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Dairy Council

Sustainable Dairy

Our dairy sector in Northern Ireland recognises its responsibility to produce high quality milk and dairy products in ways that are efficient and safeguard our environment.

At each stage in the dairy supply chain, from farm to fork, the sector is making significant progress on the journey to continue to improve our environmental sustainability.

Northern Ireland dairy processing businesses are investing in new technologies to continue to improve efficiency including increased use of renewable energy and waste reduction. NI dairy farmers too are taking measures to lower their carbon footprint and reduce emissions, and, with farming practices such as hedge management, to protect and nurture wildlife habitats and promote biodiversity.  

Working together with local experts at NI agri-science institutes and government agencies has enabled cutting-edge sustainability research to be taken through and applied on Northern Ireland dairy farms.

Increasingly efficient practices and use of resources have paid dividends….. since 1990….

36%

  • Reduction in the carbon footprint of 1 litre milk 

27%

  • Reduction in emissions from manure 

68%

  • Reduction in fuel and electricity emissions

30%

  • Reduction in methane emissions from fermentation in cows’ guts

49%

  • Reduction in emissions from fertiliser production and application 

And we are working hard to make even more improvements

Case Study Videos

DCNI has produced a series of videos as part of the EU Sustainable Dairy Programme showcasing sustainable dairy practices in Northern Ireland. From local research projects which have led to significant environmental benefits on farms, to cutting-edge technologies adopted by our dairy processors to improve energy efficiency. 

Find Out More

Fact books

As part of EU Sustainable Dairy Programme, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland publishes a series of fact books, which detail some of the key research and knowledge transfer initiatives from the Northern Ireland dairy sector. 

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Symposia

As part of the EU Sustainable Dairy Programme, DCNI holds a series of Symposia bringing together dairy sector leaders and sustainability experts to share their knowledge and experience of the latest research and best practice.

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School resources

 Sustainable Farming is an online resource for GCSE Agriculture and Land Use from the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment developed in collaboration with the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland. 

Find out more