Share the good news about dairy emissions, says RABDF

The dairy industry is being tasked to get behind a drive to spread accurate facts about greenhouse gas emissions from the sector ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK at the end of October (31 Oct).

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has pulled together some key facts to highlight how little the UK dairy industry contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

The association asks individuals, key industry stakeholders, businesses, and organisations to push the messages within the industry and the wider public before, during, and after COP26.

The aim is to help inform everyone of the actual levels of greenhouse gas contributions coming from the dairy industry and dispel many of the current myths.

Matt Knight, RABDF managing director, says, “It is vitally important we come together as an industry and highlight what the UK dairy’s contribution is to greenhouse gas emissions.

“As an industry, we are working so hard to reduce the levels, but often this is pushed back in our face when inaccurate facts are published.

“The dairy sector, along with other areas of agriculture, is often used as a scapegoat when it comes to emissions, with ‘belching’ cows regularly hitting the headlines in the national press.

“We anticipate UK agriculture will come under the spotlight at COP26, so we must be ready to make our story known and shout about the good work we are doing to reduce emissions from what is already quite a low level.”

Knight continues, “If everyone can share just one fact on social media, in their company newsletter, to a friend or in a conversation, for example, then that is at least one extra person that is better informed about emissions from the dairy industry.”

The facts the RABDF is asking the industry to push include:

  1. Less than 3% of total UK emissions come from UK dairy farming


  1. 46% of dairy cow emissions Almost half of the emissions coming from the dairy cow is from their digestion – a perfectly natural process of ruminants


  1. Producing milk efficiently It takes eight litres of tap water to produce one litre of milk or 158 litres of tap water to produce one litre of almond drink


  1. UK milk emissions much lower than global average  The carbon footprint of a litre of British milk is around 1.25kg CO2e compared to a global average of 2.9kg CO2e per litre.


  1. UK dairy cows are some of the most climate friendly in the world There are 278 million dairy cows worldwide. If they were all as efficient as UK dairy cows, we would only need around 78 million of them to produce the same amount of milk.


The RABDF has produced some draft social media posts, newsletter snippets, visuals and posters that are free to copy and paste from their website at

Knight adds, “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to spread the good work of the dairy industry and reinforce the fact dairy products aren’t only good for human health, they are also good for the planet too.”


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