Anaerobic digestion operator, ReFood has unveiled its sustainable fertiliser, ReGrow, which aims to close the cycle for food waste.
ReGrow is produced by recycling food waste via anaerobic digestion – where food waste rots naturally in the absence of oxygen.
The fertiliser this process produces is rich in the valuable nutrients contained within food and is entirely natural.
The closed loop process – which sees recycled food waste used to help grow new crops – is a “highly sustainable” alternative to manufactured fertilisers, and eliminates the need for mining minerals, ReFood has said.
Philip Simpson, ReFood – “The fact that ReGrow ensures that the good nutrients found in the food we waste end up back in the land, rather than rotting in a landfill site, makes using ReGrow a win-win”
With high levels of key growth nutrients including nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous ReGrow can typically double yields if applied as part as a comprehensive crop strategy, according to the company.
A launch event took place at ReFood’s state-of-the-art gas-to-grid anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Widnes, which was attended by some of the UK’s leading agronomists, local farmers and other industry stakeholders.
Since ReFood opened its first AD plant in Doncaster in 2011, the company has been developing its ReGrow product and working with leading agronomists, Anna Becvar from Earthcare Technical and Matthew Taylor from ADAS.
The first phase of product development was to secure PAS 110 certification for the AD digestate, which establishes a waste material as a product suitable for use on arable land. Moving forward, the ReGrow team will be working closely with leading agronomists to help develop advice for farmers to gain the best results from using the fertiliser.
Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, commented: “The trials that we’ve conducted over the last two years have demonstrated that the product can produce real benefits. The fact that ReGrow ensures that the good nutrients found in the food we waste end up back in the land, rather than rotting in a landfill site, makes using ReGrow a win-win.”
Yorkshire farmer, Jonathan Metcalfe, has been using ReGrow for the last two years as part of initial product trials. Finding it simple to store and spread he would strongly recommend it to other farmers.
He says: “The ReGrow Biofertiliser has already made us significant cost savings in comparison with chemical fertilisers. The digestate itself is of a consistently high standard which explains the speed at which ReFood Doncaster achieved its PAS 110 accreditation. The nutrients are in a very available state for crops to use and as a result they are taken up quickly. I would strongly recommend ReGrow to other farmers.”