- Lidl and supplier Wyke Farms to create supermarket-first carbon-neutral Cheddar by end of 2021
- Initiative to save 22.5 million kgs of CO2 per year
- Discounter to roll out similar programmes with other suppliers to support carbon reduction ambitions
12th May 2021: – Lidl GB today announces that, alongside one of its longest-standing suppliers, Wyke Farms, it is to create carbon-neutral Cheddar by the end of 2021. This is part of Lidl’s commitment to reduce carbon across its supply chain and support more sustainable farming practices.
In a supermarket-first, the discounter is working directly with Wyke Farms, and its farming base, on the carbon-neutral Cheddar project. Through sustainable working practices, the supplier will aim to save 22.5 million kgs of CO2 per year, the equivalent weight of more than 1,875 double-decker buses. At Lidl GB, chilled cheese is the second(*) biggest carbon emitter in the supply chain.
The Cheddar will reach carbon neutrality by the end of the year, through a mixture of sustainable farming, improved business practices and the purchase of “gold-standard” carbon credits. Lidl consumers will see the discounter’s carbon neutral pledge on Lidl Deluxe Cheddar products as from this week.
Through the programme Lidl will work directly with Wyke Farms farmer suppliers to help them take decisive action to reduce their on-farm emissions. This will be achieved by taking steps in five key areas covering feed management, soil and land management, manure management, herd management and energy management. Specific actions which farmers could adopt include cutting down on fertiliser use, converting to deforestation-free feed or using low food-mile feedstuffs.
An independent third party, The Carbon Trust, will verify the project to ensure the approach taken stands up to scientific principles.
Lidl and Wyke Farms are also working together on a bigger ambition to pioneer a closed-loop system by 2030, which will ensure that carbon neutrality is being achieved from completely within the supply chain itself. As part of this closed-loop system, the programme aims to incorporate carbon captured by Wyke farms through the process of turning bio-waste from local Lidl stores and suppliers into renewable energy, paving the way for a fully sustainable dairy farming model.
Amali Bunter, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Ethical Trade at Lidl GB commented: “At Lidl, we’re passionate about making good food accessible for everyone, produced in ways that benefit producers and our planet.
“We are also committed to future-proofing British farming by helping introduce more sustainable practices. Our partnership with Wyke Farms is aiming to tackle some of the barriers to addressing carbon-neutrality in farming. Developing a closed-loop system requires significant investment, but we believe that this pioneering programme will help set the standard for our supplier practices going forward.”
Richard Clothier, Managing Director at Wyke Farms commented: “I’m hugely excited by this collaborative project. It is only by all parts of the supply chain working together that we can hope to address climate change. We are delighted that Lidl and our farmer suppliers are on this important journey with us. As ‘practical environmentalists’, for the sake of our children, we absolutely have to produce quality cheese products in a way that creates a net positive impact on the environment.”
This project builds on a 25-year partnership between Lidl and Wyke to pioneer sustainable farming and business practices. For example, measures have included paying farmers a bonus to incentivise more sustainable practices, reducing plastic and improving recyclability of cheese packaging.
The discounter plans to work closely with other suppliers in a range of categories to support their carbon reduction journeys.
Notes to Editors
*Second to fresh meat
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl has experienced continuous growth and today has over 25,000 employees, over 800 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales. As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. With a presence in 32 countries around the world, the supermarket, which has more than 310,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 11,200 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 29 countries globally. The family supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €113.3 billion in the financial year 2019.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/
About Wyke Farms
Wyke Farms Ltd is a family run company based in the heart of the Somerset cheddar-making region. The art of traditional cheese making will never be lost on the Somerset farm where the Clothier family have been making cheddar in Somerset since 1861. Today, Wyke Farms is one of the largest independent cheese makers and milk processors in the UK producing over 15,000 tonnes of cheddar per year to the same award winning 160-year-old recipe.
The Wyke Farms brand is the 4th largest brand in the Cheddar category and the only independent company in the top 10 cheese brands with retail sales of over £60 million. Wyke Farms cheese and butter is available in over 160 countries world-wide and the company won the ‘Food and Drink Federation’ Award for Export, 2021.
Wyke remains a truly traditional family business. Ivy’s grandsons Richard and Tom now run the cheese making operations with their father John, whilst her other two Grandsons David and Roger run the family dairy farming operations. The four grandchildren share Ivy’s passion for cheese making where flavour, texture and taste are paramount. They believe that this attention to detail is the reason that their cheese has won more awards at national cheese shows than any other.
Wyke Farms are committed to sustainable farming and are proud to be the UK’s first national cheddar brand to become 100% self-sufficient in green energy. Wyke Farms sources all of its electricity and gas from both solar and biogas, generated from the farm and dairy waste. The biogas energy is generated from its own anaerobic digester (AD) plant, which saves Wyke Farms over 20 million kilos of carbon dioxide per annum. The company are now Europe’s most sustainable business1.
They have received national and international recognition for their on-going commitment to sustainability, and have won numerous awards including:
- International Ambassador – Insider’s South West International Trade Awards
- Green Innovation and Finance Awards 2017 – Winner - Business Leader of the Year
- European Business Awards – Environment & Corporate Sustainability Category – European Champions 2015/2016
- The Renewable Energy Association Winner - Sustainability Category
- Insider “Made in the UK” Awards
- Winner of the Grocer Gold Awards – Green Initiative of the Year 2016
- The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016
- Winner of the Sustainable Futures category at the IGD Awards 2015
- Waitrose Way Awards 2015 – Treading Lightly Reducing CO2 – Winner
- Winner of the Food & Drink Federation ‘Environmental Leadership’ Award 2015
- National Champion representing the UK in the 2015/16 European Business Awards – Environmental & Corporate Sustainability
- UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards – Best On Farm AD Project –Winner
- The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2015 (Winner in Carbon & Energy Management)
- The Footprint Awards 2015 – Sustainable Use of Natural Resources (Winner)
- The Footprint Awards 2015 – Energy Efficiency Award (Finalist)
- IFE World Food Innovation Awards 2015 Winner Best Corporate Social Responsibility Category
- National CSR Awards 2015 - Environmental Leadership Award (Winner)
- Farm Business Cream Awards – Cream Award – Highly Commended
- The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014 (Winner in Waste Innovation Category)
- Waitrose Way Awards 2014 - Treading Lightly for Water – Winner
- Waitrose Way Awards 2014 - Treading Lightly for Carbon – Winner
- Short-Term Payback Award (Runner Up)
- Insider Made in the UK – Green/Sustainable Manufacturer Award (Winner)
- 2degrees Sustainable Business Champions 2014 (Energy & Carbon Management)
- The UK & Biogas Industry Awards for Best AD Plant in the Food & Drink Industry (Winner)
- The Grocer Green Supplier of the Year Award 2014
- The Footprint Awards 2014 - The Energy Efficiency Award (Winner)
- The Footprint Awards 2014 - Economic Sustainability Award (Winner)
- The Manufacturer Awards – Manufacturing in Action (Finalist)
- The World Dairy Innovation Awards 2013 – Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative (Finalist)
- The BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2013 (Highly Commended)
Managing Director Rich Clothier has been recognised for his passion and commitment to sustainability. He won the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2013 ‘Personality of the Year’, The UK & Biogas Industry Awards ‘AD Hero of the Year’ and Farmers’ Weekly ‘Sustainable Farmer of the Year’ 2014 Award.
1 As granted by the European Business Awards.