In Wales the government has decided to proceed temporary to enable higher applications of nutrients from livestock manures where there is a crop need to do so, alongside additional measures to protect the environment from risk of pollution. Where nutrient management plans for 2024 indicate the annual rate of 170 kilogram per hectare nitrogen from livestock manures is likely to be exceeded, farm businesses must undertake additional actions, to minimise the risks associated with the additional application of manures to land. Earlier the government limited the annual nitrogen application to a maximum of 250 kilogram per hectare, subject to crop need and additional environmental protection measures.
The Irish research centre APC Microbiome and the New Zealand headquartered dairy cooperative Fonterra will cooperate to harness the opportunities of the microbiome. The partnership will focus on the human microbiome and will see the establishment of the Fonterra Microbiome Research Centre at the University College Cork, to be operational by the end of 2023.The centre will help to identify and substantiate the health benefits of Fonterra’s probiotics, with the aim of bringing several new probiotic strains to the market over the next 5-10 years.
In Ireland the second biggest dairy cooperative Aurivo has acquired the branded liquid milk, butter and van sales business from the Irish dairy cooperative Arrabawn.
In Ireland dairy farmers that supply to the private dairy and stock market listed Kerry Group are trying to establish a producers organization with the aim that this organization on behalf of the farmers can negotiate with different dairies and milk purchasers about the price and other conditions to get the best deal for the farmers.
In Ireland the country’s largest dairy cooperative Lakeland has launched a new sustainability strategy called Pathway to a Better Future which aims to reduce on farm and factory emissions by 30 percent by 2030. It also targets zero waste to landfill and the cessation of non-recyclable and non-compostable plastics. More specific key targets are: 30 percent reduction in factory emissions by 2030; 30 percent reduction in carbon footprint of milk production by 2030; 100 percent of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2030; 15 percent reduction in water usage by 2025; A clear commitment to diversity and inclusion; Zero waste to landfill by 2026; Net zero commitment working with the Science Based Targets Initiative, SBTi; Rollout of Farm Sustainability Programme in 2023. Lakeland is the island’s largest dairy co-operative with 3200 farms supplying 2 billion (10*9) litres of milk annually. Lakeland has a turnover of 2 billion euro and has 1400 employees across eight production sites in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In Denmark a study is looking at the effect of extracts from willow and hemp to limit the emission of methane from organic cows. In laboratories a reduction of 30 percent has been seen. The additive Bovaer, which can reduce cow methane production, may not be used in organic production. The test of the organic feed additives on live cows will start in 2024.
The Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla has invested in an upgrade to its facility in Argentina, allowing it to meet growing demand for high-quality whey ingredients, both in Latin America and globally. The improvements to the company’s Porteña site include a new drying tower, which will more than double capacity for production of whey permeate powder. It has also taken the measures necessary to produce infant-formula-grade proteins in Latin America.
In Denmark a survey carried out on behalf of the Danish Dairy Board shows that 35 percent of the Danes believe that most cows in Denmark are kept in a tie barn, but in reality this only applies to three percent of the cows. The survey also shows that 45 percent of the Danes believe that there are more dairy cows today than 30 years ago. In reality the number of dairy cows has fallen over the past three decades from approximately 712000 head to today approximately 553000 head.
The Sweden headquartered milk equipment producer Delaval and the USA headquartered agricultural machinery producer Deere joins efforts to create the Milk Sustainability Center (MSC), a digital system with the objective of providing farmers with data needed for a holistic view of the dairy operations. Dairy farmers can use the MSC to monitor nutrient use efficiency for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), for their entire farm, specific fields, or their herd. The MSC will also provide data to allow dairy farmers to compare their performance to other dairy operations and identify key areas for improvement. MSC aims to serve dairy farmers independent of farm machinery brands and herd management software. After farmer authorization, data from DeLaval Plus and John Deere Operations Center will be automatically pulled into the MSC. MSC is cloud-based for desktop or mobile devices. Dairy farmers, consultants, dealers, and other partners can also be invited to view their data in MSC. The initial version of MSC will be released in 2024 in selected European Union countries.
The Finnish producer of plant-based products Oddlygood, in majority owned by the Finnish dairy cooperative Valio, has acquired the Nordic brand Planti. Through the acquisition, Oddlygood becomes the market leader in plant-based dairy alternative spoonable snacks in Sweden and dairy alternative cooking products in Finland and the second largest in the plant-based dairy alternatives market in Sweden and the third largest in Finland. Simultaneously, Oddlygood’s majority owner Valio acquires Planti’s production in Turku, including employees at the site. The Planti brand was part of the Norwegian Kavli Group. Its turnover in 2022 was 10.9 million euro. Oddlygood had in 2022 a turnover of 23.5 million euro.
Rabobank’s newest annual ranking of the Global Dairy Top 20 companies shows that the combined turnover of the top 20 companies increased 7.4 percent in US dollars and 21 percent in euro’s. The increase was caused by a stronger US dollar, inflation and tight market conditions. This made that many companies realized record high revenues in their local currency. Only five companies held their position as last year. Arla Foods surpassed FrieslandCampina in the ranking. However, both companies are in a higher position than last year. Arla climbed three places, also due to increased sales in the retail channels. FrieslandCampina climbed one place. This despite the sale of part of the German activities. New Zealand’s Fonterra dropped three places. Exchange rates in 2022 were particularly unfavorable for dairies reporting in New Zealand dollars, Chinese renminbi and Japanese yen. The Chinese dairy giants Yili and Mengniu even saw their turnover in US dollars fall and the Japanese Meiji even disappeared from the top 20. Conversely, Glanbia managed to take advantage of the situation and make its entry into the ranking. The turnover of the Irish company is mainly due to sales in the US.Dairy alternative have become part of the product portfolio of most of the Dairy Top 20 companies but still account for a small share of their revenues. In recent years the focus has been on launching plant based products as alternatives to liquid milk and fresh products like yogurt but attention has shifted to using precision fermentation to develop alternatives for dairy products.
The European Union is subsidizing a project with 5.5 million euros to produce an alternative to milk protein without cows. A Finnish company, a German and Dutch university and a Swiss company are working together in this Hydrocow project. The intention is that no raw materials from agriculture are used.
Swiss research shows that tannin-containing sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) and acacia extract (Acacia mearnsii) reduce nitrogen excretion via the urine and the release of ammonia from the liquid manure. Condensed tannins bind to the crude protein in the feed and slow down its rate of breakdown in the rumen, shifting the route of N excretion from urine to faeces and reducing the NH3-releasing potential of the excretions. The feeding of sainfoin silage reduced the digestibility of organic matter compared to the feeding of grass and clover silage. Acacia extract reduced the feed intake and the digestibility of the organic matter in all investigated silage types and also the milk yield. However: the feeding of acacia extract reduced the release of ammonia from the liquid manure by up to 37 percent.
Italian producers of Parmesan cheese want to counter the risk of origin fraud by placing a microchip in the cheese rind.
Bulgarian yogurt with special cultures has got a protected designation of origin (PDO).
In Germany in August 2023 compared to July 2023 the raw material or compound value of milk at farm decreased 1.0 eurocent to 34.3 eurocent per kilogram milk with 4.0 percent fat and 3.4 percent protein (exclusive VAT). This is 25.1 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 February and March 2025 at 46.1 eurocent. The lowest future price is the price for September 2023 at 35.3 eurocent.
In Germany Greenpeace want a change in dairy farming. According to Greenpeace the position of dairy farmers to dairy processing companies should be strengthened through contracts for quantity and quality. This should result in higher and stable milk prices and less overproduction. Legal minimum standards for walking and lying areas, exercise and available pasture should improve animal welfare and reduce the use of medicines, according to Greenpeace.
An international analyses by the Belgian ILVO institute shows that Flemish dairy farmers produce milk with the worldwide lowest emission of greenhouse gasses: 0.99 kilogram CO2 equivalents per kilogram milk.
The Belgian dairy cooperative Milcobel will try to get 100 million kilogram from new members to use for the production of mozzarella. For this Milcobel is also trying to acquire new members in northern France where Milcobel has members already.
In Belgium research by the Flemish ILVO institute shows that investing in measures to limit heat stress can yield dairy farmers up to 35 euros per cow per year. Especially ventilators in combination with misting reduced stress and prevented a reduction in milk production.