© Dairy Crest
Dairy UK – the association that represents British dairy producers – and Arla Foods UK have vowed to improve the environmental performance of the dairy sector with a new strategic partnership with sustainability charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The organisations have signed up to an ambitious ten-year voluntary agreement known as the Courtauld Commitment 2025, which will aim to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink production in the UK and cut the extent of resources needed to manufacture food and drink products by one fifth over the course of the partnership.
The targets include a 20% reduction in food and drink waste, a 20% reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK, and a reduction in the impact associated with water use across the entire supply chain.
Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “The dairy industry is a major player in the food sector and the Courtauld Commitment is a pivotal environmental initiative which, for the first time, brings all parties together under one voluntary agreement.
“More than 98% of the UK population consumes milk and dairy on a regular basis. So the challenge of ever more mouths to feed increases day by day, and the way that our industry interacts with the environment is hugely important.
“The dairy sector has been making tangible improvements for years and UK dairy businesses take their environmental responsibilities very seriously. There is clear evidence that the dairy industry is working extremely hard, and we are determined to meet an ambitious set of improvements over the next decade.
“This is a terrific initiative and underlines our commitment to stepping up to the challenge.”
Arla Foods UK senior vice president, supply chain Dan Kolding said: “Arla is delighted to be collaborating with some of the most important and innovative names in our sector. This commitment enables us to work collaboratively with our retail customers to drive forward reductions in the environmental impact of food production.”
“As one of the founder signatory members, we have been able to contribute to the design of this 2025 Commitment through detailed discussions and proposals. Its emphasis on food waste reduction is partly testament to our ambition to deliver change in this area.”
Arla has already implemented a sustainable filtration system that allows rainwater to be harvested and clean waste water to be recycled – as well as mechanisms to send surplus liquid waste for animal feed instead of anaerobic digesters, and heat recovery systems to store and reuse hot water.
WRAP director of sustainable food systems Richard Swannell added: “Courtauld 2025 is our most ambitious agreement yet and we are delighted that Dairy UK and Arla have pledged their support as a signatory. We are faced with some big challenges ahead with rising populations, climate change and dwindling resources. But tackling food waste offers a practical option to address these challenges and in doing so, will create new opportunities. Only by working together can we hope to realise the big changes that are essential to ensuring a more prosperous future for individuals, businesses and the planet.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019