Fonterra and science and nutritional specialist Royal DSM are working on reducing on-farm greenhouse gas emissions with less gassy cows.
DSM has developed a feed additive, Bovaer, which reduces methane emissions from cows by more than 30 per cent in non-pasture-based farming systems.
Fonterra is asking, can it do the same for New Zealand’s pasture-based farming systems.
Fonterra group director farm source Richard Allen says that finding a solution to the methane challenge requires more than just the hard graft farmers are putting in.
“New Zealand dairy farms are acknowledged as having the lowest carbon footprint in the world among major milk producers, but Fonterra recognises that biological emissions produced by cows are a major contributor to the country’s overall emissions and is working to do whatever it can to find ways to reduce them,” Allen said.
Fonterra chief science & technology officer Professor Jeremy Hill, said the co-op wanted to explore and validate how Bovaer could work here in New Zealand, where cows are predominantly fed grass.
“We also see this as an opportunity to further accelerate our global leadership in low-carbon dairy products to create more value for our New Zealand milk. We are working closely with DSM New Zealand to ensure that any innovation is well tested and can easily be distributed and used by our farmers,” Hill said.
Mark van Nieuwland, global programme head for DSM Nutritional Products says they are proud to be in collaboration with Fonterra.
“Both companies have worked together for many years, and it’s a pleasure to extend this to the field of sustainability and climate change.
“With Fonterra, we have an important partner to potentially commercialise Bovaer in New Zealand and globally.”
The World Resources Institute recognised Bovaer as one of ten global break-through technologies that could help feed the world sustainably.