dsm-firmenich: Bovaer has saved 50,000 tons of CO2e to date

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Monty Rakusen
© GettyImages/Monty Rakusen

Related tags Bovaer dsm-firmenich methane emissions Dairy Beef Milk

Swiss-Dutch human and animal nutrition group, dsm-firmenich, reports that Bovaer, since it was first developed and up to today, has enabled the reduction of 50,000 tons of CO2e equivalent.

The company is now looking to achieve 100,000 tons of CO2e as the next milestone for the feed additive, which is targeted at methane emissions reduction in ruminants.

Mark van Nieuwland, VP Bovaer, outlined the progress dsm-firmenich has made in the first six months of this year in terms of regulatory developments and global partnerships for the supplement.

Authorities recently approved the sale of Bovaer in Paraguay, for use in dairy and beef cattle, making it the seventh country in Latin America to give the feed additive the green light, while Elanco Animal Health, dsm-firmenich’s strategic partner for developing, manufacturing, and commercializing Bovaer in the US, anticipates US approval and launch of the supplement in the first half of 2024.

“Once approval is confirmed, we hope Bovaer will become a blockbuster product in the American market.”

In February, Swedish dairy company, Norrmejerier, said it was using the EU approved additive to produce climate-friendly milk, while in April, Spanish agricultural cooperative, COVAP, announced it was adding Bovaer to the feed of its dairy cows.

Additionally, Arla Foods shared an interim update on its Bovaer pilot on Swedish dairy farms in May, which confirmed that the feed additive can be incorporated into regular farming practices without difficulty.

In Norway, the minister for agriculture, Sandra Borch, and the CEO of Nortura, Anne Marit Panengstuen, visited a Bovaer pilot site in May. Norwegian farming cooperative, TINE, is leading the project MetanHub to achieve a 30% reduction in methane emissions from agriculture in the next four years.

“Meanwhile, Norwegian dairy producer Q-Meieriene is starting production of Klimamelk (Climate Milk) using our Bovaer additive, with the product due to hit supermarket shelves in September 2023.”

Again, in May, the Bel Group, the French company behind the Babybel cheese brand, announced it was rolling out Bovaer​ across the majority of its milk supplying farms in Slovakia.  

In the Netherlands, Nestlé and Vreugdenhil are committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms by 50% in 2030 through regenerative agriculture, including the use of Bovaer, while over 150 FrieslandCampina farms participated in a six-month pilot​, which confirmed that Bovaer can easily be introduced at scale without affecting animal health, milk production, or milk composition. “We look forward to building on this initial success and scaling further in the coming years.”

In early 2023, an expanded pilot scheme involving Valio, A-Rehu, National Resources Institute Finland, and the University of Helsinki​ began on the use of Bovaer with 3,100 dairy cows at 43 farms. “This pilot is addressing practical challenges so that our feed additive can be made widely available at various dairy farms across Finland.”

The road to zero

"Progress is exactly what the world needs right now, and recent developments make it clearer than ever that sustained, global action is the only way to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis," remarked van Nieuwland.

April saw the publication of the IPCC report​, and, in June, it was reported that global temperatures crossed the 1.5°C threshold​ for the first time with sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic reaching unprecedented highs.

van Nieuwland tracked a number of events that have been held this year aimed at accelerating a reduction in GHG emissions in the agricultural sector:

  • In March, the New Zealand Agriculture Climate Change Conference 2023 featured "powerful" presentations from James Shaw, minister for climate change in the New Zealand government, Andy Reisinger, NZ climate change commissioner, and Simon Upton, parliamentary commissioner for the environment.  
  • In April, the first Ministerial Conference on Low-Emission Food Systems was held in Chile​ to stimulate international cooperation on reducing methane emissions, culminating in a joint commitment from the 13 participating countries.
  • In May, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) Summit was held in Washington DC to accelerate investment in agriculture and food systems innovation. Also, that month, the G7 negotiations in Japan concluded with a reaffirmed commitment to the Global Methane Pledge, though the door remains open to continued investment in fossil fuels, said the dsm-firmenich representative.
  • In June, delegates gathered in Germany for the Bonn Climate Conference. “Key topics included the first-ever global stock take, which is expected to translate into more ambitious climate action across parties and individual sectors."

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