Duncan Farrington, a fourth-generation farmer in Northamptonshire, has produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, 20 years ahead of the agricultural industry’s target.
Mr Farrington grows and processes cold-pressed rapeseed oil on his 290ha Bottom Farm, near Hargrave, where it is sold under Farrington Oils’ “Mellow Yellow” brand name.
The net zero pledge was made by Mr Farrington as soon as he possibly could, as he says the environment is at the heart of his business.
“This is not just a box-ticking exercise for us. We have always looked for ways to be more sustainable, so it made sense to take the official steps to become certified carbon and plastic neutral,” he explains.
With farmers managing their farms in a genuinely sustainable manner, it is perfectly achievable for UK agriculture to become carbon neutral by 2040, he advises.
Partnering with One Carbon World and the Woodland Trust, Mr Farrington has offset all carbon emissions used to produce and package his rapeseed oil by planting trees, improving soils and installing solar panels, which now generate more than half of the business’ total energy requirements.
Andrew Bowen, CEO of One Carbon World, says Farrington Oils’ commitment to carbon neutrality marks a significant step towards a global change.
“As the first farm to take this step, Farrington Oils have made a ground-breaking commitment that will inspire other companies around the world to take action and become carbon neutral.”
Farrington Oils has also achieved plastic neutral status by partnering with rePurpose Global to remove the same amount of plastic waste from the environment as the business uses in packaging.
“We will continue to improve our system and aim to become carbon negative through sustainable farming practices where our soils are locking in carbon dioxide, planting more trees and creating more inviting wildlife habitats,” says Mr Farrington.