Jul 30th, 2016
5 mins

Foodservice company makes history with new electricity supply

JMP New Electricity SupplyCumbria-based JMP Foodservice has become the first company in the UK to begin using electricity directly supplied by a small-scale on-farm dry anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

Birks Farm, which is next door to the JMP Foodservice depot on Birks Lane, Sedbergh, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, installed the AD plant in 2015. The system processes farm waste and generates electricity and heat. In addition, it produces a high-quality fertiliser that is used on crops.

JMP Foodservice, a leading foodservice supplier in Cumbria and the north west, first started to receive electricity at the end of June, and the family-run business now benefits from a reduced energy bill.

Its sales director Shaun Atherton said: “For us, the benefits of using the electricity produced by Birks Farm extends beyond the decrease in our energy bill.

“We have always been seeking to reduced our carbon footprint and help improve the environment. We have quite a high electricity usage on site due to our fridges and freezers related to our operations.

“We looked at solar panels but our roof faces the wrong way, so this was an ideal alternative.

“The system went live on June 22, and we didn’t notice. The process was smooth and we have not had any issues.

“It’s fantastic that we are able to support the local community.”

Brian Capstick, owner of Birks Farm, said: “The biggest benefit to businesses is the major reduction in their carbon footprint as the government starts to bring in more carbon taxes. AD plants do this far better than wind or solar because they capture greenhouse gases to convert them into electricity.

“For the farm, it increases our profitability, which means we can support the maintenance of the landscape and skill base that has shaped the Yorkshire Dales National Park for centuries.

“Indirectly, the project supports the creation of new, high-skilled jobs in the region in biochemistry and advanced engineering.”

The electricity being produced from farm waste reduces greenhouse gases on the farm to the equivalent of 1,255 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is equivalent to:

  • Planting 32,525 trees and growing them for 10 years, or
  • Removing 265 cars off the road, or
  • The amount of electricity used in 185 homes per year

JMP Foodservice offers more than 1,500 frozen food products and more than 2,000 ambient and chilled products.

It is a member of Fairway Foodservice, a buying group made up of 17 independent wholesalers from across the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Spanish Costas and Balearic Islands.

For further information visit


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