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The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has recognized Noblehurst Farms Inc. in Linwood, NY with an award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Partnerships as part of the organization’s fifth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. The 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.
Noblehurst Farms was recognized with the community partnership award for its food waste cooperative, which was created by Chris Noble. Noble represents the seventh generation of leadership at Noblehurst Farms, where he holds the title of vice president. Noble had the vision to do the right thing with food waste by getting it out of landfills and back into the system. Through the cooperative, food waste and scraps from Wegmans Food Markets stores, as well as universities and schools, are gathered and delivered to a digester at the dairy farm that harvests methane gas from the food scraps and manure to create electricity, liquid fertilizer for crops, and dry materials that can be used for animal bedding. The collaborative effort not only keeps tons of food waste out of landfills, but also provides enough energy to power the entire dairy operation.
“We started collecting food waste from six Wegmans grocery stores a little more than two years ago,” Noble said. “While Wegmans does a simply phenomenal job with its food donation program, in the end, there’s still food that can’t be eaten by people – things like melon rinds or orange peels. That’s where we come in. Currently we’re taking in food waste from more than 30 Wegmans stores throughout Western and Central New York.”
Through its food scraps collection affiliate Natural Upcyling, Noblehurst Farms and its food waste recycling partners divert 500 tons of waste from local landfills per month, eliminating 409 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 1,046 cars off the road.
“We truly value our partnership with Noblehurst and all the benefits it offers to everyone involved and throughout the community. The process is easier, safer and more efficient for our people, it reduces carbon emissions generated by landfills, helps farmers in our community achieve their sustainability goals, and creates a whole new business model for farmers and food waste haulers, adding jobs to our region,” said Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans sustainability manager. “This is the very definition of sustainability and a project that the whole community can feel good about.”
“This year’s honorees have truly integrated sustainability into their businesses to achieve not only economic success, but also to support the well-being of their communities and our planet,” said Barbara O’Brien, president of the Innovation Center. “Their achievements throughout the value chain, both large and small, significantly advance the dairy community’s leadership in sustainable business practices.”
For more information about Noblehurst Farms, visit www.linwoodag.com/noblehurst.html. To learn more about the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, the winners and the best practices in place at their operations, visit DairyGood.org.
The Innovation Center, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, aligns the collective resources of the industry to offer consumers nutritious dairy products and ingredients, and promote the health of people, communities, the planet and the industry. American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. is the local promotion and management organization funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars. We work closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ and are responsible for increasing demand for U.S. - produced dairy products on behalf of New York, northern New Jersey, and northeastern Pennsylvania dairy farmers.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 88-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years, ranking #4 in 2016.
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