EUROPE – Kerry Group, one of the leading taste and nutrition companies in the world, has launched a €6 million (US$6.7 million) dairy sustainability program to help European farmers cut their carbon footprint.
The program will support the acceleration of sustainability initiatives in Ireland, driven by science and best practices.
A central element of Kerry’s strategy is to work with suppliers to reduce emissions intensity by 30% across its supply chain.
More than 3,000 farmers, milk suppliers of the company, will be given technical and financial aid to transition to sustainable farming practices.
The expected outcome of the program is a significant reduction in carbon and ammonia emissions, improvements in water quality, and enhanced biodiversity.
Milk suppliers are hard-pressed to produce for a growing population, while at the same time, dairy production is coming under increased environmental scrutiny.
Last year, Danish multinational dairy giant Arla came under new pressure to abandon animal dairy for plant-based alternatives as part of wider, well-orchestrated efforts by animal activists to rid the world of unsustainable agriculture.
To express their displeasure over the company’s continued dairy operations, a number of activists blockaded Arla’s key milk factory in England demanding Arla to fully plant-based by 2025.
Around 50 activists from Animal Rebellion, a sister group to Extinction Rebellion, stood in protest blocking the gates to the Arla’s distribution center near Aylesbury, UK, erecting bamboo structures and concrete barricades to prevent trucks from entering the facility.
The farmer-owned cooperative has since unveiled a five-year strategy to bolster its commitment to become a net-zero business by 2050.
The company said that it is prepared to increase its investments by more than 40% to over €4 billion (US$4.6 billion) in the next five years to support sustainable dairy across its value chain.
As one of the most carbon-efficient dairy producers globally, Kerry has jumped into the sustainable dairy ring and seeks to provide leadership to farmers to achieve climate targets.
“Consumers globally want to consume food more sustainably, and it is important to examine how we can deliver dairy in a better way for people and the planet,” says Pat Murphy, CEO of Kerry’s Dairy Business.
The company’s Our Beyond the Horizon sustainability strategy sets out targets, and the dairy business has committed to supporting milk suppliers with the adoption of sustainable actions.
Last year, Kerry Group also launched Project Amata alongside the UN’s World Food Program (WFP).
The project aims to enhance the production and availability of safe, sustainable milk for children and communities in the Gitega province of Burundi.
Throughout the three-year program, Kerry experts and WFP staff will work together with farmers and the local community to build milk production capacity.
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