‘World’s first climate-friendly ice cream’ made with milk from cows eating methane-reducing ruminant feed

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

‘World’s first climate-friendly ice cream’ made with milk from cows eating methane-reducing ruminant feed

Related tags Dairy Ice cream carbon credits

What’s billed as the world’s first climate-friendly ice cream made from low-emission has arrived at tasting event in London.

The British agtech company Mootral and Ruby Violet, the ice cream destination in London’s Kings Cross, have collaborated to co-develop an ice cream that is ‘an important step in tackling the climate crisis’. 

The new ice cream, MaxiMootral, is made with milk from cows that are fed using Mootral’s methane-reducing ruminant feed at a farm in Lancashire.

The ice cream “showcases the potential for innovative solutions to climate change and how we move as a society to Net Zero​”, Mootral claimed.

Founded in 2020, the company has raised over €2.5 million in funding. Mootral Ruminant is a 100% natural supplement developed by British scientists that contains compounds from garlic and extracts of citrus. The company claims it has been proven to aid digestion in cows and cut methane emissions from cow burps by up to 38%, while naturally increasing yield, improving critical health parameters and enabling the production of climate-friendly milk and beef. 

Thomas Hafner, CEO and founder of Mootral said: "The British people want sustainable choices, and we look forward to working with the British dairy industry to accelerate the provision of climate smart milk  to meet this demand. We are very proud of our work with British farmers to enable them to produce high-quality milk that has a significantly lower carbon footprint. Our partnership with Ruby Violet shows that delicious, yet sustainable dairy can be made accessible today."

Cow burps and climate change

The UK government aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Agriculture, responsible for 11% of UK GHG emissions, with half from enteric methane, must contribute to reaching this target. As a result, various companies including Mootral are leveraging nature-based and synthetic feed additives to reduce the methane emissions from cows.

More recently, ZELP, a wearable device capturing and converting methane to carbon dioxide using methane oxidation technology has also come to market.

A barrier for adoption however is cost. Mootral Ruminant, for example, is a premium feed product. Because of this, the company’s plans to scale hinge on its innovative use of carbon credits.  

Mootral recently revealed it has sold 3,000 cattle-generated carbon offsets to UK firms. The proceeds from the sale of CowCredits are then paid back to the farmers to subsidise the cost of the feed. 

Each of these credits is equal to a reduction of 1 tonne of CO2 and appeal to UK businesses “proactively seeking highest quality credits to meet ESG targets”.

CowCredits are issued by Verra, a non-profit organisation and one of the world’s biggest standards for certifying carbon emissions reductions.

Hafner told FoodNavigtor that as more companies and governments are looking to reduce emissions, strategies, technologies and financial solutions such as CowCredits are becoming an increasingly important part of the fight against climate change.

“The adoption of sustainable practices in animal agriculture must be commercially sound for farmers, in order to enable such transition. CowCredits is an evolving programme that drives finance into agricultural projects that have an immediate, measurable, and permanent impact on mitigating climate change.”

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