NatureFresh™ Farms Partners with Hiram Walker & Sons on Sustainable Initiatives
LEAMINGTON, ON - Following through on sustainability efforts has led to truly innovative solutions and surprising partnerships. NatureFresh™ Farms is partnering with Hiram Walker & Sons Limited for its own innovative solution, using the whisky producer’s whisky cull barrels as a renewable fuel source.
“We are in an industry that has the capacity to produce significant positive change,” said Dave Froese, Energy Manager at NatureFresh Farms “Teaming up with Hiram Walker & Sons gives us the opportunity to continue to make a difference by reducing the amount of materials that end up in landfills.”
In 2018, Hiram Walker & Sons reached out to NatureFresh Farms for help in reducing its surplus of whisky cull barrels. Each month, the greenhouse grower receives approximately 400 barrels that are then shredded and stockpiled for colder seasons, according to a press release. Those wood chips are fed to the biomass boiler’s fire box, heating the water that gets pumped through rails among each row of plants to warm the greenhouse. To date, Hiram Walker & Sons have provided over 25,000 barrels to the grower, equaling about 1,125 tons of wood, producing about 20,000 gigajoules equivalent to nearly 520,000 cubic meters of natural gas. Burning the barrels saves NatureFresh Farms 520,000 cubic meters of natural gas, which is enough to heat the average Canadian home for 192 years, saving a total of 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
Due to the massive success of the partnership, the two companies have expanded the program, so in addition to the whisky cull barrels, Hiram Walker & Sons has begun sending other scrap wood material, including used bungs, wood shavings, and damaged pallets.
“The partnership between Hiram Walker and NatureFresh Farms can best be described as a win-win situation for both companies,” commented Darren Taylor, Customer Service and Planning, Bulk Operations at Hiram Walker & Sons. “Hiram Walker has an environmentally friendly way to dispose of barrels and NatureFresh Farms receives a good supply of clean-burning oak wood.”
Both companies will continue to work together to recycle wood and metal whisky barrel rings, which will ultimately reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Through this partnership, NatureFresh Farms and Hiram Walker & Sons can both maintain their values of sustainability while uncovering new opportunities to integrate eco-friendly alternatives within their operations.
This partnership is just one part of NatureFresh Farms’ overall energy strategy. The grower has prioritized sustainability to make impactful efforts in the world of produce, and that commitment has only become stronger. After 20 years of growing, NatureFresh Farms is still an innovative industry force that continues to introduce more viable and sustainable growing and packaging solutions.
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