CHICAGO — Bel Brands USA is pleased to announce a new program in partnership with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) – a national dairy cooperative of farm families – to implement and measure sustainable cooling practices designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by cutting on-farm energy usage.
Crop production and animal health are critical to the health of the people and the planet, and the changing climate can have impacts on both. Addressing these impacts requires investment in farm animal innovation to reduce the environmental footprint of each step of the production process.
Bel and DFA, who joined forces to help improve on-farm practices, have identified an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint on dairy farms by integrating more energy efficient and economically viable milk cooling systems in line with the Net Zero Initiative (NZI), an industry-wide effort led by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Throughout the 12-month pilot program, Bel and DFA will support the adoption of energy-efficient and cost-effective on-farm milk cooling methods, including natural well water cooling methods, by a dairy farm in Iowa that supplies milk to Bel Brands; with Bel co-financing the cooling mechanism. As a secondary benefit, the warm well water used to cool the milk will be fed to the cows at their preferred temperature.
The farm will work with DFA’s sustainability team to capture data on the energy and economic savings of the innovative sustainable milk cooling practices compared to the high-energy flash chillers, with the goal of replicating these practices on other U.S. dairy farms in the future, if proven successful.
“At Bel Brands, we are actively working to promote sustainable farming, including responsible dairy production – and have for over 15 years – to help drive a more sustainable and regenerative agriculture industry,” stated Bill Graham, CEO, Bel Brands USA.
The findings of the program will ultimately help inform future best practices for dairy farm sustainability throughout the supply chain, specifically management and mitigation practices to help address the seasonal spike in energy use without compromising cow care.
Jean Michel Dos Remedios, Sourcing & Supplier Develompent Senior Director, Bel Brands USA added, “we are committed to nourishing communities while reducing the impact our products and processes have on the environment. Our partnership with Dairy Farmers of America exemplifies that commitment and gives us an opportunity to partner with dairy farmers to make the industry more sustainable.”
“For our farm families, animal care and environment stewardship are a way of life,” stated David Darr, senior vice president and chief strategy and sustainability officer, Dairy Farmers of America. “We are proud to be part of a program that is aligned with those values and helps further support our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.”
For more details about Bel Brands USA and their commitment to sustainable farming visit http://www.belbrandsusa.com/about/healthier-responsible-all/.
About Bel Brands USA:
Bel Brands USA Inc., a subsidiary of Bel Group. Headquartered in Paris, Bel wants to promote healthier, responsible and accessible food for all consumers worldwide. Bel is a major player in the healthy snack market. Bel produces more than thirty local and international brands that are sold in more than 130 countries around the globe. In addition to The Laughing Cow®, other USA favorites include Boursin®, Babybel® and popular cheese spreads marketing under Kaukauna®, Merkts® and Price*s® labels. Bel Brands delivers fun snacks to over 400 million consumers globally. www.belbrandsusa.com
About Dairy Farmers of America:
Dairy Farmers of America is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving more than 13,000 family farm-owners, DFA manufactures a variety of dairy products, including fluid milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, dairy ingredients and more that connect our Cooperative’s family farms to family tables with regional brands such as Alta Dena, Meadow Gold, Friendly’s Ice Cream, Borden® Cheese, Plugra® Butter and Kemps® to name a few. On a global scale, we work with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients their customers are craving, while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit dfamilk.com.