A SOMERSET cheese company is cutting an extra 31 TONNES of carbon this year, thanks to a new solar power array.

Wyke Farms, the UK's largest independent cheese producers and producers of renewable energy, has further invested in their '100% Green' sustainability plan, with a new 65kw solar array, positioned on their new cheese storage dispatch building at their Wincanton site.

The new cheese storage is a state-of-the art building where the temperature is controlled at 12 degrees and highly energy efficient. 

Rich Clothier, managing director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, said: "My grandmother's stone maturing barn on the farm stayed at a steady 12C with some small seasonal variations, in our new stores we have replicated that closely in order to keep the recipe as close to hers as possible."

The new storage facility boasts space for 1,762 pallets of cheese, amounting to approximately 2,000 tonnes of additional storage capacity that is required to meet the demands of growing export sales in vintage flavour profiles.

The new store is 2,500 times the size of Ivy Clothier's original cheese store on the farm in Wyke Champflower.

Mr Clothier said: "This is our fifth business solar array set and moves us closer to fulfilling our commitment to position solar on all of our South facing roofs where we use daytime power.

"Reducing carbon is essential for all businesses and this is an easy, cost effective way to do just that." 

He added: "The principles of sustainability are at the heart of all of our business decisions as we can see from the continual development of our green portfolio over the last 10 years. 

"Cheddar is a natural food produced from grass; using the power of nature to age it in a way that has a positive impact on the environment is intuitively the best way to do it."

The investment forms part of the company's ‘100% Green' sustainability plan, through which, they have dramatically reduced their carbon footprint and become the first national cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient using their own energy generated from solar and biogas.  

This latest development is all part of Wyke Farms' journey to become a net positive cheese business. 

Wyke Farms' cheese and butter is made with the milk from their cows grazing the lush pastures of the Mendip Hills in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset.

Wyke Farms products are available in selected Lidl stores and in South West UK ASDA, CO-OP and Tesco stores.