Bristol Dairy Farm invests in sustainable technology

Bristol-based Bickfield Farm is set to double productivity and reduce their energy costs after investing in sustainable technology, using £785,000 of funding.

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Read time: 3 mins      Added: 06/05/2022

Located in the heart of Chew Valley, the third-generation farm produces milk exclusively for The Estate Dairy, a luxury dairy manufacturer that distributes milk to high-end restaurants and cafés across London and Oxford.

The funding will be used to build a new milking parlour to improve production and modernise the milking process. The state-of-the-art technology will increase the farm’s milking capacity while reducing the overall running time, allowing 50% more cows to be milked during any given period. 

Investing in the new milking parlour supports their long-term sustainability commitment. The milking process currently accounts for 60% of the farm’s total electricity usage, and by reducing the running time, the business will achieve a 30% energy saving and a reduction in their energy costs. Another benefit is that the heat generated from the new technology will pass through a heat exchange system and be used to pre-heat water to support the farm’s cleaning process.

The finance package was provided through our Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which provides discounted funding to help businesses transition to a lower carbon, more sustainable future.

Victoria Crisp, Lloyds Bank Relationship Manager, added: “Every industry is under pressure to improve sustainable practices, and with agricultural land making up 70% of the UK’s land area, farming has a particularly crucial role to play.

“Our Clean Growth Finance Initiative is designed to support businesses with their environmental and sustainability goals. The new milking parlour at Bickfield Farm will not only improve efficiency and production levels, but allow Philip and the team to operate more sustainably, whilst also benefitting from cost savings.”

Bickfield farm image

Philip Durbin, who runs the farm with his father Maurice, said: “In recent years, there has been a growing demand for high-quality local dairy produce from across the region. Investing in our new milking parlour will allow us to continue to deliver the very best produce more efficiently.

“Becoming more sustainable remains a key priority for the farm and we’re constantly thinking of ways to reduce waste and become energy-efficient. From installing LED lighting to powering the parlour through an on-site solar array during sunny days, we’re committed to lowering our environmental impact.”

Philip’s grandparents moved to Bickfield in August 1930 and his father took over the farm’s operations in 1975. Since then, the farm has increased its herd to more than 330 cows across 185 hectares.

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