Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: NFU Welcomes Environmental Roadmap for the Dairy Sector

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: NFU Welcomes Environmental Roadmap for the Dairy Sector

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wood

THE National Farmers' Union has welcomed Defra's Milk Roadmap which is aimed at raising environmental standards and improving performance.

The draft document announced yesterday contains a set of short, medium and long-term actions to improve the environmental performance of the dairy sector. For example, dairy producers have committed to reducing the greenhouse gas balance (including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) from dairy farms by 20%-30% between 1990 and 2020. The production sector has also undertaken to boost the number of dairy farmers taking part in environmental stewardship schemes to 65%, nutrient planning to 90% and animal health plans to 95%, enhancing their ecosystems, improving animal welfare and cutting emissions from soil and fertiliser.

And by 2020 half of all milk packaging will be made from recycled materials.

The Roadmap was drawn up by a working group chaired by Dairy UK, with membership from across the milk supply chain including feed and fertiliser manufacturers, farming organisations, processors, retailers, packaging suppliers and consumer organisations.

Minister For Food and Farming Jeff Rooker said: "Dairy products are enjoyed by almost everyone in the UK; there are very few households without a carton of milk in the fridge. The dairy industry has acted responsibly in the past to cut its environmental impact, and this Roadmap provides a major new tool to achieve that. Delivering on the targets contained in the document will be a significant achievement. I welcome the UK dairy industry's collaborative approach in developing this plan of action."

Milk processors have committed to meeting or beating the energy and carbon dioxide reductions of the sector Climate Change Agreement, source more renewable energy and cut energy and water use compared to 2007 levels.

The NFU has worked closely with Defra to ensure the Roadmap takes account of the great achievements already made in the dairy sector and to develop targets that are realistic, achievable and in no way compromise the economic viability of dairy farming. …

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