How can dairy farming improve carbon capture, water quality and biodiversity? Arla Foods is looking to find out.
The dairy cooperative will train 24 pilot farmers in five different countries to implement regenerative farming and use the data and knowledge gathered to see how these methods could be applied to European farms and how they impact climate and nature.
It will also ensure its 916 farmers that produce one billion kilograms of milk register the biodiversity activities each year to generate data. The farmers will also collect soil samples, which will be analysed in a laboratory to determine the carbon levels in their soil.
Arla has stated its intent to ‘fill the data gap’ it claims is currently in place for how regenerative farming can cut emissions and help biodiversity.
It has also agreed to ensure its farmers will have a minimum of 7 out of 33 biodiversity conservation measures in place on their farms, as well as measures to ensure their soil is healthy and low in carbon.
The cooperative states the overall aim of the study is to encourage farmers to adopt regenerative practices that promote carbon sequestration and mitigate the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Janne Hansson from Arla’s Board of Directors said: “A central part of why we want to explore regenerative farming is to gain data-driven proof points of using regenerative methods on dairy farms.
“While we have full attention on reducing our negative impact, the positive impact we can create as stewards of the land has not yet been thoroughly, scientifically proven and we want to secure more science-based knowledge to enable dairy farmers to take the right action for the future.”