Wilson Agriculture Ltd cushions Northern Ireland’s dairy industry

Innovative company Wilson Agriculture Ltd has discovered a new sustainable and cost efficient source of material for its cow pillows with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The Coleraine based firm manufactures a range of products that improve conditions for cows and increase milk yields. Its original ideas for cow mattresses and pillows were turned into successful products with support from Invest NI.

Wilson Agriculture’s cow mattresses require 65 kg of crumb rubber filling material and the company sought advice on sourcing this from Invest NI’s Industrial Symbiosis (IS) service. The IS service offers businesses free advice and support from experienced resource managers. Introductions to other companies are facilitated with the aim of matching waste from one company with material requirements for another.

A valuable supply of crumb rubber was sourced from a tyre recycling company in Cork through an IS contact. When tested the sample matched the material specifications set by Wilson Agriculture Ltd. This material has since been incorporated into Wilson’s production, generating additional sales of over £178,000 and cost savings of £3,000.

This collaboration has provided a sustainable solution for recycled tyres. The supplier has secured another customer whilst Wilson Agriculture Ltd has been able to convert the material into a high value product for the agricultural sector and improved its environmental credentials. By sourcing this alternative resource, 600 tonnes of virgin material has been saved.

Andrew Wilson, Managing Director at Wilson Agriculture said: “Being a part of the Industrial Symbiosis service has enabled us to find valuable alternative sources of material. This not only saves us money but enables us to remain competitive in export markets too.”

Olive Hill Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technical Solutions added: “The Industrial Symbiosis service is helping local companies to generate significant savings and/or additional sales by diverting waste from costly landfill. At the same time companies using the waste products are reducing their raw material costs. This is an excellent commercial result for Wilson Agriculture and I would encourage more people to explore how this service could benefit their business.”

The Industrial Symbiosis service is funded by Invest NI and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund, under the European Sustainable Competitiveness programme.