cook store

Upmarket frozen food retailer Cook has entered into a partnership deal that will see its unavoidable food waste converted into sustainable energy.

Cook, which produces, retails and supplies frozen ready meals, desserts and cakes, has signed a deal with organic waste management company Tamar Energy that will bring a German anaerobic digestion system to the UK for the first time.

The system, designed and built by Neumünster-based engineers Rothenburg, will be installed in Cook’s sole food production kitchen in Sittingbourne, Kent, allowing it to process all of its waste products on site. Food is fed into a 24,000 litre tank through an in-feed tube and a macerator that converts it into liquid waste.

This is then stored for up to two weeks in the tank, to be collected fortnightly by Tamar for processing and converting via anaerobic digestion (AD) into sustainable energy, which can be fed back into the national grid, and bio fertiliser. London-based Tamar, which operates sites throughout the UK, carries out AD and composting services for a range of sectors including retail and agriculture.

“We have always recycled all of our unavoidable food waste from our main sites. Now, by working with Tamar and installing the Rothenburg system, we are able to achieve a one-stop solution for this waste, improve site hygiene and reduce operating costs while maximising the potential benefit from kitchen trimmings,” said Cook technical and sustainability director Richard Pike.

“It’s important to Cook that the environmental impact is minimised. The waste will generate energy to power homes and businesses. It’s exciting to think the fertiliser produced could be used on the land that grows our veg.”