British dairy supply chain a ‘global leader’ in terms of environmental sustainability: Industry report

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dairy supply chain, Dairy

British dairy supply chain a 'leader’ in terms of sustainability
The British dairy supply chain – comprising farmers, processors and retailers – is a “global leader” in terms of environmental sustainability, an industry-funded report has claimed.

According to The Dairy Roadmap 2013 Environmental Sustainability Report, which was unveiled yesterday, the British dairy industry “leads the world on environmental sustainability.”

“Nowhere else in the world has the whole dairy supply chain – farmers, food manufacturers and retailers – come together to agree such a broad programme with hard, time-bound environmental sustainability targets,”​ said Dairy Roadmap chairwoman, Kate Allum.

“Looking internationally, we know that there are individual cases of companies around the world undertaking supply chain projects, or focusing on the environmental performance of their sites. However, in Britain we recognised that in order to achieve real change we need the whole dairy supply chain to work together from farmers through to retailers."

Environmental sustainability goals

Alongside its claims, the 2013 Dairy Roadmap includes a number of farmer, processor, and retailer-specific environmental sustainability goals.

Dairy processors committed to the Roadmap have been set a total of 20 targets – 13 to be met by 2015, and a further seven to be achieved by 2020.

Among its 2015 expectations, the Dairy Roadmap expects all large dairy processors in the UK to have introduced an Environment Management System (EMS) to cover carbon, energy, water, effluent, waste and packaging.

Processors are also expected to meet a 15% energy efficiency improvement target, and a 30% relative reduction in the quantity of water brought on site by 2020.

Leading British dairy processors, Arla Foods UK, First Milk, Dairy Crest, Muller Wiseman Dairies, Volac, BV Dairy, Longley Farm, Rodda’s and Ballyrashare have committed to meeting these targets.

Dairy UK, Nampak Plastics, a number of farmer organisations, and several British retailers including Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-operative, have also signed up to support the Dairy Roadmap.

“No finish line on environmental sustainability”

The first Dairy Roadmap was published in 2008, and focused solely on the liquid milk sector. The report was expanded to cover total dairy production in 2011.

According to Dairy Roadmap chairwoman, Allum, this development demonstrates that the “ambition and reach of the industry has grown.”

There is “no end point”​ for improvement in terms of environmental sustainability, she added.

“There is no end point, no finish line on environmental sustainability and we will continue to challenge ourselves to keep progressing in this area.”

Related topics: Market Trends, Sustainability

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1 comment

Environmental Sustainability Great but Financial Sustainability a Global Loser

Posted by Mike Pusey,

Great to hear that we in Britain are doing so well on the environmental sustainability front in dairy supply chain but at what cost? It is costing the dairy farmer to meet these standards but they are already being paid less than the cost of production for milk. It is not only the cows that are being milked - it is the farmers. Everyone else in the supply chain is getting there fair share of the proceeds but those that make the biggest contribution are being crippled and are leaving the industry in herds. Time for a shakeup before it is too late. The dairy farmer needs a fair price for his product and if necessary others in the supply chain, especially the supermarkets, need to tighten their belts.

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