DairyCo welcomes United Nations FAO report on greenhouse gas emissions

Published 20 April 10

DairyCo has welcomed the new report from the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), 'Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector', published on 20 April 2010.

The report, a follow-up to the FAO's 2006 report, 'Livestock's Long Shadow', assesses the global dairy industry's contribution specifically and covers the production of dairy products from the farm to the retailer. It shows that:

  • Global milk production, processing and transportation contribute just 2.7% to the world's total anthropogenic (ie those caused by humans) GHG emissions
  • When emissions relating to meat production from dairy-related cattle are included, the figure is 4%
  • Milk produced in Western Europe, including the UK, has one of the smallest carbon footprints (around 1.5kg of CO2 equivalents per kg of milk produced, compared with a global average of 2.4 kg)

DairyCo research and development manager, Dr Karen Wonnacott is pleased to see the report published. "As a member of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) DairyCo has been able to join forces with other dairy producing countries to encourage the FAO to focus on dairy first, before other livestock species, which are currently being researched."

"British dairy farmers and the dairy industry are already working hard to reduce emissions, and this report gives us even more motivation to continue that work," says Dr Wonnacott. "Through continued industry input into the Milk Roadmap, and ongoing research and development, we want to make sure that the British dairy industry continues to lead the way on these environmental issues."


Date: 20 April 2010

For further information:

N:        Helen Bond

T:        02476 478696

E:        helen.bond@dairyco.org.uk

W :      www.dairyco.org.uk

Notes for Editors:

About DairyCo

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

DairyCo's current focus is on improving the profitability of dairy farming by focusing on four specific areas:

  • Provision of high quality market information to help farmers and their representatives make the most of dairy markets and opportunities.
  • Helping dairy farmers increase their profits while meeting regulatory and environmental requirements - through the provision of world class research programmes and practical on-farm tools and services
  • Helping promote the positive perception of dairy farming with the general public.
  • The development of DairyCo activities towards a self-sustaining model.

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around £6.5m.

Dairy Industry Initiatives

The Milk Roadmap is a whole supply chain approach to minimising the environmental impact of the dairy sector. A recent progress report published by Defra showed that the dairy sector is well on track to meet its first set of targets, set out in the Roadmap.

In addition, the UK dairy industry is collaborating with others in the dairy industry globally, through the Global Dairy Agenda for Action that commits the world's dairy sector in improving its environmental performance.

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