Dairy industry launches sustainability commitments

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UK Dairy Roadmap has launched the ‘Dairy Roadmap Climate Ambition: Supporting UK Net Zero’
The UK Dairy Roadmap has launched the ‘Dairy Roadmap Climate Ambition: Supporting UK Net Zero’

Related tags: Dairy, COP26

Members of the UK dairy industry have set out a series of commitments to improve the sustainability of the sector.

The UK Dairy Roadmap has launched the ‘Dairy Roadmap Climate Ambition: Supporting UK Net Zero’, ​which sets out the dairy industry’s support for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming, and will set a minimum standard for improvement across the entire industry.

The paper committed the sector to a range of evidence led targets and set out a delivery programme to support their achievement – specifically to reach net zero carbon by 2050 and maintain positive actions that reduce climate warming caused by methane and nitrous oxides.

Other goals included a commitment to dual accounting and reporting of carbon footprints using both GWP100 and GWP*, to calculate an updated and robust overall carbon footprint for UK Dairy GHG footprint for UK dairy and develop best practice and guidance on how to reduce emissions at farm level.

Sector moving forward

Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “This work builds upon the many commitments and efforts our processors and farmers have already made, and brings the sector together to move forward as one on this journey.

“We are dedicated and committed to the sustainability of the sector and in our drive to continually improve. Together we can rise to the challenge, and we’re excited to get going in building the sustainable dairy sector of the future.”

National Farmers Union (NFU) board chairman Michael Oakes highlighted the work already being done by UK dairy farmers to address the challenge of climate change and its commitment to do more.

“The Dairy Roadmap climate ambition will encourage dairy producers and processors to work together to achieve a common goal, while demonstrating that we can produce climate friendly food to our consumers,”​ he added.

Science-based targets

“Our commitment to science-based targets and a recognition of the role of methane is an important step in cementing the sustainability of dairy for the long term.”

Founded in 2008, The Dairy Roadmap acts as a cross-industry approach to the setting of targets and driving progress on the environmental ambitions and commitments made by the UK dairy sector.

The Roadmap steering group is driven by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Dairy UK and the NFU, who work across the whole dairy supply chain with all stakeholders to drive the sustainability of the entire UK dairy sector.  

AHDB dairy sector director Paul Flanagan said the strength of the roadmap was based on the span of people and organisations working toward common goals.

“Our working groups include farmers, processors, retailers, data companies, academics and trade associations,”​ said Flanagan. “We’ve already made big strides in reducing the environmental footprint of the entire dairy supply chain and we must not be shy about telling that story.

“However, the opportunities for more sharing of best practice and innovations are huge, and we can accelerate these through collaborations like the Dairy Roadmap.”

Related topics: Dairy, Environment

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