NETHERLANDS – Dutch dairy processor, FrieslandCampina has partnered with chocolate and cocoa products manufacturer, Barry Callebaut to explore ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The companies will also work in partnership with feed additive producer, Agolin and feed provider, Agrifirm, to collaboratively pilot a plant-based cow feed additive as part of their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions across the dairy production chain.
Starting this month, a group of FrieslandCampina’s and Agrifirm’s member farmers will test a cow feed additive manufactured by Agolin, which is to be provided in a mineral mixture by Agrifirm.
The feed additive is a blend of plant extracts from spices and herbs which can reduce the methane emission of cows.
According to the partners, trials have shown an expected reduction of methane of 14% enteric emissions per kilogram of milk (as claimed by Carbon Trust).
The pilot is scheduled to run for a year to continue after which the companies said that data gathered during the pilot will form the foundation to make fact-based decisions for next steps.
With this pilot, selected member farmers of both FrieslandCampina and Agrifirm will gain experience with a production chain collaboration focused on reduction of the carbon footprint.
“We’re excited that an important customer such as Barry Callebaut joins us on our ‘lead with sustainability’ journey,” said Simone Boitelle, Director Corporate Affairs & Communications at FrieslandCampina.
“For us it’s in our DNA to work together for the long-term, to truly make a measurable sustainable impact. That’s what we call cooperative sustainability. And that’s exactly what we are doing now with our partners. From feed to cow, from milk to chocolate.”
Jeroen Verver, commercial director Agrifirm NWE added: “With partnerships throughout the production chain we want to deliver measurable, relevant and sustainable value at farm and industry.
“With this pilot we can collect useful information and user experience. Together with our partners we seek for sustainable value: from cow feed to chocolate.”
As more European companies in the agriculture industry strive to be carbon neutral, it has increasingly become evident that the food and drink industry has an integral role to help the EU reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Experts argue that this can only be achieved with changes across the entire farm-to-fork process. In global agriculture industry, the livestock sector has been estimated to produce 7.1 gigatonnes of CO2 annually, according to a recent FAO report.
Cattle, raised for both milk and beef, as well as for inedible outputs like manure and draft power, are the animal species responsible for the most emissions, representing about 65% of the livestock sector’s emissions.
On a commodity-basis, FAO says that cattle milk and beef are responsible for the most emissions, respectively, contributing 20 percent and 41 percent and of the sector’s overall GHG outputs.
In terms of activities, feed production and processing and enteric fermentation from ruminants are the two main sources of emissions, representing 45 and 39 percent of total emissions respectively, data from the report shows.
To mitigate these, agencies have called for R&D collaborations as a prerequisite to build the evidence base for mitigation intervention and technologies as well as increasing the supply of new and improved mitigation technologies/practices.