Bel and WWF towards a sustainable dairy production
From 2012, WWF and Bel decided to join forces in order to reach a common objective: limit the impacts on the environment linked to milk production.
In the framework of this partnership work focused first on gaining a deeper understanding on the feed composition (ingredients, quantities, origin, etc.) and assessing its environmental footprint.
After concentrating the work on those components with the biggest impacts, the partners identified and are now taking various mitigation actions to increase the sustainability of the current animal feed mix.
Act to fitght deforestation linked to animal feed
The 3,200 Bel dairy producer partners feed their cows mostly with fodder, maize silage and freh grass usually growing on their farms.
Parts of the dairy feed, however, are purchased from the feed industry.
WWF is concerned about the feed production threatening high conservation value ecosystems.
To reduce the impacts of animal feed production, the NGO has identified the dairy sector as a priority engagement target.
Bel Group is aware that the scope of its environmental responsibility also extends to the upstream level of its activity (milk production) and identified that upstream milk production accounts for the largest part of its products’ environmental impacts at life cycle level.
Sharing the same vision, WWF and Bel recognize that animal feed is a key component towards sustainable milk production and work together to achieve more sustainable animal feed procurements.
Understanding the hidden impact of dairy cow feed
When evaluating the effects linked to each dairy cow concentrate feed component, two ingredients stick out in terms of their environmental impacts: soy and palm (palm kerner expeller [PKE]). Both are associated with deforestation in their countries of origin and are furthermore linked with negative effects on their eco-social systems.
Support responsible production of soy and palm
In order to be able to take specific actions, WWF conducted an assessment of the quantitiy of soy and PKE needed to produce Bel’s annual milk volumes entering in cheese production in Europe.
One ton of certified is equivalent with one credit of responsibly produced soy or PKE. Bel thus cover with the purchase of credits the volumes of soy and PKE used within the dairy feed. By acquiring credits, farmers are encouraged to pursuit a certified form of production with a premium price for the commodity and availability of sustainability sourced commodities on the market is stimulated. By purchaing RTRS and RSPO certificates, Bel makes an immediate difference and supports sustainable production.
Support sustainable soy production in Brazil
Since the beginning of the partnership, Bel has supported a project of WWF to ensure biodiversity conservation through sustainable soy production in the Area of Mato Grosso in Brazil. Bel purchases the RTRS certified soy produced within the project to cover the soy quantity necessary for its animal feed.
To know more about the innovation WWF-Brazil project for soy farmers “Peeople who Produce and Preserve” in Mato Grosso; visit panda.org.