Shaping a sustainable dairy industry

To make our cheeses, we collect over a billion litres of milk every year from 1,200 partner producers in nine dairy basins around the world. Bel is aiming to safeguard the long-term future of the dairy industry, which is why we are committed to building enduring relationships with our valued partner producers.

In 2012, Bel partnered with WWF France to reduce our impact on the environment. This partnership was instrumental in laying the foundations for the Upstream Dairy Charter in 2018. This comprehensive approach promotes on-the-ground action covering our entire dairy supply chain.

In 2023, after several years of learning and fieldwork, we revised our Charter to align our actions with three key areas: farmers/partners, animal welfare and regenerative agriculture. All initiatives implemented within these key areas contribute to our new net zero pathway validated by the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative) to limit temperature rises to less than +1.5°C.


  • Reduce Scope 3 emissions by 25% as an absolute value by 2035 compared to 2017.
  • Reduce the emissions from milk production activities by 50% by 2035 compared to 2017 (CO2 eq kg intensity / kg of standardised milk).

Farmers / partners

Building long-lasting relationships with its farming partners forms the backbone of the Bel Group’s ambitions, while prioritising farming practices that respect people and the environment. We are endeavouring to strike a fair and enduring economic balance through long-term contractual relationships. We actively support sustainable practices by offering financial solutions geared towards each partner’s needs.

Bel is also committed to paving the way for future generations of farmers by providing training for producers and developing a programme to increase the farming sector’s appeal.

  • All farms visited at least once a year.
  • All countries will have implemented a “Generational Renewal” programme by 2025.
Reportage BBC Storyworks

In France, the Bel Group and APBO (Bel Western France Producers Association) have renewed their partnership for the seventh year running, with all parties agreeing to increase milk prices and adopt more sustainable farming practices.  As part of our long-term outlook on prices and volumes, we are supporting our 700 partner dairy farms in improving their economic viability, while pioneering more sustainable farming practices.


In partnership with CIWF (Compassion in World Farming), Bel has produced a dedicated animal welfare charter, which is overseen by an independent third party, as a testament to our deep commitment to animals, society and sustainable dairy production. This charter scrupulously respects the “Five Freedoms” defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). These fundamental principles ensure that animals have the freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour, freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom from heat stress or physical discomfort, and freedom from fear and distress. By guaranteeing animal welfare and promoting local feed for the animals, we are actively contributing to sustainable dairy production:

  • The aim is to audit all farms against the requirements of the Bel animal welfare charter (or a local equivalent) by 2025.
  • We are also looking to establish specific local feed supply targets for each dairy basin by 2025 and reach those objectives no later than 2030.


Guided by its views and beliefs on animal welfare, Bel has spent many years advocating cows’ access to pasture, which is beneficial for the animal and also for preserving biodiversity.

  • By 2022, 99% of the milk used will come from cows with access to pasture in traditional grazing areas.

Regenerative agriculture and pilot projects at Bel

The Group is committed to promoting regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture projects are underway in various regions, with innovative practices monitored by recognised experts, such as Earthworm Foundation and the Savory Institute, especially in the dairy sector in the United States and Portugal (mainland and the Azores).

  • One of Bel’s objectives is to source 100% of its milk from regenerative agriculture by 2030

For a closer look at our regenerative agriculture initiatives, click here