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Dairy's Sustainability Journey: Joseph Gallo Farms

With a sustainability mindset from day one, Joseph Gallo Farms aims to maximize the operational efficiencies of its business while working toward a goal of zero emissions and zero waste.

Joseph Gallo founded his namesake business more than 65 years ago, pioneering the art of sustainable cheesemaking.

Best Practices

  • Water conservation

Water usage is a critical component in achieving the zero waste goal at Joseph Gallo Farms. Processes consist of repurposing wastewater, including 100 percent of the cheese effluent, as well as capturing steam from pasteurizers and engines. The wastewater and cheese effluent flush manure to an anaerobic digester before being used for irrigation, while the steam is used to heat the operation’s boilers. In addition, Joseph Gallo Farms accepts as much as 10 million gallons of stormwater and wastewater from surrounding communities to reuse across the dairies and processing plants.

These actions help Joseph Gallo Farms conserve 8 to 12 million gallons of water each day, with 1.8 million gallons coming from cheese effluent alone. The recaptured steam saves 400,000 gallons of propane each year.

  • Reducing waste

From batteries, tires and engine oil, to packaging and the product itself, Joseph Gallo Farms reuses as much as it can throughout the cheesemaking process. Partnering with other service providers allows the business to recycle corrugated cardboard, pallets, engine oils and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic.

Reusing materials generates additional revenue streams at Joseph Gallo Farms while minimizing the business’ environmental impact and waste disposal costs. More than 250 tons of corrugated cardboard is recycled each year; 100 percent of the pallets are reclaimed; 5,720 gallons of engine oil is recycled and 77-plus tons of LDPE plastics are recycled. Packaging materials were reduced by 40 percent through the redesign, and 2.5 million pounds of excess cheese is sold annually.

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