstow Longview Farm

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:06 pm

Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot, Vermont, has been recognized with a 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability.

The cooperative was selected for its Real Farm Power program, which is the latest in a series of sustainability projects pioneered by the 1,200 dairy-farm families of Agri-Mark dairy cooperative, owner of Cabot Creamery Cooperative. The program recycles cow manure, food scraps and food processing by-products to produce renewable energy on a Massachusetts dairy farm.

Real Farm Power reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 5,680 tons annually while generating 2,200 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean, renewable energy per year to offset the power needed to make Cabot butter. The $2.8 million project is expected to have a six-year payback, and it offers a blueprint for scaling anaerobic digester technology to small- and medium-sized dairy farms.

“Every year in the U.S. it’s estimated that up to 40 percent of all the food produced is thrown away—that’s 133 billion pounds of food,” said Jed Davis, sustainability director at Cabot Creamery. “In partnerships with our farmers we’ve found a way to keep resources, like food by-products, in a continuous cycle of reuse for as long as possible toward a goal of zero-waste-to-landfill.”

An example of the Real Farm Power program can be found at Geissler’s Supermarkets in Connecticut, where food scraps are collected and delivered to Barstow’s Longview Farm In Hadley, Massachusetts. At the farm, the organic material is put into an anaerobic digester that blends it with the farm’s cow manure and food processing byproducts from dairy processing, citrus processing, vegetable canning, breweries, sugar production and more.

In partnership with Vanguard Renewables, the renewable energy produced by the anaerobic digester is sent in the form of energy credits to the Cabot facility in West Springfield Massachusetts, where the farm’s milk is processed, and offsets all of the energy needed to make Cabot butter.

“This process is the ultimate closed-loop recycling model—the food waste from the grocery store goes to Barstow’s Farm and is converted into power and natural fertilizer to make more food that ultimately returns to the grocery store, completing a full-circle cycle,” Davis said.

In total, the farm’s carbon footprint reduction is 5,680 tons per year, which more than offsets its emissions.

The farm receives 14,000 tons of organic food waste in total each year from 15 different food companies, and the process is catching on with other manufacturers – a revolutionary step forward in recycling and reusing food waste in the U.S.


About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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