Cabot Creamery Cooperative Receives 2016 National U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been recognized with the 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award for Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced its fifth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards during a ceremony May 11 in Chicago.
The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose sustainable practices positively impact the health and well-being of consumers, communities, animals and the environment.
Cabot Creamery 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. In partnership with Vanguard Renewables and Cabot Creamery Cooperative member, Barstow’s Longview Farm, the closed-loop anaerobic digestion process converts the energy potential in farm and food waste into electricity.
Vanguard is the premier farm-based anaerobic digestion plant owner/operator in the United States committed to Table to Farm renewable energy production. Food waste producers get a safe, clean, and certifiable food waste solution. For the American farmer, Farm Powered™ anaerobic digestion reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 85%, eliminates groundwater contamination from manure and chemical fertilizers, and provides low-cost energy, organic fertilizer, and free heat and hot water to the farm.
The energy generated at Barstow’s is sent in the form of energy credits to offset all of the power needed to make butter at the Cabot Creamery plant in W. Springfield, Mass.
Each year, more than 20,000 tons of food waste is delivered to the anaerobic digester at Barstow’s from food producers, institutions, and users including Agri-Mark/Cabot, Geissler’s Supermarkets, HP Hood, Cains, and Garelick.
The food waste is combined with more than 9000 tons of manure annually from the farm in a 600,000-gallon anaerobic digestion tank. Microorganisms convert sugars, fats, and other compounds into biogas that powers an engine that produces more than 2,200 MWh of renewable energy and offsets 5,500 lbs. of CO2 emissions daily. The byproduct of the process is odor-free, liquid, organic fertilizer, which increases crop yields and eliminates the need for synthetic chemical fertilizers.