Vegetable farming enterprise Mash Direct based in Co. Down has used a seven-figure green loan from HSBC UK to reduce emissions and boost its environmental efforts.

The sixth-generation family business, which is a major supplier to supermarket chains in Ireland, used funding to expand its premises and install water-saving equipment.

A new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant is expected to help the family farm efficiently measure water usage, and future-proof planning to be more environmentally conscious.

The environmentally friendly upgrade is projected to yield a 56,391kg reduction in CO2 emitted during business operations per year. A total of 384 new rooftop solar panels have also been added.

The expansion facilitating the new wastewater plant includes an additional 25,000 square feet to the businesses’ warehouse and 5,000 extra square feet to its office space, according to HSBC UK.

Mash Direct

Mash Direct CEO, Jack Hamilton has said it was very important to the family business to embrace new techniques and equipment that will help reduce the farm’s impact on the environment.

The business is committed to reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and voluntarily participates in the government’s Climate Change Agreements (CAA), and consistently meets carbon reduction targets through a range of energy efficiency measures.

Martin and Tracy Hamilton along with their two sons Jack and Lance grow and produce fresh vegetable and potato side dishes, using a “field to fork” system on their farm.

Mash Direct supplies major supermarket chains including Tesco; Sainsbury; ASDA; Morrison’s; Co-Op; Lidl; and Dunnes, as well as a range of independent stores.

Image source: Mash Direct

“As our veggies don’t have to hit the high visual standards asked by supermarkets, this means that we have been able to significantly reduce our wastage by being able to use our ‘ugly’ veg in all of our products,” according to Mash Direct.

The green loan has helped the food business to diversify and respond to the needs of the environment, as demand for its local produce grows, relationship director in Northern Ireland, HSBC UK, Marty Colvin added.