It is part of the firm’s European-wide sustainable dairy farming strategy and was started by farmers, in 2013. The strategy is aimed at making them more efficient and sustainable by improving animal welfare, protecting natural resources, and enhancing biodiversity and waste management.
The programme officially launches this month with seven kick-off events being hosted by Arla farmers on their farms to introduce the four key areas of the initiative:
Feeding for the future; the nutritional factors that affect efficient production of milk/milk solids
Breeding for the future; how breeding impacts on the long-term production of milk solids as well as how to use new technology to reduce health problems
Managing future health; understanding the major health issues reducing efficiency
Benchmarking for the future; an introduction to new free efficiency benchmarking tools and technology
A series of 60 workshops will be held across the UK to help Arla farmers develop and share knowledge and best practice across the key areas.
Free carbon assessment
As part of the initiative all Arla farmers were being offered a free on-farm carbon assessment to gauge the levels of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it said.
Themes and information gathered at the assessments would then be presented at the workshops, together with wider business efficiency and environmental performance guidance and advice, it added.
Innovative techniques and practices would also be featured to help improve standards and outcomes for farmers. These would include a forage app to help farmers improve the quality and increase the quantity of forage, saving them money and helping them reduce their GHG emissions.
A ‘What if?’ tool is also available to assist farmers in quickly and easily estimating their emissions to market approved standards.
“Being owned by over 13,500 dairy farmers means Arla has an unmatched pool of knowledge around how to produce high quality milk innovatively, sustainably and competitively,” said Johnnie Russell, British farmer director of Arla Foods.
“Growing Together is about unlocking that knowledge and making sure our farmers can share ideas, technologies and best practice with each other, making Arla stronger and more progressive.”