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Food & Drink Sector Environmental Assessment

The manufacture of food and drink is a significant worldwide industry that covers a very wide range of farming, transport and industrial processes. For the purpose of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the granting of environmental permits by bodies such as the Environment Agency in England and Wales, assessment of environmental impacts is focused on the treating and processing of materials for production of food. This includes abattoirs and dairies providing raw animal food products and the processing of these and vegetables into finished food items ready for sale.

The key environmental impacts from food and drink production are:

  • Discharges of nutrient-laden solutes in waste water that can have toxic and/or eutrophic effects on watercourses
  • Generation of putrescible solid wastes
  • High demands on energy and water consumption
  • Emissions of noise and odours from processing, cooking and putrescent wastes
  • Hygiene issues that can impact on human health

In order to avoid prosecution, health and safety impacts and/or nuisance complaints, it is vitally important that the environmental effects of food and drink processing and distribution are fully understood. This allows appropriate assessment of environmental effects so that monitoring and mitigation controls can be put in place to reduce unnecessary, unwanted and often costly impacts.

Phlorum has produced numerous environmental impact assessments and environmental permit applications for the food and drink sector. This includes abattoirs, meat processing plants, industrial cooking facilities, commercial kitchens and farming processes. Our work has included monitoring and predictive modelling of emissions to water and air and other impacts on local ecology.