Arla Foods and DSM in GHG pilot programme

European dairy cooperative Arla Foods and Royal DSM are set to start a large-scale on-farm pilot with the methane reducing feed additive Bovaer@ on 10,000 dairy cows across three European countries. Global research and on-farm trials show that Bovaer@ can reduce methane emissions by around 30% with continued high animal welfare, supporting the companies’ commitment to sustainable dairy production, they say.
Methane emission is one of the dairy industry’s biggest climate challenges. Cows are ruminants, meaning that to digest their feed they continuously burp, releasing methane which affects climate change. In fact, 40% of total emissions from Arla Foods’ farms come from their cows’ digestion of feed.
Arla Foods’ farmer owners are among the most climate efficient dairy producers in the world with an average C02e emission of 1.15kg per kg of raw milk. They are committed to accelerate their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in this decade. In line with Arla Foods ambitious sustainability targets across its value chain, the cooperative is set to pilot the use of the new feed additive Bovaer@ with 10,000 dairy cows across more than 50 farms in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The feed additive could reduce methane emissions by around 30%.
“Climate change requires urgent action, and we believe that dairy is part of the solution. The results from our initial trials with Bovaer@ at both a research facility and one of our Danish farms are very promising. Together with DSM, we are now gaining practical on-farm experience by applying the feed additive in one of its largest pilot programs to date, and one of Arla’s biggest climate projects overall, with 10,000 cows,” says executive vice president and head of agriculture and sustainability at Arla Foods, Hanne Søndergaard.
Climate solution
Bovaer@ is a feed additive for cows and other ruminants. DSM has researched and developed this additive over ten years and extensively tested in 14 countries around the world. Bovaer@ is available for sale in the EU, Brazil, Chile and Australia. In the EU, it is the first ever approved feed additive with environmental impact, confirming its impact on methane emissions and its safety for animals, consumers and the environment.
It works by suppressing the enzyme that triggers methane production in a cow’s digestive system. It takes effect immediately and is safely broken down into compounds already naturally present in a cow’s stomach and is scientifically proven to not affect the milk quality. Just a quarter of a teaspoon of Bovaer@ added daily to each cow’s feed will enable a consistent reduction in methane emissions of 30%, on average. This feed additive therefore contributes to a significant and immediate reduction in the environmental footprint of meat and dairy products.
Throughout the summer and fall of 2022, Arla Foods will work with its farmer owners to ensure a diverse group of farms for the pilot program. During the on-farm pilots, farmers will receive Bovaer@ from their feed suppliers and mix it into the feed for their dairy cows. Arla will collect milk samples for analysis and comparison to milk from dairy cows not fed the feed additive. If preliminary findings are as expected, Arla Foods plans to double the pilot project to include 20.000 cows in 2023. Since the end of last year, Bovaer@ has been approved for use in Brazil and Chile, and, at the start of 2022, it also received EU approval.

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