The Ethical Dairy takes top award for environmental achievements
The Ethical Dairy in Gatehouse of Fleet scooped an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of its commitment to tackling environmental impacts and reducing carbon emissions.
The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards were presented by Scottish Government Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead, at a ceremony this week.
The Ethical Dairy is the first commercial dairy in the UK to use the cow with calf method, where calves are kept with their mothers to suckle.
It uses natural systems to produce organic cheeses and luxury ice cream, offering a sustainable alternative to intensive dairy farming.
David Finlay, farmer at The Ethical Dairy, said: “Over the past 25 years we have completely redesigned our dairy farming system, and the core driver of that transformation has been a focus on improving resilience, sustainability and biodiversity.
"At a fundamental level what we’ve been aiming for is a profitable, integrated food system that treats the land, the animals, the environment and the people who work here with respect and kindness. It’s not been an easy journey, but it has been a very worthwhile one.
“Doing things differently can be a difficult, and at times a very lonely, journey; so it is immensely gratifying that the VIBES judging panel have deemed us worthy of this award.
"Transitioning to net zero means major change to almost every industry and farming especially so. Change is difficult, it’s something we naturally want to put off, but we are now almost out of time, and we can’t put it off any longer.
"We don’t have all the answers, and we don’t have everything right, but being recognised by this award reinforces our belief that net zero can be achieved in livestock farming, it is possible and it’s not too late if we act regeneratively now.”
The VIBES Awards are a partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and NatureScot.