UK – Meadow Foods, the UK’s largest independently owned dairy group, has set out its ambition to produce the lowest carbon footprint milk in the UK, through various strategic partnerships.

To lead the way in the decarbonization of the UK’s dairy industry, a notoriously challenging sector to decarbonize, the company said accurate emissions measurement is the key to unlocking its ambitious targets whilst still maintaining a profitable business.

The dairy ingredients company has entered into a strategic partnership with emissions measurement platform Altruistiq, to enable it to focus not only on Scope 1 and 2 emissions (those within Meadow Foods’ direct operational control).

The dairy is also leveraging on the platform’s ability to unpack the complexities of measuring Scope 3 emissions (all other indirect emissions that occur within the value chain), which sets them apart from similar services, to achieve a wholesome emission reduction.

Meanwhile, the innovative platform has allowed Meadow Foods to identify the largest and most concentrated sources of emissions and refine the business’s decarbonization initiatives.

Altruistiq’s data measurement confirmed what Meadow Foods suspected, that dairy farms are the key carbon hotspots within their value chain.

With over 425 farms supplying dairy products for Meadow Foods, this was a key target area for the company.

From 2018 to 2021, Meadow Foods has managed to work closely with farmers to reduce their footprints by 21%, which means that their carbon footprint is 64% lower than the global average, and 16% lower than the UK average for a liter of milk.

The key to this reduction, according to the partners, is using the quantifiable carbon data verified by Altruistiq as a tool for farmer engagement.

By sharing this project-level data with farmers, Meadow Foods has been able to engage with individual partners, share best practices and work closely with them to provide tailored guidance on approaches to reduce emissions.

Meadow Foods said it plans to launch a farmer engagement program early next year, that will address the emission in the spotted hotspot.

To remain a profitable business whilst continuing to reduce carbon, the UK-based company said the data analysis has identified the carbon footprint of individual products and ingredients providing a reliable, accurate, and granular impact breakdown.

 Meadow Foods has then been able to use this impact intelligence to lead strategic, collaborative projects with new and existing partners to cost-effectively reduce their shared carbon footprint.

The company is also looking to partner with Harper Adams University, and become an associate with their cutting-edge program called the School of Sustainable Food and Farm.

Founded by the likes of McDonald’s, Morrison’s, and the National Farmers Union (NFU), the program is going to be at the forefront of innovation that can be passed on to farmers, sharing good practices to help them reduce emissions.

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