In a move to further reduce its carbon footprint, it has invested the sum in a state-of-the-art machine that will produce the lids for its two-litre tubs of ice cream.
Mackie’s confirmed that the move would benefit the local area, with the creation of new jobs on the farm – both in making, packaging and producing ice cream.
The firm, which made two million of the two-litre tubs last year, will invest a further £50,000 on extending the factory to make room for the new equipment.
Mackie’s investment will ensure that the miles its packaging have to travel are minimal and will mean that all the components of the ice cream tubs are made on the family farm in Aberdeenshire.
Previously, the tubs were shipped from Sweden to Aberdeen – a distance of 1,750 miles, contributing to CO2 emissions. Now, they have to travel just 200 metres to the moulding room.
Though a considerable investment, Mackie’s expected to see the new machinery pay for itself over the next five years, the firm said.
Gerry Stephens, finance director at Mackie’s, added: “Our two-litre tubs of ‘traditional’ are well-established favourites in Scotland and are now becoming increasingly popular in East Asia.
“We do have a machine that makes our two-litre tubs on-site, but it had to alternate between moulds for making the tub and then the lid and it just couldn’t keep up.
“Previously we would buy our tubs in from Sweden, but keen to keep emissions low, we invested in our own kit in 2012.”
The new machinery will bring further benefits to the luxury ice cream producer too, as it will allow for more flexibility to make bespoke tubs, as well as bilingual labels for export markets.
£4m project to replace freezers
Mackie’s announcement of its new lid machine came shortly after the news of its £4m project to replace its old freezers with low-carbon, power-efficient units, run on ammonia – a natural refrigerant gas that poses no threat to the environment.
Stephens added: “We want to be the greenest company in Britain, and making sure that our machinery is efficient and right next door to our farm and ice cream factory is all part of that.
“We recycle cardboard and plastic wrapping here on the farm and always consider the life of the packaging we select for our products. Our tubs are made from a recyclable form of plastic, PP5, which is widely collected and makes tubs that are robust enough to reuse at home.
“We keep all the materials we use under review to seek the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way of packaging our ice cream.”
Westertown Farm, where Mackie’s makes its ice cream and chocolate, is already 80% powered by self-generated wind energy and solar power and boasts 0% water wastage.
Renewable energy is a cornerstone of Mackie’s success, with investment of £6.5m in on-site renewables and a diverse energy production that includes four wind turbines, a bio-mass energy plant and 10-acre solar farm.
The investment also follows a £100,000 listing earlier this year with Marks & Spencer.