Nature is the engine of every dairy farm. The growth of crops and milk production are dependent on the natural system, and consequently on biodiversity. Urbanisation, expanding industry and intensification of agriculture globally threaten biodiversity. This leads to disturbance and affects the resilience of ecosystems. Examples of this are loss of soil fertility, increase of the number of diseases and plagues and climatological effects. As relatively large landowner and as production factor with environmental impact, dairy farming affects biodiversity. FrieslandCampina wants to actively contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. Dairy farmers who actively commit themselves to the preservation of species, nature and landscape have been financially rewarded by earning development points in the sustainability section of Foqus planet since 2015.

Biodiversity Monitor

Dairy farms affect biodiversity: on the farm and in the nature conservation areas around the farm. Their influence on biodiversity reaches beyond this as well. For example, through the purchase of feed concentrates. Dairy farmers can do more to positively affect biodiversity than managing the natural environment on their farm alone. FrieslandCampina, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Rabobank have developed a methodology to measure the impact of dairy farms on biodiversity. This Biodiversity Monitor is based on the principles of the FAO LEAP and the Natural Capital Protocol.

The instrument uses Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the performance of a dairy farm in the area of biodiversity and provides insights into possible farming improvements. The KPIs are as follows: greenhouse emissions, nitrogen soil balance, ammonia emissions, share of farmland used for protein production; share of permanent grasslands, and the share of nature and landscape management. This integrated approach to biodiversity is unique in the world. FrieslandCampina, together with member dairy farmers, will be investigating how to make use of this methodology for creating earning models.