Dairy Council Northern Ireland

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Sustainable dairy



The second annual EU Sustainable Dairy Symposium took place on Monday 30th September at CAFRE College, Greenmount, with this year’s theme focusing on Carbon Footprint.

The Symposium was hosted by the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland in conjunction with the European Milk Forum as part of our EU Sustainable Dairy Programme.

The dairy sector is making great strides in reducing carbon footprint at the national and international level. The role of Northern Ireland’s grasslands in carbon capture, on farm emissions mitigation measures, the use of renewable energy sources, grassland management, and fertility management focusing on breeding more efficient cows with higher milk yields, all contribute to lowering carbon footprint.

Since 1990, the Northern Ireland dairy sector has made reductions in fuel and electric emissions by around 70%, manure emissions by some 27% and enteric fermentation emissions by 30%, with a 50% increase in milk production in the same period.

Chaired by Dermot Farrell of Lakeland Daires, the Symposium speakers were:

Brian Lindsay, Dairy Sustainability Network
Dairy and GHG Emissions: Positive news… though plenty more to do

Dr Debbie McConnell, Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Efficient dairy production systems to reduce carbon footprint

Paul Keatley, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Greenhouse gas emissions on Northern Ireland dairy farms – a carbon
footprint indicator

Professor Adam Drewnowski, University of Washington
Healthy diets from sustainable food systems

Case studies shown from dairy processor, Dale Farm, and local farmers Hall Donnell of Ballymagorry, Strabane, and Hugh Harbison of Aghadowey, Coleraine, showcased energy efficiency measures on farm and on the processing site, and demonstrated the efforts made at every juncture of the dairy supply chain to reduce carbon emissions and boost sustainability.



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From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, advertising and promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

Our primary function is to communicate factual information to allow individuals to make well informed choices about dairy products that they consume and to inform them of the benefits of including dairy products in a balanced diet. We use a wide range of media, which includes television, radio, press, magazine, posters and the internet. Our Advertising is complemented by public relations and promotional activities designed to communicate with specific groups.

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