Nestle to develop first carbon neutral dairy farm in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Nestlé has launched the Skimmelkrans Net Zero Carbon Emissions Project in George, South Africa, aimed to create the company’s first carbon neutral dairy farm.

Under the project, the food giant has committed that by 2023 the farm will be carbon net zero.

This aligns with company’s broader sustainability platform called RE, where Nestle has committed to RETHINK, REDUCE AND REPURPOSE on its journey towards a more sustainable future.

It also build’s on Nestle’s redoubled efforts to combat climate change, with the food company recently announcing plans to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero and waste free future by 2050.

“The Skimmelkrans project is a positive step in our sustainability journey. The project will scale the quality production of our dairy products therefore enhancing our consumer experience,” stated Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

According to Nestle, net-zero is achieved when emissions created by the farm are displaced by removing the same amount of emissions from the atmosphere.

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“While there are many ways to create more sustainable operations for dairy farms, Skimmelkrans sets itself apart through the soil work, water conservation, feed management and manure processing, where some of the biggest reductions of greenhouse gases occur.”

Hoven Meyer – Agricultural Services Group Manager at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR)

One of the approaches the company will use is immediately collecting cow manure while the cows graze, and then take it to a press that separates the solids from the liquids.

The technique used ensures that there is no moisture left in the finished product; the solids are released back into the soil as compost, and the liquids go back into the pastures as irrigation, meaning that less methane is released into the air.

In April 2021, the soil will be tested, screened, and analysed by soil experts and the results will determine how much closer the farm is to the net zero carbon emissions goal.

“While there are many ways to create more sustainable operations for dairy farms, Skimmelkrans sets itself apart through the soil work, water conservation, feed management and manure processing, where some of the biggest reductions of greenhouse gases occur,” stated Hoven Meyer, Agricultural Services Group Manager at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

Skimmelkrans will operate in a biodiverse ecosystem interlinking the release of manure back into the soil, to growing their own animal feed without having to buy large quantities from external feed suppliers, as well as conserving water.

All these practices result in better care and nutrition for the cows on the farm, as well as better nutrition in the milk products produced, giving consumers a safe, environmentally friendly product.

“Producing quality milk is crucial to increase the nutritional value of our products without compromising on taste and health.

“This is particularly important as consumers prefer products with added nutritional benefits as part of their healthy and balanced lifestyles,” added Tohlang.

Products that will benefit from these initiatives include Nestlé MILO, Nestlé NESPRAY and other milks.

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