Farming News - The Big Dairy Brands Prioritising Sustainability

The Big Dairy Brands Prioritising Sustainability

When compared to any other type of food production, meat and the production of dairy products emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While the demand for dairy products continues to grow, there is a clear mandate to tackle the environmental problems that it can cause.

A 2019 report found that global dairy emissions increased by 18% between 2005 and 2015, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Meanwhile, milk production also increased by 30%.

To combat this problem, some producers of dairy products are finding ways to boost their sustainability. To assist the industry, Dairy UK launched the Dairy Roadmap. The roadmap sets environmental targets at every stage of the dairy supply chain. Since its launch, there have been great strides to more eco-friendly dairy production.

Already, the industry has reduced its waste, pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Dairy Roadmap will continually adapt to the changing landscape of dairy production, attempting to improve standards and set new ambitious targets. One dairy energy supplier, Flogas Britain, has looked at the leaders within the dairy sector and what they’re doing.

A Stronger Planet with Arla Foods

You may know Arla as one of the world’s largest dairy producers. Through their ‘Stronger Planet’ campaign, they’ve shared their commitment to sustainability, with ambitions relating to food waste and net-zero operations with the aim to protect nature and promote sustainable farming.

Arla is attempting to achieve carbon net-zero across all its operations by 2050 and use 100% recyclable packaging by 2025, according to the business’ sustainability ambitions. They’re also looking for a 50% reduction in food waste between 2015 and 2030.

Since the start of its sustainability journey, the company has shown good progress. Whilst milk production has increased by 50% since 2005, the firm has cut its processing, transport, and packaging emissions by 25%.

Arla introduced ‘climate checks’ with its suppliers after realising that 80% of supply chain emissions were generated via farms. The scheme now helps 2,300 UK farmers minimise their carbon outputs.

Only Organic at Yeo Valley

Yeo Valley is famous for its dairy products, as Britain’s largest organic dairy brand. The company believes that sustainability is the most important aspect of its production. The company’s ‘Put Nature First’ campaign highlights their commitment to protecting the world for future generations.

Among a variety of sustainable initiatives, the company uses organic farming to help protect the environment. For example, its farms now generate all their electricity from renewable energy and their cowsheds use an acre of solar panels to help power their activities.  

Organic farming is the best way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, according to the company. Organic soils are great ‘carbon sinks’ that can hide harmful carbon and prevent it from entering the atmosphere. No chemicals or artificial fertilisers are used. Instead, the tasty yoghurt producers have dedicated 25% of its 2,000-acre site to create a home for wildlife.

Yeo Valley has also subscribed to the Plastic Pact. This means they are dedicated to having packaging that is fully recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic. Now, Yeo Valley doesn’t use plastic lids on its cream containers, and they’ve created a 100% recycled yoghurt pot, and milk bottles made from up to 50% recycled products.

Muller Do It Right 

To create its dairy products, Müller sources its milk from 1,600 farmers across Britain. Its environmental strategy is focused on doing ‘the right thing throughout the whole supply chain’.

By 2050, the company hopes to be carbon net-zero. They’ll also reduce their absolute carbon footprint by 40% and use 100% responsibly sourced feed by 2025. Also, by 2030, it plans to cut food waste by 50%.

Another priority for Müller is plastic. It aims for all of its packaging will be recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. Adding to these commitments, its plastic packaging will be made from 30% recycled materials by 2025. Müller already uses 100% recycled milk bottles, and in recent times, saved 700 tonnes of plastic by light-weighting its bottles.

With 100 million pints of milk distributed to 500,000 homes each year, milk in glass bottles is still lucrative for Müller’s Milk and More business. Its fleet of 500 delivery vehicles has gone electric, making it the largest operator of electric vehicles in the UK.