Europe’s largest dairy cooperative, Arla Foods, is pledging to make its operations carbon-neutral from cow to supermarket by 2050, with any unavoidable emissions (for example, from farms) entirely offset by improvements elsewhere in the supply chain. It also aims to balance nitrogen and phosphorus cycles to support clean water systems and become even more closely aligned with nature to further increase biodiversity across Britain’s countryside.
These new targets come after the cooperative, owned by 10,300 farmers across the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium has shown business growth can be achieved without environmental impact.
While Arla has managed more than 40% more milk since 2005, its CO2 emissions have reduced by 22% across production and packaging; on farms CO2 emissions per kilo of milk have reduced by 24% since 1990.
Arla Foods UK Managing Director Ash Amirahmadi comments: “One of the greatest challenges facing us all is providing natural, nutritious food for a growing population whilst reducing our collective impact on the world around us. Arla has already shown this is possible and the new ambitions announced today will ensure Arla’s farmers, production sites and products continue to play their part in developing a sustainable world for everyone.”
Whilst the targets are ambitious and will require radical changes across its business in the decades to come, Arla believes they are possible given the rapid pace of change in technology and ever-increasing on farm efficiencies.
Arla in the UK has already developed the first carbon net zero milk processing facility in the world with a state-of-the-art milk processing facility at Aylesbury, which uses biogas produced on site and anaerobic digestion. The site has since created a circular economy for its operations working with Olleco and McDonald’s.
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