dairy cows

The German dairy giant’s UK & Ireland wing says farmers should ’reduce their environmental footprint’

Müller UK & Ireland has announced plans to cut its emissions from supplying farms by 30% by the end of the decade.

The move, part of the Müller Advantage environmental incentive programme for farmers it launched last year, will see the dairy giant pay the 500 farmers in its Müller Direct milk pool a 1p per litre incentive for fulfilling a set of three key criteria.

In order for farmers to reduce their environmental footprint, it said it would “encourage the replacement or reduction of soya feed in cattle diets, [the] use of more natural fertiliser, and [the] increased use of genetics management”.

By its own reckoning, Müller had recently hit a 2015-2025 target of cutting its carbon footprint by 40%. Getting there four years early, the company said, was down to it “having implemented a number of changes throughout the business to make it more efficient” and by using “state of the art facilities” that “use less energy and produce less waste.”

Nonetheless, Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Jon Jenkins said supply chains must now “work harder than ever to meet the needs of markets”.

Brands must respond to shoppers’ increasing vigilance regarding supply chains, according to Jenkins, which they demonstrate by “thinking much more carefully about the choices they make, how and where it was made, the health benefits, the value it represents and how it is packaged”.

He added: “While we already have a powerful story to tell in the dairy industry, to ensure future generations continue to benefit from its goodness, the whole supply chain must adapt and work harder than ever to meet the needs of the markets it serves.”

The announcement comes just over a week after Müller Milk & Ingredients became the latest liquid milk processor to respond to soaring on-farm inflationary pressures by increasing the price it pays farmers for their milk.

MMI will now increase its January price by 3ppl for Müller Advantage farmers, taking the standard price it pays farmers in the non-supermarket-aligned scheme to 33ppl.

In a further measure, Müller Direct farmers supplying milk for its Lidl supply contract – who opted to benefit from a three-year fixed price contract for up to 50% of their milk supply – will see this fixed price temporarily increase by 4ppl to 33ppl from the same date.