Arla aims to cut emissions from milk production by 2050

Arla Foods has set “ambitious targets” to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% per kilo of milk by 2030 and to work towards “carbon net zero” by 2050.

Arla is a leading international dairy co-operative; owned by 10,300 farmers from the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.

“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,” highlighted the chairman of Arla Foods, Jan Toft Norgaard.

The new strategy covers the whole value chain from cow to consumer and it addresses the areas of climate, air, water and nature.

In a statement on the international co-op’s website, Arla said it believes that “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 dairying”.

Strategy

As part of the strategy to reduce carbon emissions, Arla is working with farmers to quantify and measure where farms are having the most impact on the climate and to assess how this can be reduced.

Last year, Arla developed a database called Arlagarden Plus, to help Arla and the individual farmer to “systematically measure and benchmark” farm performance.

It is now one of the largest dairy farm benchmarking datasets in Europe.

The next step is to include parameters that will indicate the farm’s impact on climate and environment.

“This will give us an opportunity to see in which areas we have the biggest potential and to identify best practice farms that we can learn from across our co-operative,” concluded Jan Toft Norgaard.

Additionally, Arla plans to reduce GHG emissions as a company by undergoing a “transformation” to more sustainable operations – including the use of non-fossil fuels, renewable energy, sustainable packaging and less waste.

These measures are set to be introduced through a wide range of new initiatives for 2019.