Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Fonterra has 4 boxes to tick on emissions

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Emissions problem will be met by range of options.
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Fonterra’s drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a response not only to New Zealand’s climate goals but to those of its global customers, Fonterra’s chief science and technology officer Jeremy Hill says.

Hill told the E Tipu IFAMA 2023 World Conference in Christchurch that dairy farming’s methane emissions are a difficult problem to solve.

Fonterra is investigating solutions that tick four boxes – good for the cow, good for the milk, good for the farmer and good for the planet.

They all had to be able to be used at scale.

A wide range of options have been considered – synthetic compounds like methane inhibitors, seaweed, probiotics such as Kowbucha, improvements in effluent management, vaccines and breeding.

“If we can modify the development of the animal including the digestive system, we may be able to get lasting reductions in emissions. This would fit well with NZ’s farming systems,” he said. Post-emissions destruction is also being looked at.

Destroying methane doesn’t interfere with the biochemistry of the cow, which has its benefits, Hill said.

A combination of all these options will be required and “we’re about to massively step up our investment to try and get progress in all of these areas”.

The Centre for Climate Action joint venture has been set up to work towards these solutions.

“I’m optimistic that with the right partnerships and investments we can make significant progress,” Hill said.

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