BOSTON – Goat cheese maker Vermont Creamery announced it joined the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, a collaboration involving US food industry companies that seeks to recycle more food waste and expand renewable energy production.

Founded in 2020 by Vanguard Renewables, Unilever, Starbucks and Dairy Farmers of America, the alliance provides companies with a circular approach to reducing the detrimental impacts of CO2 emissions and works toward achieving a carbon-neutral footprint.

Vermont Creamery began in April 2022 diverting inedible food waste in a landfill totaling more than 2,750 tons to Vanguard’s anaerobic digester, which is located in Salisbury, Vt., at the Goodrich Family Farm. Per the company’s data, since it began diverting the food waste it has mitigated close to 1,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions – analogous to taking almost 350 cars off the road for a year, planting more than 26,000 trees or generating enough energy to power more than 530,000 cell phones for a year.

“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.”

The FPSA membership also includes Stonyfield Organic, Cabot Creamery, Smithfield Foods, Food Tank, Chobani, Kikkoman, Schreiber Foods, Hillebrand and Polar Beverages.

“Vermont Creamery’s commitment to decarbonization and recycling food waste into renewable energy will serve as inspiration to others in the food and beverage industry to join us in this important movement in the fight to stem climate change,” said Neil H. Smith, chief executive officer at Vanguard Renewables.

Anson Tebbetts, Vermont secretary of agriculture, said the state’s farmers always are looking for innovative ways to improve the environment.

“This is another example of working together to think of solutions that tackle food waste while creating energy,” Tebbetts said.

A Certified B Corporation, Vermont Creamery has established itself as one of the dairy industry’s leaders in sustainability, 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,” Hanselman said.

Fast Company in 2021 named the FPSA one of its World Changing Ideas.