First Milk launches environmental initiative for farmers

First Milk seeks to promote the importance of dairy farming by launching First4Milk
First Milk seeks to promote the importance of dairy farming by launching First4Milk

Cooperative First Milk has launched First4Milk to highlight the role dairy farming can have in delivering positive environmental outcomes.

The initiative includes three key themes – people, animals and earth – and will focus on improving performance within these areas.

It includes the development of a new smartphone app, which aggregates numerous feeds of key data that enable farmers to view data and reports.

The app will give cooperative members real time information to help manage their farms.

In addition, First Milk has published a number of targets for improvements in sustainable practices on its farms.

This includes targeting 65% relative reduction in CO2e, 40% relative reduction in energy use and 30% relative reduction in water use at processing sites by 2025.

It'll also look at protecting watercourses by offsetting all nitrate, phosphate and sediment production from processing sites by 2022 and achieving a 40% relative reduction in food waste from sites by 2025.

Antibiotic stewardship will be rolled out across membership with members achieving usage below RUMA targets by 2020.

Mark Brooking, Membership Director, said consumers also want assurances about the way that their food is produced.

“We will be addressing these challenges with an open mind, by adopting new approaches and using emerging technology to enable faster progress on key issues.

“Our new app will enable members to aggregate and utilise information that they already have by putting it all in one place, without any additional work, and we are committed to developing this tool so that it can become an integral part of how our members manage their farm businesses.”

Mr Booking added: “We will also continue with our annual Responsible Farming Awards, recognising excellence in sustainable practice among our members.”