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Rags to recycling riches for farmer

A struggling farmer has spoken of his dramatic turn of fortune since converting his land to recycle green waste.

Joe Robinson established Com-Vert in April 2003 to produce 5,000 tonnes of compost per year at his Shieldykes farm in Northumberland.

The farm was facing closure after the BSE and foot-and-mouth epidemics of the last 10 years so Robinson, 47, joined Durham Business School to pick up some tips.

He then decided to start producing compost, which has been so successful it was used in an award-winning garden at this years Chelsea Flower Show.

Shieldykes compost has organic certification from the Soil Association and last month became the first farm in the UK to receive BSI PAS 100 accreditation.

Robinson said: I knew we had to inject some life into the farm if it was to remain a going concern.

The composting initiative is proving the most successful so far, backed up by our own investment in equipment and a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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