Our Commitment to the Environment and Conservation
We regard conservation and the impact our farming activities have on the environment, as integral to managing the land we farm. The development of natural habitats is woven into our farming system to promote landscape and wildlife conservation. Keeping the environmental balance in credit has become our trademark and features strongly within the JSR ethos.
Significant areas within the JSR business are managed under various conservation and sustainability agreements to encourage the biodiversity of wildlife.
Over the years JSR has won two prestigious Silver Lapwing Awards which recognises farmers who go the extra mile to protect and enhance the countryside in which they farm. JSR is also an active member of the local Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG). This association has helped British farmers for over four decades by providing trusted, independent environmental advice.
By targeting marginal areas and by benefiting from ‘Natural England’s Management Agreements’, a rich network of habitats has been created to support the greatly expanded and diverse wildlife populations. Approximately 10% of the farming area is in environmental schemes – CSS (Countryside Stewardship Scheme), ELS (Entry Level Stewardship) and HLS (Higher Level Stewardship). Wildlife habitat is encouraged by the planting of trees, hedges, grass margins, wild bird mixtures, game strips, beetlebanks, the creation of ponds and reservoirs and partaking in “Operation Pollinator”.
LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is the leading organisation promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming. Helping farmers to produce good food with care, and to high environmental standards.
JSR became a LEAF Demonstration Farm in 2001, with the aim of demonstrating to a wide audience how to farm in a sustainable way based on IFM (Integrated Farm Management) and producing safe healthy food whilst caring for animal welfare and the countryside.
As a supplier to Unilever we are now able to market a proportion of our oilseed under the LEAF Marque. The Unilever 'Sustainable Living Plan' is sourcing oilseed rape for use in its spreads, margarines and mayonnaise products under the certified LEAF Marque scheme through ADM (a large oilseeds processor), and is committed to 100% sustainably sourced oilseeds by 2020.
The term 'Renewables' covers a number of subject areas to do with energy production from a renewable source. One of the goals set by the JSR board is for the company to produce 20% of their energy requirements from renewables by 2020.
JSR are currently working in three areas of renewable energy:
Our 25 hectares of Willow at Southburn Farm was planted eleven years ago. Each year we harvest 1/3 of this area, which equates to approximately 250 tonnes of wood fuel (chips or billets) used as a renewable fuel. The majority of this goes for co-firing at Drax Power Station, with the remainder used for local heating schemes. Yields are amongst the very best in the UK, which is no doubt in part to the use of our own Liquid Gold!
Solar PV Arrays
JSR have installations at three sites; Southburn Head Office, Decoy Finishing Facility and at The Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, at Highfield Farm, Southburn. The Southburn and Decoy installations are 50KW schemes, with the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School operating on a 10KW scheme. All electricity generated from the Southburn office panels is converted for use in the offices. At times when the offices are closed it is diverted onto Southburn Farm where it is utilised. In our first three months the three sites had generated a total of 30,190 kWh paying a feed in tariff of £10,081.00! Total energy generated from the three sites as of 3rd August 2012, is 59,538 kW/h with Southburn alone generating 37.58 mW/h. Southburn has also offset the production of 22.06 tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2).
Wind Turbine Generation
We erected two 50kW wind turbines at the Decoy location, which supplies 90% of the unit's electricity requirements, generating an annual saving of approximately £34k. As part of the planning process, we held a two day public consultation event at the JSR head office to give local residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on the project, which was very well received.
Committed to Protecting the Environment for Future Generations
JSR are constantly reviewing other areas in which to reduce energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions. One of these is 'Air' or 'Ground source' heating, which claims to have twice the payback of solar PV systems. Additionally we continue to invest in more fuel efficient tractors as well as reviewing crop establishment techniques. On the pig production side we are already replacing high energy farrowing lamps with low energy heat mats on all of our commercial units.
JSR are committed to reducing their carbon footprint in today's fast-changing agricultural landscape. We are well placed to produce the food, feedstock for industry, and the renewable energy to meet environmental CO2 targets.