We always do what we can to reduce the impact our products and operations have on the environment

Emissions from the agricultural sector result from losses of nitrogen, energy and organic matter. Each of these undermines efficiency and productivity, so lowering a farm’s carbon footprint goes hand-in-hand with increasing efficiency and profitability. We think we can have the best of both worlds. The Co-op protects and preserves the environment by monitoring the impact of farms, sharing best practice and promoting environmental awareness in farm production.

Co-op Environmental impacts

Find out what we’re doing to reduce our impact on the environment. You can also find tips and advice on how to prevent waste around the house.

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We work with agri-environmental specialists Alltech E-CO2 on a farm-level project that improves on-farm efficiency, and cost-effectively reduce our carbon footprint.

Carbon footprint is how we measure efficiency on farms and involves a comprehensive assessment of farm management. Farmers complete an annual assessment through a bespoke self-entry web portal, receiving a report to benchmark and review current farm performance and management practices. This highlights where emissions can be reduced, and efficiency and profits improved.

A bespoke biodiversity survey has also been developed to monitor any environmental improvement measures.

Meet Caroline the beef farmer

Caroline is from Buckinghamshire, where the family farm cattle, sheep and pigs. Their family supply Hereford beef into the Co-op and are therefore part of our Hereford Farming Group. With her parents encouragement, Caroline has taken more and more responsibility in the management and day to day running of the farm and is proving to be a very successful young farmer.

The farm has received a gold rating, the highest level which is based on their performance against the Co-op’s five pillar model which includes:

  1. Health, welfare & quality
  2. Community
  3. Sustainability
  4. Environmental
  5. Ethical & training

As a holder of the Co-op Gold Pillar standard, the Farm is committed to its environmental responsibilities and carries out an annual Carbon Footprint Assessment. Biodiversity is very important on the farm and Caroline and her father monitor wildlife on farm regularly which includes farmland birds, overwintering migrant birds, Buzzards/Kites, Brown hares/Rabbits, Foxes and Muntjac/Chinese Water Deer.

The Farm also hosts school visits where children get a chance to tour the farm, see the animals and crops, and experience a tractor and trailer ride. The overall purpose of the visits is to give children an insight into where their food comes from and how it is produced.

Caroline is also on our Co-op Farming Pioneers Programme which she joined in April 2016 after completing her degree in Agriculture at Harper Adams University.

Caroline supplies beef that, amongst other things, goes to make our burgers. She's planted wildflower meadows around the field margins of her mixed enterprise farm in Buckinghamshire.

The wildflowers look fantastic in the summer months and they’ve certainly increased the number of butterflies on the farm. Our neighbour, who produces honey, has found an increase in production since our wildflowers have been in place so there has clearly been an increase in the number of bees in the area.