A leading edge research programme aims to reduce the environmental impact of milk production in the United Kingdom.
EU dairy products use milk from farms which comply with the EU Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC; and are manufactured in processing facilities which comply with EU legislation relating to water, noise and air quality (2010/75/EU). Adherence to EU legislation for both farm and processing facilities is monitored by Government agencies such as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on behalf of the EU.
A leading edge research programme currently undertaken by the Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute aims to reduce the environmental impact of milk production in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The programme aims to
- Identify cost effective mitigation strategies to reduce the carbon intensity of dairy production.
- Support the development of increased renewable energy production from the agri–food sector.
- Provide scientific evidence–base underpinning the EU Nitrates Directive
- Improve nutrient management
Key environmental issues such as Greenhouse Gas Emissions and their mitigation and nutrient management aim to move the industry to lower carbon intensity systems, enhance carbon sequestration and support land based renewable energy production from the agri–food sector. A unique online Bovine Information System (BovIS) allows dairy farmers to calculate Greenhouse Gas emissions for their individual enterprises. This enables producers to explore mitigation strategies and monitor the impact of management changes on the environment.
A dairy education and training unit at DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise provides a modern facility to demonstrate and teach new greenhouse gas mitigation measures, environmental best practice and energy efficiency ensuring that the United Kingdom dairy farmers are at the leading edge of environmentally responsible milk production.