Sustainable dairy farming is at the forefront of a new initiative from Arla Foods.
The company's Growing Together programme will span for three years and involve 3,000 of its British farmers. The goal is to improve efficiency and sustainability by ensuring better animal welfare, protecting natural resources and enhancing biodiversity and waste management. It builds on Arla's European-wide strategy to ensure dairy farming is made much more sustainable.
Arla has outlined four key areas in which it hopes to deliver on its plan. This includes: feeding for the future, breeding for the future, managing future health and benchmarking for the future. Farmers will be encouraged to assess the nutritional factors of efficient milk and milk solids production while determining how breeding could be done better to ensure the long-term production of milk solids and reducing health problems with their livestock.
The company will be setting up a series of 60 workshops across the UK to helps its farmers develop and share their knowledge and best practice with others. It believes that the Growing Together initiative can help to maintain dairy farming for the coming decades.
Johnnie Russell, British farmer director of Arla Foods, said: "Growing Together is about unlocking that knowledge and making sure our farmers can share ideas, technologies and best practice with each other, making Arla stronger and more progressive."
Arla was among the companies affected by the food embargo imposed by Russia in the wake of sanctions from the European Union and the US. The restrictions forced Arla to cut its standard milk price to €1.5 cents/kg (1.2p a litre) for September 1st.
While Russia has been easing its dairy ban to allow lactose-free milk to enter the country it has still forced the company to reduce a standard litre price of milk down to 30.38p per litre.