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FrieslandCampina, DSM to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy cattle

28 March 2022

Pilot project with DSM's feed additive Bovaer at 200 FrieslandCampina dairy farms

FrieslandCampina has launched a large-scale pilot project to gain practical experience with Bovaer, DSM's innovative feed additive that consistently reduces methane emissions from cows by around 30%.

Following EU approval for the additive's use in February 2022, the parties have decided to launch this pilot immediately. The Dutch feed supplier Agrifirm will supply the feed additive to the participating farmers. Some 200 FrieslandCampina dairy farms in the Netherlands will take part in the pilot in the second half of 2022. Providing the results are positive, the use of Bovaer will be further upscaled from 2023.

"Our ultimate goal is for all of our dairy products to be climate neutral," said Hein Schumacher, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina. "Though we can't achieve this overnight, we're working toward it. In addition to solutions like switching to green energy – preferably generated by our members – reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of our cows is one of the routes towards reaching our climate goal. This requires innovation – and now Bovaer, a truly innovative feed additive from DSM that significantly reduces cows' methane emissions, is part of the solution."

Bovaer is a feed additive for cows and other ruminants. DSM has researched and developed this additive over ten years. The company says that just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer added daily to each cow's feed enables a consistent reduction in methane emissions of 30%, on average. 

During the pilot, the participating dairy farms will feed Bovaer to their cattle for a period of six months. It will be added to the feed by the feed supplier, Agrifirm, an agricultural cooperative. In addition, there will be talks with other feed suppliers in the follow-up phase.

"As an agricultural cooperative, we are constantly working on feed solutions that help to improve food production and hence enable us to continue to feed future generations in a responsible manner," said Dick Hordijk, CEO of Royal Agrifirm Group. "This additive is one of the solutions that will help to reduce emissions, so we're very enthusiastic about it."

During the pilot, the results and experiences of farmers will be gathered through workshops and surveys. The economic aspects, together with the costs and benefits, will naturally be considered as well.

FrieslandCampina said it will ensure that every dairy farmer receives fair payment for the supplied milk and reward for the sustainability efforts they make on their farm.

 



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