The dairy cooperative said this means 200m kilos of milk can now be utilized better each year making Arla’s value chain even more sustainable.
Every year, Arla collects around 13bn kilos of milk from 10,300 farmer-owners across Northern Europe.
Arla’s AI tool predicts how much milk 1.5m cows will produce in the future. Before, this kind of forecast took days to create and arose manually from piles of Excel sheets. But with the new tool, it only takes a few hours and the forecast is 1.4% more accurate, the company said.
Michael Bøgh Linde Vinther, director of global milk planning at Arla, said, “The better we are at predicting what our milk intake will be, the better we can plan and optimize our entire value chain, which both improves profitability for our farmer-owners and drives sustainability. The new AI tool provides us with an insight into our supply of milk that we have never had before.”
Through AI, Arla said it is able to create the milk intake forecast from a much richer data foundation. It includes seasonal changes, the number of farmers converting to new milk types, the farmers’ geographical characteristics as well as how much milk they produce on a daily basis.
“We are now able to make important strategic decisions on a more informed basis. The data has become more valid as it is now formalized in a bulletproof system rather than based on individual knowledge. It’s amazing to see how this new technology is able to optimize and improve a, up until now, very time-consuming task,” he says.
For example, it is now possible to make the distinction between how much milk should be collected from farmers in North Germany and West Germany three to five months ahead of time.
“This kind of knowledge is very valuable, as it makes us able to plan and adjust the number of Arla trucks traveling across the country. In that way, we can both reduce cost and save the environment for unnecessary CO2 emissions.”
The new milk intake forecasting tool is being implemented in all Arla’s markets across Europe, including Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.