Denmark: better financing options for Danish dairy farmers

In Denmark to give Danish dairy farmers better financing options, the state-owned Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) will give dairy farmers who score on Arla’s Climate Check an interest discount on loans. The discount can reduce the interest rate to a minimum of 30 percent of the base rate. The aim of this is to stimulate the green and sustainable transition of Danish agriculture and food production, so that it is also competitive to produce food in Denmark in the future. Starting with dairy farmers, it’s primarily because 38 percent of CO2 emissions from primary agricultural production come from livestock farming and livestock accounts for more than 80 percent of that. A rapid green transition will have a major effect here, according to EIFO. The fact that Arla’s Climate Check forms the basis for the financing conditions for dairy farmers does not mean that only Arla’s milk producers can get better conditions with EIFO. Arla’s Climate Check is expected to be available to all Danish dairy farmers in the course of 2024.

Sweden: gold medal for dairy farmers

In Sweden at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, on April 15, a number of 23 dairy farmers will receive a gold medal from Crown Princess Victoria for supplying milk of the highest quality for at least 23 years. The Gold Medal Program is an initiative of the Swedish dairy farmers oganization LRF Mjölk and Swedish dairies to give attention to the quality work of dairy farmers. The prize has been awarded since 1958.

Finland: Valio will close plants

In Finland the dairy cooperative Valio plans to transfer the production of plant based products from its plants in Helsinki and Turku to Riihimäki. If the plan is implemented, it will mean the closure of the plants in Helsinki and Turku. With the planned transfer of production, Valio aims to improve production efficiency and profitability.

Norway: breeding project on environmental footprint

In Norway a new breeding project will focus on enhancing efficiency and reducing the environmental footprint of Norwegian Red cattle by improving feed efficiency and methane emission reduction. Additionally it will refine reproductive and genomic technologies and explore the benefits of integrating purebreds and crossbreds. With a total project investment value of around one million euro, half funded by the Norwegian Research Council and half provided by Geno. Geno is the cooperative breeding organization of Norwegian Red, the main dairy breed in Norway. Geno launches this project to advance sustainable breeding practices for Norwegian Red dairy cattle. The project will involve collaboration with researchers from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and the Scottish Roslin Institute which is part of the university of Edinburgh.

Switzerland: Nestlé stopped the production of the milk alternative pea based plant drink

The Switzerland headquartered dairy Nestlé has stopped the production of the milk alternative pea based plant drink Wunda, after sales in the UK were stopped last year already. The drink was introduced in 2021. Nestlé is still producing other milk alternative plant based drinks.

Austria: imitation milk – origin of 67 percent of the raw materials is unclear

In Austria an inventory of 153 vegan milk and meat imitations at five different food retailers in the capital Vienna shows that of vegan spreads 77 percent of the origin of the raw materials is unclear and that of imitation milk the origin of 67 percent of the raw materials is unclear. The inventory was carried out by the Young Viennese Farmers and by the rural economy association Verein Wirtschaften am Land. According to both organisations the lack of transparency suggests that many products may come from third countries where standards are generally lower and that transport routes generate huge CO2 emissions.

Austria: Burgenland is planning state dairies

In Austria the state Burgenland is planning state dairies for the processing of domestic produced milk. Since 15 years all milk from farms in Burgenland is transported for processing in the two Austrian states Styria and Lower Austria. An own state dairy could ensure fixed sales opportunities and price stability for Burgenland producers, which could also ensure the continued existence of organic farms in the long term. Also this could encourage regular dairy farms to switch to organic, according to the governor. As first step the state dairy should have a capacity of 500000 kilogram milk.

Germany: ife data Februar 2024/January 2024

In Germany in February 2024 compared to January 2024 the raw material or compound value of milk at farm decreased 0.5 eurocent to 42.2 eurocent per kilogram milk with 4.0 percent fat and 3.4 percent protein (exclusive VAT). This is 3.2 eurocent more than in the same month one year before. The highest future price of milk for the next 18 months on the Kieler Börsenmilchwert European Energy Exchange is the price for September 2025 at 48.8 eurocent. The lowest future price is the price for May 2024 at 41.9 eurocent.

Germany: Müller dairy closes plants

In Germany the private dairy Müller will in 2026 close two of the three plants that it in 2023 took over from Holland headquartered dairy cooperative Royal Friesland Campina. This two plants in Heilbron and Schefflenz are not economically viable, according to Müller. Last year Müller closed already the former RFC plant in Cologne. Müller continues the brand Landliebe that it has taken over from Royal FrieslandCampina in 2023 also.

Holland: research on the potential of genetic selection to reduce infectious deseases of animals

In Holland a PhD research at Wageningen University & Research shows that genetic selection of animals to make them less susceptible to infections is an interesting intervention. The current approach in animal breeding to select for lower infection susceptibility, however, purely focusses on the individual animal, ignoring the fact that infections are transmitted from animal to animal in populations. This thesis shows that by ignoring the transmission of infections, breeders miss a considerable part of the heritable variation. Thereby, the potential of genetic selection to reduce the impact of infectious diseases in livestock populations is much larger than always thought.