The Milk Roadmap, impact of producing milk

Published 28 June 10

The Milk Roadmap is a document that is under constant review, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of producing, processing and consuming milk.

The Roadmap is produced by a cross industry forum which includes DairyCo, and is a tool to help the industry better understand the environmental, social and economic impact of producing milk and the ways in which negative impacts can be minimised.  The Roadmap also includes a series of practical actions, for the production, processing and retailing sectors of the industry, for the short (2010), medium (2015) and long-term (2020).

"On the producer side we have been ambitious in the targets we've set ourselves," says Dr Karen Wonnacott, DairyCo research and development manager.  "But dairy farmers have already shown their commitment when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of producing milk through the uptake of numerous environmental initiatives from nutrient planning and water efficiency measures to the protection and maintenance of the rural environment.

"The Milk Roadmap looks for areas that environmental performance can be improved on-farm without threatening the economic viability of the dairy business.  We know, and the Roadmap shows, that environmental challenges on dairy farms can be overcome by adopting measures and solutions that bring both environmental and economic benefits," stresses Karen.

Update

"The Milk Roadmap task force met recently to review progress and we're firmly on track to meet our 2010 short-term targets.  Because of the progress being made we also reviewed the targets for the medium and long-term to ensure they remain relevant and challenging.

"By this continuous process of measuring, reviewing and revising our 'green targets' the dairy sector is way ahead of other food sectors and non-agricultural industries when it comes to striking the right balance between maximising productivity and minimising environmental impact," says Karen.

Current data suggests that producers are ahead of the game in meeting the 2010 targets, which include: 

  • 50 per cent of dairy farmers participating in an Environmental Stewardship Scheme
  • 65 per cent actively using a Nutrient Management Plan
  • A continued decline in water pollution incidents on dairy farms
  • 30 on farm anaerobic digesters