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Seeda helps turn yellow corn green

23 July 2010

Green is the new yellow for Barfoots of Botley, Europe’s largest producer and packer of fresh sweetcorn products, after receiving £750,000 of funding from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).

SEEDA, through the Rural Development Programme for England, helped the West Sussex-based producer purchase a £3.7m Energy Anaerobic Digestion Plant that sustainably manages waste generated from the production of sweetcorn. The plant has safeguard 81 jobs, created 24 jobs and will generate enough electricity to power 2,000 homes throughout the area every year.

Each year, the plant is expected to reduce waste by 28,000 tonnes, produce 8,000 megawatts of electricity and capture and reuse four million gallons on water, which will be used to irrigate growing crops.

Paul Lovejoy, Executive Director for Strategy at SEEDA, says: “This is a fine example of a win-win situation. The plant is sustainable in every sense as it delivers economic, environmental and social benefits. Jobs have been created and safeguarded; waste can now be successfully fed back into the ground to feed crops, and the production of electricity for homes throughout West Sussex supports the South East’s low carbon targets.”

The bio-gas produced from the fermentation of the sweetcorn waste is converted into electricity. The resulting fermented material can then be returned to the land as a fertiliser and soil conditioner reducing the use of artificial fertilizers.

Peter Barfoot, Chairman of Barfoots of Botley, comments: “As one of the first farms in the UK to adopt this technology we believe that the anaerobic digestion plant will change the shape of our business. It will increase profitability and reduce wastage, making it a key factor in the future of farming. We’re pleased to have been supported by SEEDA and look forward to seeing the positive impact the plant will undoubtedly generate.”

For more information please visit www.barfoots.co.uk.


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