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At Cotteswold Dairy we are always striving to do everything we can, in every aspect of our business, to be as sustainable as possible. Our sustainability measures include initiatives around farming, transportation, products and packaging and waste.
Working with Local Farms
We work with local farmers to reduce our food miles and in doing so support the local farming industry in the areas in which we operate. All of our farms are within a 60-mile radius of our production site in Tewkesbury; our Conventional Farmers, who make up 67% of our milk output, are all located within a 50-mile radius.
All of our farmers are required to have Red Tractor Certification as well as other certifications (where applicable), such as Organic Certification for our Organic milk. These certifications ensure that our farmers have strict environmental rules they should abide by, meaning that the environmental impact of their farming is kept to a minimum. To maintain this certification, our farmers are regularly audited to make sure that not only do they comply, but that there is a high level of animal welfare on their farms.
We are working towards making our transportation as sustainable as possible to reduce our carbon footprint and our fleet emissions. Some of the things we do as a business include the following:
We have been using electric milk floats to deliver to our doorstep customers for over 70 years and where possible, we use electric over non-electric floats
We have purchased new refrigeration units for our curtain lorries that are top of the line in the industry and are 35% more efficient than alternative options on the market
We have implemented a strict collection policy to ensure we recover and obtain, where possible, all glass bottles and returnable delivery items such as cages, crates, and pallets so we can reuse them
We use telematics in our fleet to ensure we are taking the most efficient route
Our drivers are trained to drive as economically as possible
Our Products and Packaging
Cotteswold Dairy has been putting milk in glass bottles ever since 1938, which are collected from our customers then washed, sterilized and reused around 30 times before being recycled and made into new glass bottles. We encourage all of our Doorstep customers to choose glass and we work with local schools, businesses and cafes to reduce their single-use plastic by choosing our glass bottles. This is also encouraged by our participation in the local ‘Plastic Free Cheltenham’ initiative. We not only serve milk in glass bottles but fruit juice, milkshakes and water too.
When glass is not an option for businesses, we try to encourage the use of a pergal machine – a milk dispensing machine which can hold up to 24 pints of milk, thus reducing plastic waste.
Our other main source of product packaging is poly bottles, which are 100% recyclable. In the UK, poly bottles are recycled in a closed-loop, meaning that the bottle you put in the recycling bin can be made into a new plastic bottle. The labels are then washed off during the process and sent with other non-recyclable items for EFW (Energy From Waste).
If you want to learn more about our product packaging and recyclability, please click here to see our recyclability chart.
Our Waste Management
Cotteswold Dairy is a part of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Initiative, which is run by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). This initiative was set up to help businesses reduce food waste by monitoring and providing analysis of where a business stands against other businesses in the industry. This analysis then allows us to make better decisions to help reduce our food waste, whether that be an improvement in processes, training or investments in new technology.
Where possible if we have any excess or close to code products we donate these to the local food banks to ensure food is not wasted unnecessarily.
Are you looking to reduce your food waste? Here are some things you can do as a consumer to reduce your food waste.
Check that your fridge temperature is at a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius, this will help slow down the spoiling of food and drink
Keep frozen and refrigerated goods together in a shopping bag after grocery shopping. Keeping the cold items together helps maintain a lower temperature and stops them from warming up on the journey home
If you have items that are about to expire and they are suitable for freezing, freeze them for a later date
Use up leftover vegetables to make a pasta sauce vs throwing them away
For more information check out the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) pages on reducing food waste, including the love-food-hate-waste initiative, link below:
We pride ourselves in adhering to a duty of care, meaning we have a code of practice for all wastes we produce. Therefore, we only work with licensed and certified companies to collect, transport and process waste. We also ensure that they keep records of our waste activity for monitoring and accountability purposes which we then measure against the UK dairy sector along with our water, electricity and gas usage per litre of milk.
Before our waste is collected, we allocate our materials into different groups to maximise recyclability. Where our waste streams cannot be recycled, solutions which are alternative to landfill have been put in place, for example, energy production from waste which can then reduce the demand for fossil fuel burning.
We also have an ETP (Effluent Treatment Plan) on our production site which separates our wastewater into clean water and effluent sludge. This is then used by a local anaerobic digester which generates electricity and bio-fertiliser, which is proven to be more eco-friendly than electricity from fossil fuels or synthetic fertiliser.
These initiatives gained us zero waste to landfill in 2018.
Around the Business
Staff are encouraged to recycle into bins that are provided throughout the workplace and our confidential paper waste is collected by a company that shreds and recycles it.
Staff can use a cycle to work scheme.
We are a member of the dairy Roadmap which unities those in the supply chain of the dairy industry, defining targets and producing reports on the progress that the industry is making on environmental matters, which we use to set our targets.