Global dairy groups to follow UK green milk strategy

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon dioxide Dairy

The global dairy industry could be set to follow its UK
counterparts by adopting similar environmental commitments to those
set out as part of the country's milk roadmap unveiled announced
last week, an leading expert says.

Jimm Begg, president of the International Dairy Federation (IDF), said that it was currently in the process of devising resources to offer its members to ensure that they are better able to reduce the impact of producing, processing and producing milk The roadmap, which was outlined late last week the by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA​) in conjunction with industry group Dairy UK and other stakeholders, sets out goals for the industry of reducing their environmental impact. These targets include a timeline on cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and water use related to milk production, while also agreeing not to send any factory produced waste to landfill sites by 2020. International Focus​ Begg, who also helms Dairy UK, which helped to draw up the guidelines, told that it had been inundated with requests for further information on the roadmap, which could serve as a blueprint for similar international schemes. "We will happily work with other countries and industry bodies to supply this information and the IDF is really moving forward with this focus,"​ he said. "The roadmap is relatively unique and could help serve to ensure improved worldwide supply chain cooperation on dealing with reducing environmental impacts throughout dairy production."​ Begg said that the IDF was already in the process of identifying areas where it can support the industry in meeting its environmental commitments, and would soon be ready to kick start its own initiatives. "The impact of milk production and processing is a global issue, and there are many options that we are looking at right now to reduce it,"​ he added. Roadmap challenges​ For liquid milk processors in the UK, the main challenges set in the roadmap includes ensuring that half of all packaging used for milk packaging will be made from recycled materials by 2020. A number of milk processing plants are already signed up for the ISO14001 environmental accreditation scheme according to DEFRA, though under the new proposals, further cuts to energy and water use will be required. As part of the roadmap's long-term focus, by 2020, larger processors must make absolute reductions to their water use of 30 per cent compared to 2007 levels, with a focus particularly on reuse and recycling schemes. Smaller processors will be required to enact a 20 per cent reduction over the same period, according to the roadmap. CO2 emissions​ In terms of the industries CO2 emissions, processors will also be required to exceed the previously agreed targets set as part of the Climate Change Agreement with the dairy sector. The roadmap said the use of new technologies would need to be introduced in a bid to cut emissions of nitrogen dioxide from gas boilers on site as well. Before 2020, milk processors will have to come inline with short and medium-term target goals as well, with of deadlines of 2010 and 2015 respectively. In the short term, milk processors will be required to at least be in line with the energy and CO2 outlined by the Climate Change Agreement, while ensuring that a minimum of 10 per cent to all milk bottles are made of recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE). By 2015, major processors will be required to adopt an Environmental Management System (EMS) addressing their carbon, water, effluent, waste, and packaging outputs. Small and medium-sized groups will also be encouraged to join, DEFRA said. Any processor using gas-fired boilers over 2MW will be required to install low NOx burners as a result.

Related topics Markets Fresh Milk Sustainability

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