The project will operate specifically in southwest Scotland and Cumbria and is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under its ‘Strength in Places’ fund. Set to run for five years, until 2026, the Digital Dairy Chain project focuses on developing an efficient and sustainable supply chain from farm to plate. It will encourage innovation-led growth using the latest technology to support advanced manufacturing processes and create fully integrated and traceable supply chains.
NMR and First Milk will look to promote the project by sharing data as efficiently as possible.
“We will be looking at the most efficient means of enabling First Milk to get data rapidly on a range of metrics to optimize milk transport, processing and traceability,” said NMR’s Ben Bartlett.
“And within our testing services there is also scope to investigate new tests, which may offer improved nutritional and processing information for milk collected off farms so maximum value can be made by directing it to the best end use.
“We will take full advantage of digital data systems to strengthen the sustainability of dairying for all the First Milk members involved.”
Mark Brooking from First Milk said, “This project will support the full digitalization of the dairy supply chain in southwest Scotland and Cumbria from grass to glass. This has the potential to deliver many benefits – from optimized and low-carbon logistics, which can reduce cost and environmental impact, to improved efficiency on-farm and in milk processing sites.
“As well as driving efficiency throughout the dairy supply chain, through the adoption of new technology, this project offers the potential to deliver improved economic, social and environmental gains. This will help to secure the future of dairy in the area. It also fits with our whole sustainability agenda, which aims to demonstrate how dairy farmers can be part of the climate-change solution.”
Dairy organizations also participating in the Digital Dairy Chain project are Lactalis McLelland and Arla, alongside SRUC, the University of Strathclyde and the University of West Scotland. The project will start in September 2021.
NMR’s core business is testing milk. The company tests 98% of the UK’s bulk milk samples on behalf of milk buyers for payment purposes. NMR is supplier of animal identification tags and its laboratories also carry out disease surveillance and genomic testing.