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Sustainable practices save Scots firm £375K a year

Angus Forbes, Magdalena Tomczak, Monica Kubowicz of Farne Salmon and Trout, and Gillian Bruce of the VIBES awards.
Angus Forbes, Magdalena Tomczak, Monica Kubowicz of Farne Salmon and Trout, and Gillian Bruce of the VIBES awards.

Scottish processor Farne Salmon and Trout has saved £375,000 a year as a result of improvements in its environmental measures.

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The company, which was rewarded in the Management Large category of the 2016 Scottish Environment Business Awards (or VIBES), combined environmental benefits with innovation and is now recognised as an exemplar in the food and drink sector.

Based in Duns in the Scottish Borders, Farne Salmon committed to tracking its recycling of polystyrene, plastic, food waste and metal over a number of years and through investment in a recycling plant, the food manufacturer has turned a cost into a new source of income.

Between 2014 and 2016, the food manufacturer reduced its waste from landfill from 60 per cent down to 3 per cent. Farne, which is the largest private sector employer in the Borders with a workforce of more than 700, also works with the community to offer businesses and local people a free disposal service for cardboard and polystyrene.

Farne saved £168,000 as a result of efficient tray sealing machinery which saves 13.6 tonnes of waste plastic every year. Automising the process for making its appetiser products has also resulted in 32,000kg less raw materials being required, in turn saving £100,000.

Farne has also reduced water consumption by 13,000 tonnes a year, equating to a saving of £39,000. Salt wastage has been reduced by 355 tonnes by carrying out modifications to machinery which has saved the business £68,000.

Angus Forbes, environmental manager for Farne Salmon and Trout, said: “At Farne we are committed to developing sustainable practices that not only contribute positively to the environment but also to our overall bottom line, which is evident from some of the efficiency savings we have made to date.

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“The VIBES Awards really helped us quantify what we were doing, not just to the rest of business but at a wider level and have been a great way to share best practices with other organisations while meeting like-minded businesses. They have also been a great catalyst to drive on numerous other projects that are making the business more sustainable on a daily basis. Winning an award was not only a great achievement but was a fantastic way for Farne to honour the hard work and commitment of all our employees."

Gillian Bruce, chair of the VIBES, said: “Farne Salmon and Trout have positively demonstrated how small changes like tracking recycling can not only improve Scotland’s sustainability but can also benefit the business’ bottom line.

The VIBES are free to enter and aim to recognise and reward businesses, of all sizes and sectors, which are championing sustainability and employing environmental best practice in their daily activity through improving processes or developing new products and services. Businesses have until 26 May to complete the one-page entry form at www.vibes.org.uk.

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