This month our Sustainability Spotlight is shining on the very first winner of the Food Drink Devon Sustainability Pioneer Award for Produce – Langage Farm.
We launched the Sustainability Pioneer Award in association with the Met Office in 2022 to recognise strong and effective sustainable activities being practised by food and drink businesses across Devon.
We looked for three key things 1. new initiatives and innovations 2. commitment to sustainability running through the business, and 3. how these initiatives are communicated and shared within and beyond the business in order to inspire others?
Set in rich grasslands and rolling Devon hills just outside Plymouth, Langage Farm make multi-award-winning creams, yogurts and ice creams using milk from their herd of Guernsey and Jersey cows. Find out why they were worthy winners…
What has Langage Farm done to make the business more environmentally friendly?
Langage Farm is the first carbon neutral dairy in the country with an anaerobic digester (AD). This generates electricity from food waste, which supplies the farm and dairy with its energy needs and produces green energy that goes back into the National Grid. So, it can even supply homes with the power to boil a kettle for their Devon cream tea!
Bio-fertiliser from the AD plant is used on the lush pastures where the farm’s stunning Guernsey and Jersey herd graze. The girls in turn produces the rich Channel Island milk for many award-winning dairy products such as clotted cream, ice-cream and yogurt.
The introduction of the ‘Bokashi’ process at the farm – fermenting organic manures under anaerobic conditions – helps to improve efficiency, reduce reliance on artificial fertiliser and, most importantly, enhance soil health.
Soil health is also being improved by the growing of fodder beet, not only to feed the herd, but to reduce the levels of potassium in the soil.
Find out more about their award-winning system HERE.
Other initiatives on the farm…
Langage Farm has planted 100 trees; some pine, birch and oaks, as well as 300m of hedge rows to help reinstate some biodiversity.
Glass has replaced plastic for yogurts produced for M&S and ALDI, and where plastic is used for packaging, it is 100% recyclable.
Self-supporting water supply
A significant amount of water is sourced from our own borehole.
Use of Fair-Trade chocolate for the flavoured cream project for ALDI.
Installation of solar panels at the farm.
Wildlife management strategy
Including increasing the wildflower planting and the introduction of honeybees. The honey will be used in their yogurts.
How does Langage Farm communicate and share their initiatives to inspire others?
More than 2,000 children have visited Langage Farm and the team has helped develop curriculum projects with over 400 Devon schools in various subjects. Before the pandemic they invited local schools and colleges, international language schools and local community groups to tour the facilities and learn about the anaerobic digestion process and how they generate their own electricity.
Other work with local organisations and educational establishments includes a project with the Ocean Conservation Trust exploring the use of seaweed to reduce methane expulsion by farm animals, and Knowledge Transfer Partnership Projects with students from Plymouth University.
Keep an eye on the Langage Farm website and social media channels where we promote our environmental initiatives and to raise awareness and create conversations about important environmental issues.