Use dairy farming methods with the lowest possible impact on the environment, are animal friendly & increase public support for dairy farming

FrieslandCampina thinks it is extremely important that milk and other raw materials for the production of dairy products are produced in a sustainable way. Among other things, this means using dairy farming methods that have the lowest possible impact on the environment, are animal friendly and contribute towards boosting public support for dairy farming. This demands continuous improvement of the skills and enterprise of member dairy farmers. With the Foqus planet programme FrieslandCampina offers its member dairy farmers the tools to achieve a sustainable business. Increasingly stringent demands are being specified for dairy products and the way in which they are produced. In addition to product and chain quality, clients and society also demand transparency, sustainability and meadow grazing. The dairy sector, in part due to its visibility and impact on the landscape, is closely connected with the community. This means that several social themes are extra important. Society appreciates dairy farmers’ role in and contribution towards maintaining the cultural landscape and rural vitality. The sector is also working on reducing energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and (via the manure) mineral emissions.

Dairy Sustainability Framework

The international dairy sector uses the Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) as the model for making the increased sustainability of the dairy sector measurable. In 2014 FrieslandCampina, together with Unilever and Danone, started an implementation pilot project. With the help of the DSF FrieslandCampina wants to make the increasing sustainability of dairy farming demonstrable to customers and consumers.

Acceleration of sustainable innovations

FrieslandCampina wants to achieve climate-neutral growth between 2010 and 2020. This means that the production volume increases, but energy usage and, therefore, the emissions of greenhouse gasses in 2020 are the same or lower than they were in 2010. To achieve this FrieslandCampina must invest in sustainable innovations. Innovations like mono fermentation that turns manure into biogas, or the installation of wind turbines by member dairy farmers.

Global challenges

One of the three global challenges we face is the scarcity of natural raw materials, this has impact on three things:

  1. Responding to the increasing scarcity of land, water and natural raw materials by producing more efficiently
  2. Reducing CO2 emissions and making more use of renewable energy
  3. Contributing towards the retention of biodiversity

How does FrieslandCampina contribute to face these challenges?

Continuous improvement of animal health and welfare

FrieslandCampina strives for milk from healthy cows and sets great store by animal welfare. Society, consumers and politicians demand transparency regarding good animal health and welfare practices. For member dairy farmers a healthy herd goes hand-in-hand with a good operating result. Cows that live longer produce more efficiently. And healthy cows do not need antibiotics.

Achieve climate-neutral growth between 2010 and 2020 by reducing emissions from milk production at the farm level

Climate-neutral growth means that the production quantity increases, but the energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are the same or lower (compared with the reference year 2010). As a component of this goal the Dutch dairy sector (production and processing) has set itself the target of achieving a minimum annual energy efficiency improvement of two percent a year: the Multi-year energy efficiency agreement (MJA-3) and the Clean and Economical Agricultural Sectors Covenant (Convenant Schone en Zuinige Agrosectoren).

Maintain biodiversity

FrieslandCampina sets great store by biodiversity, because the resilience of a dairy farm is, to a great extent, determined by the diversity of species. In addition, nature and landscape elements, including meadow birds, make a significant contribution towards the image of dairy farming.

Maintain the 2012 level of meadow grazing on member dairy farms (81 percent)

A grazing cow is a component of the Dutch cultural landscape highly appreciated by the public and consumers. FrieslandCampina encourages member dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to put their cows and calves out in the meadow. Every dairy farmer whose dairy cows graze outside for at least six hours a day, 120 days a year receives a meadow milk payment. FrieslandCampina has also developed a scheme for partial meadow grazing. This applies to dairy farmers who put a quarter of their herd out in the meadow to graze at least 120 days a year.