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Danone enters partnership to reduce livestock methane emissions

Posted: 27 November 2023 | | No comments yet

The Global Methane Hub and Danone have joined forces with the aim of reducing methane emissions and driving scalable solutions in farming.

dairy cows

Hoping to accelerate innovation in methane reduction, Danone has partnered with the Global Methane Hub (GMH), setting its sights on reducing methane emissions and driving scalable solutions in farming.

As the first corporate funder of the Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator, Danone has immersed itself in what it claims to be “the largest ever globally coordinated research effort on enteric methane”.

The Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator has been coordinated by GMH and supported by an alliance of philanthropic organisations and governments. Already having raised $200M in funding for the Accelerator, the money will be invested in breakthrough research and innovation to create new scalable and practical solutions for livestock farmers that can mitigate enteric fermentation – the digestive process of ruminant livestock.

Research will include mitigation of methane via feed additives, plant and animal genetics, methane vaccines, as well as accessible and affordable measurement technologies.

Danone has shared that this partnership will allow it to work with academic experts and technology providers to test solutions which support dossier building for regulatory approvals, and drive innovations for various farm systems in multiple countries.

“Agriculture is a sector where methane reduction efforts can have an extraordinary impact. 70 percent of agriculture-driven methane emissions come from enteric fermentation, making it the largest single source of methane emissions of any sector,” said Marcelo Mena, Chief Executive Officer at the Global Methane Hub.

“Through scaled up investment from philanthropy, governments, and the private sector, we can accelerate progress in developing practical innovative solutions and create the scale and coordination needed for these solutions to be impactful, ensuring greater economic and food security for local communities and transform the future of sustainable farming,” continued Mena.

As well as contributing to the funding of the Accelerator, Danone will be working with GMH to develop a methane accounting and feed optimisation decision support tool for dairy cattle. This will involve Danone smallholders’ dairy farms in North Africa, starting with a first pilot in Morocco with 1,000 farmers.

“This tool will help farm advisors formulate dairy diets based on regionally available feed and well-defined feed quality. The main goal of the project is to demonstrate the benefits of improved livestock nutrition in terms of enhancing livestock productivity, increasing farmers’ income, and reducing methane emissions,” Danone shared.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a reduction in methane emissions “will have immediate benefits for the climate, superior to that of carbon dioxide reduction alone”. With dairy production from cattle making up an estimated eight percent of total human-caused methane emissions worldwide, as part of agriculture and livestock activities which represent approximately 40 percent of global methane emissions, the partnership could make a real impact methane emission rates from the dairy sector.

 “Reducing methane is a major stake for the climate, the sustainability of our foods systems and the future of many farming communities. As a long-time sustainability pioneer, we know that doing it at scale and in an impactful way cannot be done by anyone in isolation,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Chief Executive Officer at Danone.

 Our partnership with the Global Methane hub is a key milestone in creating, testing, and deploying impactful and practical solutions in the field of methane reduction. This will allow the world to keep enjoying the benefits of yogurt and help secure a sustainable future to any rural communities,” concluded de Saint-Affrique.