Dairy cooperative Arla has announced a series of new UK commercial partnerships that aim to accelerate sustainability work on dairy farms.
The new agreements cover a total milk pool from Arla’s UK farmer owners of more than 1 billion litres, all supplied from farms that are part of Arla’s climate check data programme and Sustainability Incentive Model.
These initiatives enable farmers to identify the most efficient ways to reduce emissions on-farm through data insights and financial incentives to fund the required investments.
Arla has signed agreements with supermarket giants Aldi, Asda and Morrisons as well as coffee chain Starbucks, aiming to create deeper farmer and customer collaboration through projects to deliver progress toward shared climate targets.
The company has combined its on-farm sustainability measures in a newly developed Customer Sustainability Programme (CSP), aimed at creating value for retail and foodservice customers looking to lower their scope 3 emissions.
Customers who have signed up to the CSP will invest extra money in the cooperative’s efforts to reduce emissions on-farm, and in doing so will gain access to on-farm R&D projects and pilots, more accurate on-farm data with CO2 footprint per kg/milk and customised data reports, and claimable CO2e reductions.
These components are also expected to enable partnerships to work towards Product Carbon Footprint capabilities from 2024 and beyond.
In addition to the added investments from customers through the CSP, Arla has earmarked up to €500 million each year to reward and motivate farmers, of which €300 million is now activated.
Projects with the participating customers and their aligned Arla farmers will look to reduce on-farm emissions through new research and testing new innovations for potential scaling within areas such as feed additives, herd genetics, biodiversity and fertiliser use.
Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, COO and executive VP of Arla Foods Europe, said: “In our strategy we focus extensively on driving down our on-farm scope 3 emissions as they make up the vast majority of our emissions”.
He added: “We believe we have found an impactful route and levers to drive down scope 3 emissions, and we are strongly committed to this effort as it benefits the planet and brings value to our customers. But we do it for dairy too – dairy provides significant nutritional benefits to human diet, which must not be jeopardised due to its impact on climate and the environment.”
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