Vermont Creamery joins national movement to turn food waste into renewable energy

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Vermont Creamery joins national movement to turn food waste into renewable energy

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 2:01pm -- tim

Vermont Creamery is the latest company to join the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance founded by Vanguard Renewables, Unilever, Starbucks, and Dairy Farmers of America

Vermont Business Magazine Vanguard Renewables’ Chief Strategy Officer John Hanselman and Vermont Creamery’s President, Adeline Druart, were joined Wednesday by Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts, along with Danielle Goodrich-Gingras, co-owner and herdswoman of the Goodrich Family Dairy Farm, to announce Vermont Creamery’s membership in The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance (FPSA/Alliance). The announcement occurred at Vanguard Renewables’ anaerobic digester, the largest in the northeast, located on the Goodrich Family Dairy Farm in Salisbury, Vermont.

The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance is a collaborative movement to boost food waste reduction and recycling and expand renewable energy production across America. The Alliance was founded in 2020 by Vanguard Renewables, Unilever, Starbucks, and Dairy Farmers of America and aims to avoid or eliminate food waste first and repurpose what can’t be eliminated into renewable energy via Farm Powered® anaerobic digesters.

Vermont Creamery’s President Adeline Druart listens to the presentation at the Goodrich Farm on Wednesday. Photo via Anson Tebbetts tweet.

“Vermont Creamery has grown from a two-person start-up to become one of the leaders in the sustainable dairy movement,” said John Hanselman, chief strategy officer at Vanguard Renewables. “Working with Adeline and her team to further their commitment to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to support regenerative agriculture on dairy farms in Vermont is proof that Vanguard’s Farm Powered® movement is changing how food manufacturers are thinking about their waste and how they can turn it into something good for our planet ﹘ like renewable natural gas at one of our country’s multi-generational dairy farms.”

“We have long sought an opportunity to use anaerobic digesters to convert food waste into renewable energy, and Vanguard Renewables facility and model is delivering for us,” said Adeline Druart, President of Vermont Creamery. “We must tackle food waste and make good on our goal to turn the food waste we create here in Websterville into renewable energy, and thanks to this partnership, and our new membership to the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, we’re doing just that.”

“Vermont farmers are always looking for new ways to improve the environment and be innovators for the rest of the United States,” said Anson Tebbetts, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture. “This is another example of working together to think of solutions that tackle food waste while creating energy. Congratulations to Vermont Creamery and their farmers for this innovative partnership with the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance.”

Since April 2022, Vermont Creamery has diverted over 2,750 tons of inedible food waste from the landfill to Vanguard's anaerobic digester at the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. The company has mitigated nearly 1,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions in just under five months. This is the equivalent of taking nearly 350 cars off our roads for a year, planting over 26 thousand trees, or generating enough power to charge more than 530 thousand individuals’ cell phones annually.   

Vanguard's anaerobic digester at the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury is in the lower left of this courtesy photo. 

The Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, named one of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas, includes Unilever, Starbucks, Dairy Farmers of America, Vanguard Renewables, Stonyfield Organic, Cabot Creamery, Smithfield Foods, Food Tank (a leading NGO), Chobani, Kikkoman, Schreiber Foods, Hillebrand, Polar Beverages, and now Vermont Creamery. The Alliance offers U.S. food manufacturers and retailers a circular approach to reducing the detrimental environmental impacts of CO2 emissions and provides a pathway toward a carbon-neutral footprint. Members commit to recycle unavoidable food and beverage waste on farms where it is combined with farm manure in a Farm Powered anaerobic digester to generate renewable natural gas (RNG). Hosting a Farm Powered anaerobic digester provides farm partners with a diversified income stream in addition to a by-product of the operation: a low-carbon fertilizer that host farms can spread in place of chemical fertilizers and supports regenerative agriculture practices.

Vanguard Renewables recently announced that a fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has acquired the company. BlackRock Real Assets will partner with Vanguard Renewables’ management team to build upon the company’s market-leading track record and drive its next phase of growth, including both its expansion of the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance and its plans to commission more than 150 anaerobic digesters to produce renewable natural gas across the country by 2026.

More information about Vermont Creamery’s sustainability initiatives is available on its website.

To learn more about the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, visit the FPSA website.

For more information on the Farm Powered Anaerobic Digester on the Goodrich Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, read the Goodrich Farm Case Study.

About Vanguard Renewables

Vanguard Renewables, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, is a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects. The Company owns and operates on-farm anaerobic digester facilities in the northeast and currently operates manure-only digesters in the south and west for Dominion Energy. The Company plans to expand to more than 150 anaerobic digestion facilities by 2026. Vanguard Renewables is committed to advancing decarbonization by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms and food waste and supporting regenerative agriculture on partner farms through anaerobic digestion. To learn more about the Company, its energy partners, and the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, visit www.vanguardrenewables.com

About Vermont Creamery

Founded in 1984 and B Corp certified since 2014, Vermont Creamery is a pioneer of artisan cheese, winning countless national and international awards for their suite of cheeses and cultured dairy products, while supporting a network of family farms and promoting sustainable agriculture in the region. Ranked in June 2021 in the top 10% of most purposeful brands, according to the 2021 Purpose Power Index, Vermont Creamery is an independently operated subsidiary of Minnesota-based Dairy Cooperative Land ‘O Lakes, Inc. For more information, visit https://www.vermontcreamery.com

Websterville, Vermont ﹘ August 3, 2022 ﹘ Vanguard Renewables