Denmark: Arla introduces sustainability incentive to its farmer owners

The Denmark headquartered dairy cooperative Arla introduces a sustainability incentive to its farmer owners to help fund and motivate actions required to hit the 2030 emission reduction target on farm. Arla earmarks up to 3 eurocent per kilogram of milk for sustainability activities in addition to the existing 1 eurocent for submitting Climate Check data. Based on the cooperative’s current milk volume, this corresponds to a total of up to 500 million euro annually. From next year, the milk price that the individual Arla farmers will receive from the dairy cooperative will depend on his or her activities related to environmental sustainability. The model is a point-based system, in which the farmers can collect points based on their activities on the model’s 19 different levers e.g. feed, protein and fertilizer efficiency, manure delivery to biogas, biodiversity, carbon farming and use of renewable electricity and deforestation free soy. From the start in 2023 will 80 points be available and further 20 points for new levers are expected to be built into the model within a few years, leading to a total of 100 points. For each point that the farmers are able to achieve, they will receive 0.03 eurocent per kilo of milk. Activities with bigger improvement potential for climate and nature will lead to the most points and therefore also the biggest financial incentive. According to the Danish dairy farmers organization LDM will Arla’s plan result in a redistribution of the settlement price between milk producers and perhaps between cooperative countries. The announced supplements are actually deductions, as it costs the farmer money to obtain the so-called supplements. The money for the compensations is taken from the general settlement price. This effectively means that the farmer’s net earnings are reduced, according to LDM.

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