Dairy giant Arla has announced that it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% for every kilogram of milk over the next decade, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
It is one of the 'most ambitious targets' for Arla and its 10,300 farmer owners, the company said.
Chairman of Arla Foods, Jan Toft Nørgaard, said, "We have worked towards sustainable farming for years and we need to go further and faster, not least to help fight climate change, which affects everyone on the planet, especially us farmers."
The new targets, which are applicable for all markets, encompass the entire value chain, from the livestock to consumers.
The cooperative will also explore commercial opportunities in the market to help drive the change, explained Arla Foods’ chief executive, Peder Tuborgh.
He added, "We believe that a growing number of consumers are willing to reward the most sustainable dairy farmers by paying a little more for their milk in the same way as we have seen with organic dairy.
"From today, we are starting to work with a group of progressive farmers in both Denmark and Sweden to be able to offer more sustainable conventional and organic fresh milk leading the way on climate, animal welfare, and farm management. We will bring their milk to market this year with our leading Arla 24 brand in Denmark and Arla Ko brand in Sweden."
Initiatives For Farms
Arla has invested in research to optimise feed composition to cut down methane emissions from cows.
It will also work closely with farmers to help them understand the farm’s climate impact, and assist them in implementing appropriate sustainability measures.
In 2018, Arla launched a digital documentation database called Arlagården Plus to help farmers to systematically measure and benchmark their farm's performance.
“The climate assessment is highly motivating, because it identifies your farms’ potential for CO2 reductions, which will often lead to cost savings”, said Nørgaard, who has used the tool on his own farm.
The tool has helped in documenting data about 96% of Arla’s milk pool on a quarterly basis.
The system includes information about herd, milking system, feed, grazing, land use, and animal welfare.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.