USA – Mars, an American multinational food manufacturer, has set its sights on a sustainable future with the announcement of an ambitious plan aimed at revolutionizing dairy production.

Backed by a hefty US$47 million investment over three years, this initiative is part of the company’s broader commitment to combat climate change, totaling a staggering US$1 billion over the same period.

Dubbed “Moo’ving Dairy Forward,” the plan represents a shift in the multinational corporation’s approach to dairy sourcing, aligning closely with its 2030 goal of halving emissions.

While, the move reflects Mars’ dedication to its recently unveiled open-source roadmap to achieving “net zero,”central to the initiative is a collaborative effort with industry leaders to implement impactful on-farm interventions.

These interventions will target crucial areas such as enteric methane reduction, efficient manure management, and sustainable feed production, aiming to mitigate the carbon footprint of dairy production.

One of the cornerstones of the Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan is a groundbreaking partnership with dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina.

Together, they will establish the Mars-FrieslandCampina Sustainable Dairy Development Program, a pioneering endeavor dedicated to advancing sustainable dairy practices.

This program will serve as a testing ground for new technologies and practices, with the aim of facilitating broader adoption across the entire cooperative.

Amanda Davies, Chief R&D, Procurement, and Sustainability Officer at Mars Snacking, emphasized the crucial role of farmers and suppliers in realizing the vision of sustainable dairy.

She highlighted the company’s commitment to supporting farmers in making climate-smart changes through direct financial assistance.

“Doing our part to keep our planet healthy is an absolute non-negotiable for us at Mars. But our vision for more sustainable dairy will only become a reality with the support and actions of farmers and our suppliers,” she said.

“Which is why, as part of our Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan, we’re putting millions of dollars directly back into the pockets of farmers through our contracts to help them make climate smart changes to the way they farm.”

In line with its commitment to long-term innovation, Mars has initiated three pilot “net zero” dairy farms in partnership with the DMK Group in Germany.

These farms will serve as testbeds for new science and technology aimed at achieving net zero emissions in dairy production.

Additionally, Mars is exploring innovative solutions, including partnerships with Fonterra and Sea Forest, to tackle methane emissions from cows.

Collaborative efforts such as the SEAFEED seaweed food supplement trial aim to demonstrate the efficacy of innovative solutions in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows.

With over 200,000 cows and 1,000 farms supplying dairy for Mars’ iconic confectionery brands, the company recognizes the significant role of dairy in its carbon footprint.

Raw ingredients alone account for over 70% of the organization’s total greenhouse gas emissions, underscoring the urgency of transformative action in the dairy sector.

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE