UK: RABDF discusses growing labour crisis in dairy industry

In the United Kingdom the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has hosted a roundtable at the House of Lords of the parliament to discuss the growing labour crisis in the dairy industry and outline ways to overcome it. The meeting included government officials, UK colleges, dairy farmers, human resource and people experts, processors and an expert panel member from the Shortage of Labour in the Food and Farming Sector. From covering the immediate labour needs versus the longer labour needs, through identifying and improving the image of dairy farming, the roundtable covered a wide range of important issues to help overcome the issue and identified some key actions to take forward. It is clear that access to foreign labour is something we still need in the short term, according to RABDF. However, for the long term we need to look at a myriad of options from education in schools, brand building, skills development, attracting employees from diverse backgrounds, and setting up a dairy scholarship scheme, as examples, according to RABDF.

Ireland: research on reduction of methane by cattle

In Ireland research shows that breeding can have strong influence on the reduction of methane by cattle. The research with beef cattle showed large differences in daily methane emissions between animals fed the same diet, with 11 percent of these differences being traced to genetic differences. The 20 percent highest emitting animals genetically are expected to emit 30 percent more methane per day compared to the 20 percent lowest emitting animals. The research was done by Teagasc, South East Technological University (SETU), Munster Technological University (MTU) and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

Denmark: large scale test by Arla and Südpack

The Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla and the German company Südpack have started a large scale test in which plastic used for cheese production is finding new life. Using a pyrolysis process, the plastic is kept within the loop and recycled into new packaging instead of being sent to incineration, so reducing the overall need for virgin plastic as well as the carbon footprint. The pyrolysis process converts plastic waste into oil by exposing it to very high temperatures in a controlled environment. Arla and Südpack will be testing this new setup with 80 tonnes in 2023.

Denmark: surplus of organic milk

Denmark has a surplus of organic milk. Only half of the volume by farms produced milk is sold to consumers as organic milk, the other half is processed as regular milk. Also other countries have a surplus of organic milk, mainly caused by smaller consumption because of higher consumers prices. In several countries dairies market oR process organic milk as regular milk.

Finland: Arla and BirdLife start project to support swallows

In Finland the Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla and the bird protection and hobby organization BirdLife are joining forces to improve the living conditions of swallows on dairy farms. Dairy farms are important ecosystems for the vitality of swallows. The aim of the project is to help swallows nest on dairy farms and raise awareness around the subject. In Finland, the number of swallows has declined sharply over the past 20 years. The project, which started in spring 2023, involves 20 Arla dairy farms. BirdLife experts visit farms to advise on improving conditions for swallows. A guide has been distributed to all Arla farms, providing tips and resources for improving the habitat of swallows.

Finland: Valio updates sustainability bonus programme

In Finland the dairy cooperative Valio’s sustainability bonus programme for dairy farms has been updated. Previously, the sustainability bonus was two cents per milk litre; now farms can earn an additional cent per litre milk for farming practices supporting biodiversity, for grazing their cattle and providing access to outdoor activity, and for efforts aiming to reduce the farm’s carbon footprint. With the update, Valio will pay its dairy farmer owners, through cooperatives, nearly 50 million euros annually for sustainability actions.

EU: EFSA advice on calves‘ contact with mother

The EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) states in an advice to the European Commission that scientific evidence shows that calves with limited contact with their mother frequently suffer from isolation stress and an inability to suckle. To improve their welfare, the young animals should be kept with the dam for a minimum of one day, although longer contact is recommended due to the welfare benefits for both calf and cow.

Spain: Royal A-ware takes over dairy factory in Salas, owned by Danone

In Spain the Dutch family business Royal A-ware takes over the dairy factory in Salas, from the France headquartered and stock market listed dairy Danone. In the factory, Danone previously produced quark and desserts, among other things. Royal A-ware intends to invest in the factory to make it more sustainable and future-proof. In Salas, Royal A-ware will start producing cow’s milk mozzarella from 2024. The milk that will be processed in Salas will come from dairy farmers in the region.

Austria: facts and figures regarding dairy

-Austria had in 2022 a number of 23178 dairy farms, which was 2.9 percent less than in 2021. Average they kept 23.8 cows and delivered 151000 kilogram milk.
-In Austria in 2022 a volume of 3.5 million tonnes milk (+2.9%) was taken in by dairies.
-Austria exported in 2022 a volume 181000 tonnes (+6.8%) cheese and imported 132000 tonnes (+-) cheese. Cheese is Austria’s main dairy export product. The export value of dairy products increased by 26.2 percent to a record of 1.7 billion (10*9) euro. The foreign trade balance was positive at EUR 643 million (+29.4%). Main export country for Austrian dairy products is Germany, in sequence followed by Italy, Holland and Greece. Austria is also imporing most dairy products from Germany, followed by the same countries in the same sequence.
-Austria exported in 2022 almost 24000 breeding cattle which was 717 head or 3.1 percent more than in 2021. Of those 55 percent were marketed within the European Union, the remaining 45 percent in third countries. The largest customer was Italy. Almost half of all animals went to Austria’s neighboring countries (11076 animals), followed by 5000 animals (21%) exported to the Near East and Central Asia and North Africa. Algeria had the largest share with 4800 animals (20%).

Poland: Arla opened solar power plant

In Poland the Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla has opened a solar power plant. Producing an estimated 1620 MWh per year, the new solar power plant will deliver about 85 percent of the total energy consumption of the Tychowo site which is Arla’s repackaging site in Poland were power cuts and dropouts have been reoccurring obstacles. With the ability to store an additional 2.6 MWh in a battery, the investment will also be able to partly power the site at night adding to the stability.

Germany: ife data March/February 2023

In Germany in March compared to February 2023 the raw material or compound value of milk at farm decreased 0.4 eurocent to 38.6 eurocent per kilogram milk with 4.0 percent fat and 3.4 percent protein (exclusive VAT). This is 21.5 eurocent less 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 October 2024 at 45.8 eurocent. The lowest future price is the price for April and May 2023 at 37.6 eurocent.

Germany: BMI – three-digit million euro investment

In Germany in the southern state Bavaria, the dairy cooperative Bayerische Milchindustrie (BMI) will convert its Zapfendorf location into the most modern ingredients plant in Europe with a three-digit million euro investment. High-quality milk and whey derivatives will be produced in the new plant, which will be used primarily in products such as baby food and performance nutrition in late 2026. BMI has 30 milk supplying cooperatives, dairies and financing members. As one of the main German dairies BMI processes annually more than 800 million kilograms of milk and 2 billion (10*9) kilograms of whey at six production sites in Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt. The export share is 49 percent. BMI is one of the largest whey processors in Germany; in addition, the production of cheese is another mainstay.

Germany: Schwarzwaldmilch will lose milk

In Germany the southern dairy cooperative Schwarzwaldmilch will lose about ten percent of its milk delivered after 24 member farmers have terminated their membership per ultimo 2024. Together those farms deliver about 28 million kilogram milk on annual base. The leaving farmers state that the dairy its farmers milk price is too low compared to other dairies.

Germany: Tuffi and Landliebe – main brands

In Germany the dairy cooperative Hochwald has taken over the brand Tuffi and a license for the production of Landliebe milk rice from the private dairy Müller which took the brand names Tuffi, Landliebe and other brand names last year over from the Holland headquartered dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina. Tuffi is a main brand name in Germany for milk, milk drinks, kefir, buttermilk, cheese, soft cheese and cream. Also Landliebe is a main brand in Germany. The German cartel office required that Müller gave the Tuffi brand licenses for Landliebe milk rice to a competitor.

Belgium: Flanders reaches volume fo 3 billion kilogram milk

In the Belgian northern region of Flanders, the most important dairy region in 2022 milk production increased almost five percent and crossed for the first time the border of three billion (10*9) kilogram, 4.78 percent more than in 2021. This volume was produced by 3837 farms, four percent less than in the previous year.