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Flynn’s Irish Tomatoes grow greener with €1.8m investment

L-R: William Flynn, and Martin Flynn, MF Nurseries. Pic Orla Murray/Coalesce

MF Nurseries investing in greenhouse expansion and reducing carbon footprint by switching to natural gas

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Horticulture

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17 December 2020 | 0

MF Nurseries, trading as Flynn’s Irish Tomatoes, is to spend €1.8 million on a major expansion of its tomato growing facility at Balheary, Swords, Co. Dublin, that will see the development of new greenhouse facilities and a two-kilometre connection to the national gas network.

Switching to natural gas as the primary source of energy will reduce MF Nurseries’ carbon emissions by up to 10 %.  Up to 90% of the remaining emissions will then be captured and absorbed by the tomato plants, thanks to the company’s innovative greenhouse system.

The network extension has now been completed by Gas Networks Ireland, allowing MF to move ahead with their expansion.

MF Nurseries managing director, Martin Flynn, said investing in the new gas connection allowed the company to deliver on its business objectives both affordably and sustainably. “Connecting to the gas network not only reduces our energy costs, it also allows us to deliver almost 10% further savings in our overall carbon emissions, by way of eliminating up to two fuel deliveries per week,” said Flynn. “Our customers want to see the steps we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint. Major retailers only work with suppliers who are driving down their emissions. Switching to natural gas, in tandem with our own natural carbon-capture process, is helping us to achieve that in a very organic way.”

On top of reducing emissions, MF Nurseries investment in the gas network means it will be powered by increasingly cleaner energy in the future. By gradually replacing natural gas with renewable, carbon neutral and ultimately zero carbon gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, these businesses like Flynn’s can be powered by increasingly cleaner energy.

Sean Crowley, large industrial and commercial sales manager, Gas Networks Ireland, said more and more businesses are turning to gas to reduce their immediate and long-term carbon footprints. “The national gas network supplies reliable, competitive energy to over 30,000 businesses around Ireland, who are looking for a clean and affordable solution to meet their business needs. Natural gas and increasing volumes of renewable gas, will provide the energy they need to grow their businesses,” said Crowley.  “MF Nurseries is leading in terms of sustainability and we are proud and delighted to be part of their expansion plans.”

MF Nurseries is a major supplier of tomatoes to the Irish retail market and will supply over 10 million packs of the Flynn’s Irish Tomatoes range to Aldi stores nationwide over the next five years, with a range of varieties including Vine, Plum, Piccolo, Sunstream, Baby Vine, Cherry Vine and Rainbow Mix.

Aldi has also partnered with Flynn’s Irish Tomatoes to help deliver its sustainability strategy, working together to remove all non-detectable black plastic trays from Aldi produce in 2019, and replacing them with eco-friendly cardboard trays, saving 250 tonnes of avoidable waste.

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