DairyCo funds benchmark for carbon reduction

By Freddie Dawson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greenhouse gas emissions, Carbon dioxide, Milk, Greenhouse gas

Excuse me! Cattle burping and flatulence accounted for nearly half (40%) of carbon emissions from milk production
Excuse me! Cattle burping and flatulence accounted for nearly half (40%) of carbon emissions from milk production
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy supply chain should become easier thanks to a new benchmark certified by the Carbon Trust and detailed in a report funded by levy-funded dairy farming organisation DairyCo.

The benchmark was featured in the first annual report of a three-year study, Greenhouse gas emissions on British dairy farms commissioned by DairyCo.

Ray Keatinge, the organisation’s head of research and development, said: "We are now able to provide the dairy industry with a point of reference for the carbon footprint of milk production from British dairy farms, based on current industry performance.

“This means we can benchmark any year-on-year improvements. This point of reference will also supply factual information to cross reference with other data sets being generated within the industry.”

Cutting emissions

A DairyCo spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the three-year study would provide a detailed picture of British milk production’s carbon footprint, what progress had been made in cutting emissions, and which strategies were most likely to achieve further reductions.

“This information will provide evidence to support the messages we give to producers to improve their business performance, as well as the environmental credentials of dairy farming,”​ she said.

The benchmark will provide a point of reference allowing the dairy industry to compare its performance with other sources of greenhouse gas emission data such as the government national inventory.

Greenhouse gas emissions at farm level account for about 75% of the overall carbon footprint of liquid milk production. So, cutting emissions will be key if producers are to meet long-term greenhouse reduction targets set out in the industry’s environmental sustainability strategy the Dairy Roadmap.

The roadmap was drawn up by the Dairy Supply Chain Forum's Sustainable Consumption and Production Taskforce.

Genuine action

Darran Messem, md of certification at the Carbon Trust, said: "Achieving certification from the Carbon Trust is proof that DairyCo is committed to taking genuine action to reduce the impact milk production in Great Britain has on climate change.

“This three year study will provide a robust platform to engage and inform the industry on what action it can take to manage and reduce its carbon footprint. There is little doubt that organisations with sound carbon management strategies in place stand to prosper, both now and in the future."

Meanwhile, enteric emissions – cattle burping and flatulence – accounted for nearly half (40%) of carbon emissions from milk production.

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