Poultry giant bags biomass nest egg

The UK's largest producer of free-range chickens has secured new investments to install 86 biomass boilers at its England farm-base by the end of 2015.

Moy Park, which supplies Jamie Oliver ready meals among others, expects to eliminate 18,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year thanks to the new wood-fuelled boilers.

UK and Ireland director Alan Gibson said: “As a renewable energy source, biomass not only ensures our farms are more sustainable, but also delivers additional welfare benefits for the birds, through enhanced environmental conditions on farm. Biomass also improves fuel efficiency which contributes to overall sustainability.

“As a responsible business, sustainable production is central to our long-term strategy and our ambitions to grow the company through delivering higher welfare fresh locally farmed poultry for our customers and consumers.”

The investment will be delivered through renewable energy specialists Land Energy and Cofely and fund manager SDCL backed by the UK Green Investment Bank.

Sustainable schedule

This latest announcement is part of a ‘biomass boom’ at Moy Park, which is Northern Ireland’s largest private sector company.

In recent months, 68 biomass boilers have been installed on Moy Park’s managed farms across Great Britain. In Northern Ireland alone, 280 poultry houses will have biomass heating systems installed by by the first quarter of 2015.

This sustainability focus has already helped the company reduce electricity use by 8% and cut carbon emissions by 11 tonnes year-on-year, according to the firm’s most recent sustainability report.

The report also reveals that Moy Park diverted 96% of waste away from landfill in 2013, thanks to an approach which “sees waste as a valuable resource, a saleable commodity, rather than as an unavoidable cost.”.

Brad Allen

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