Danone has become the first corporation to join the Global Methane Hub’s (GMH) Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator.
The accelerator aims to create new scalable and practical solutions for dairy farmers to reduce methane emissions.
Through the initiative, Danone will become the first corporate funder of the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator, which is said to be the “largest ever” globally coordinated research effort on enteric methane.
The accelerator, coordinated by GMH, is supported by an alliance of philanthropic organisations and governments. So far, it has raised $200 million in funding to invest in research and innovation to create new scalable and practical solutions for livestock farmers that can mitigate enteric fermentation (the digestive process of ruminant livestock).
The research will include mitigation of methane through feed additives, plant and animal genetics, methane vaccines and accessible and affordable measurement technologies.
Danone will work with academic experts and technology providers to test solutions that support the building of dossiers for regulatory approvals, while helping to drive innovations for various farm systems in multiple countries.
GMH will also develop a methane accounting and feed optimisation decision support tool for dairy cattle. This will involve Danone smallholders’ dairy farms in North Africa, starting with a first pilot in Morocco with 1,000 farmers.
The companies hope for the tool to help farm advisors formulate dairy diets based on regionally available feed and well-defined feed quality.
The main goal of the project is to demonstrate the benefits of improved livestock nutrition by enhancing livestock productivity, increasing farmers’ income and reducing methane emissions.
Dairy production from cattle makes an estimated 8% of total human-caused methane emissions worldwide, as part of agriculture and livestock activities which represent approximately 40% of global methane emissions.
Marcelo Mena, CEO of GMH, said: “Agriculture is a sector where methane reduction efforts can have an extraordinary impact…Through scaled-up investment from philanthropy, governments and the private sector, we can accelerate progress in developing practical innovative solutions and create the scale and coordination needed for these solutions to be impactful, ensuring greater economic and food security for local communities and transform the future of sustainable farming.”
Danone’s CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique commented: “Reducing methane is a major stake for the climate, the sustainability of our food systems and the future of many farming communities. As a long-time sustainability pioneer, we know that doing it at scale and in an impactful way cannot be done by anyone in isolation. Our partnership with the Global Methane Hub is a key milestone in creating, testing, and deploying impactful and practical solutions in the field of methane reduction. This will allow the world to keep enjoying the benefits of yogurt and help secure a sustainable future to many rural communities.”
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