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British supermarkets are currently working hard to become greener as they cut down on plastic use and attempt to reduce carbon emissions. Lidl is the first major supermarket in the UK to announce that it will soon be selling a carbon-neutral cheese as it moves closer to its environmental goals.
Lidl has announced its plans to create a carbon-neutral cheddar cheese by the end of 2021.
This is part of the supermarket’s wider commitment to tackle carbon emissions across its supply chain.
The move will be a UK supermarket first as no other big food retailer currently sells carbon-neutral cheese.
Lidl is working with one of its suppliers, Wyke Farms, to create the cheese.
Wyke Farms is a cheese manufacturer based in Somerset and its cheeses are already on sale in Lidl, but none of them are carbon-neutral as of yet.
This project is important to Lidl as it said that chilled cheese was the second biggest carbon emitter in its supply chain.
To reach carbon neutrality, the supermarket will work with Wyke Farms to carry out a mixture of sustainable farming, improved business practices, and the purchase of “gold-standard” carbon credits.
By doing this, both companies will aim to save up to 22.5million kilograms of carbon dioxide each year, which is the equivalent of more than 1875 double-decker buses.
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Lidl added it would work with Wyke Farms to help them take “decisive action” to reduce their on-farm emissions in five key areas.
These are feed management, soil and land management, manure management, herd management, and energy management.
Sustainable actions that farmers could soon adopt include cutting down on fertiliser use, converting to deforestation-free feed, and using low food-mile feedstuffs.
Additionally, The Carbon Trust, which works with organisations to help them become more sustainable, will then verify the project to ensure that it is in line with scientific principles.
Customers will start to see labels with Lidl’s carbon neutral pledge on cheddar products from this week.
As well as working together to create a new cheese, Lidl and Wyke Farms are collaborating on a bigger project which aims to achieve carbon neutrality within the whole supply chain by 2030.
The companies’ plans include turning bio-waste from Lidl stores and suppliers into renewable energy to pave the way for a fully sustainable dairy farming model.
Amali Bunter, Head of Responsible Sourcing at Lidl GB, commented on the supermarket’s sustainable projects.
She said: “At Lidl, we’re passionate about making good food accessible for everyone, produced in ways that benefit producers and our planet.
“We are also committed to future-proofing British farming by helping introduce more sustainable practices.
“Our partnership with Wyke Farms is aiming to tackle some of the barriers to addressing carbon-neutrality in farming.
“Developing a closed-loop system requires significant investment, but we believe that this pioneering programme will help set the standard for our supplier practices going forward.”
Richard Clothier, Managing Director at Wyke Farms, added: “I’m hugely excited by this collaborative project.
“It is only by all parts of the supply chain working together that we can hope to address climate change.
“We are delighted that Lidl and our farmer suppliers are on this important journey with us.
“As ‘practical environmentalists’, for the sake of our children, we absolutely have to produce quality cheese products in a way that creates a net positive impact on the environment.”
Meanwhile, Lidl plans to work with other suppliers to help support their goals in reducing carbon emissions too.
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