Two pilot studies were established, one in the Netherlands and one in the US, involving 65 farms and more than 15,000 cows in total in order to develop the methodology for the concept. The GS methodology confirmed an average reduction of 1,200 metric tonnes (MT) over a six-month period in the Netherlands and a reduction of 500 MT by August of 2020 in the US.
Agolin said the Agolin Ruminant product, when included in dairy and cattle feed at a rate of one gram per head each day for adult animals, has been shown to influence methanogenesis, the production of methane, in the rumen and thereby reduce methane release to the environment by the animal. In addition, the product has also shown to improve feed efficiency, which means the return on milk and meat per kilogram of feed is better.
The company said this improved utilization of resources benefits animals, farmers and the environment. Methane is known to have a much higher global warming potential (GWP) than CO2 (25x – IPCC 2003) and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Beatrice Zweifel, technical director at Agolin said, “We are delighted to be part of this project and to work with Barry Callebaut towards their sustainability goals. The work done through Gold Standard for this project combined with what we already know through many trials on Agolin Ruminant in dairy and beef animals allows us to facilitate sustainable production systems and we look forward to further growing the concept with industry.”
Oliver von Hagen, director of sustainability, global ingredients, at Barry Callebaut Group, said, "I am very pleased that we have been able to develop a methodology with Agolin to credibly quantify and certify CO2 reductions. This closes an important gap and provides a great basis for us to scale up this work with our partners."
Agolin also holds a verification from The Carbon Trust Assurance Ltd for Agolin Ruminant in the reduction of methane emissions and continues to invest in research into ways to assist livestock producers around the world farm in a more sustainable and efficient way.