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Carbery’s ‘Farm Zero C’ gets €3m boost

February 22nd, 2023 7:00 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

c4 & c5 Milk volumes increased by 6% in 2019 to 567 million litres, all of which was processed at Carbery’s main headquarters in Ballineen; right – Carbery Group CEO Jason Hawkins reported ‘a solid financial performance’ last year. (Photos: Don MacMonagle)

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THERE was a major boost for Carbery’s sustainability project ‘Farm Zero C’ when the West Cork initiative received a €3m boost from the government this week.

The Ballineen-based group and its partners are to receive the investment for integrated anaerobic digestion and green biorefining development from the Department of Agriculture, as part of Carbery’s sustainability project.

The funding has been jointly awarded to UCD and Munster Technological University (MTU) for the further development of climate neutral farming as part of the Farm Zero C project, which is based at the Shinagh Estates demonstration farm outside Bandon. The project aims to create an economically viable, climate-neutral dairy farm.

Carbery’s director of sustainability Enda Buckley said the group has had a focus since its foundation on creating a circular economy. ‘We are known for using every part of the milk that we process. As part of that circular model, we have had anaerobic digestion on-site in our plant in Ballineen for more than 40 years. We are excited, with the support of the department, to bring that concept of adding value, into the farming model.’

He said the project will extract value from every part of the grass and is an essential component of the model for climate-neutral farming being explored through Farm Zero C. The investment is a great boost, not just for the project, but also for West Cork and farming in general, Mr Buckley added.

The Farm Zero C project was the winner of the SFI Zero Emissions Challenge. The challenge supported academic research teams to work with societal stakeholders to develop innovative ideas aimed at achieving a target of net-zero economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Learn more about Farm Zero C

The Southern Star's deputy editor, Emma Connolly, visited Farm Zero C in Shinagh to speak to project manager Gavin Hunt as part of an In The News podcast episode where she asked farmers about the biggest challenges facing them in 2023.

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