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Carbon neutral dairy farming: are you ready to take part? Ep. 3 – The game changers

High costs of sustainability, still weak customers’ commitment, and socioeconomic challenges are only few of the main obstacles towards carbon neutrality, especially in developing countries. With our experts, let’s now discover what drivers could potentially unlock the situation.  

Our interview with Andrea, MI Technical Manager, Colin Reece, RSD for Middle East and South Africa, and Otabek Karimov, RSD for Far East, gave us an idea of the high complexity involving the path towards a more sustainable dairy farming at a global level. We thus went on wondering what are, in their opinion, the key drivers, in terms of both stakeholders and actions, to sensitize dairy supply chain’s members towards carbon neutrality. 

Let’s find the keys to unlock the situation 

When asked to identify those factors which determine the engagement of our sector in a low-carbon pathway, our three experts had clear ideas, supported by equally definite examples. 

Both Andrea and Otabek found government agreements and policies, in turn leading to financial incentives, extremely powerful in convincing people to opt for low-impact solutions. 

The former, in particular, stated“These actions could be essential to support companies producing sustainably, helping them to maintain a competitive price on the market while making people committed, leading them to give priority to green products. 

An example of how these incentives can be effective is related to the sales of our iDriver inverter. This product, inserted between energy source and vacuum pump, reduces energy waste, only producing the amount of vacuum needed, with a consequent consistent reduction in emissions.  

Despite the undoubtful benefits for customers and the environment, in some countries sales skyrocketed only after Governments promoted incentives for the installation of this product.” 

With regards to Far East, Otabek brought up two examples. 

Firstly, in Thailand thanks to government funding, MI had the opportunity to partake in the development of a Smart Farm project, focused on innovation and technology, while reducing emissions. 

Secondly, in Singapore the co-operation between Ministries of Education, National Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Trade and Industry, and Transport lead to the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The aim is to consolidate national commitment to what established by the Paris Agreement, encouraging people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, promoting renewable energy use, as well as the development of a green economy. 

As mentioned in the previous episode, Colin instead sees consumers’ demand as the key to engage the dairy supply chain in a low-carbon pathway. Among his countries, he mentioned Saudi Arabia as an example. Within this market, vertical integrated farms are the main farming system, managing every step of the value chain, from producing forage all the way to the final labelled product sold in supermarkets. Some of these big players are approaching sustainability, right because of a growing sensitivity of consumers towards this matter. 

Where should we start? 

Having acknowledged what factors determine the commitment of dairy supply chain towards carbon neutrality, we enquired the essential moves that should be made, in order to pave the way to achieve the goal, even in those less involved regions. 

A primary aspect, brought up by all experts interviewed, is developing methodologies which allow to study performances and emissions of each farming system. Once obtained a clear picture of the starting point, as well as of farmers’ and consumers’ needs, it will be possible to develop the most suitable low-carbon and efficient approach for each entity.  

Furthermore, thanks to these frameworks, it will be possible to demonstrate the improvements ensured by the implementation of the plan, as well as to recognize the most efficient practices and genetic features, in terms of milk-feed yield, to prioritize.  

Two further possible moves suggested to off-set CO2 release are planting trees and using manure to produce biogas, respectively made by Andrea and Colin.  

To conclude, both data and our experts revealed that the pathway towards a carbon neutral dairy farming still needs to be paved at a global scale. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that all of us can help reduce the carbon footprint of our sector. In fact, if we all start playing our part, every little action will add up, turning out to be essential for the achievement of the goal. 

Moreover, starting from the assumption that the healthier the animals, the more efficient the farms and the lower the emissions, MI will be ready to support farmers and co-operate with dairy value chain’s members in developing meaningful solutions, aligned with the socioeconomic settings of each country, aimed at maximising the efficiency and reducing our sector’s emissions. 

What about you, are you ready to take part? 

milkrite | InterPuls thank Andrea, Colin and Otabek for their contribution. 

Sources: 

 

 

Date: 03 September 2021

  • Summary:
    Our world and industry is changing, but who are the main movers and shakers causing this?