First Milk launches regenerative farming bonus of 0.5ppl

In order to obtain the payment bonus, farmers must submit details on how they will reduce carbon emissions
In order to obtain the payment bonus, farmers must submit details on how they will reduce carbon emissions

First Milk has launched a regenerative farming bonus of 0.5p per litre for farmers who submit plans showing how they will reduce carbon emissions.

The British dairy co-operative unveiled on Friday (5 November) its commitment to regenerative farming principles as part of its net zero 2040 strategy.

It has launched a digital tool to capture regenerative farming plans for each of its farmer suppliers, along with the associated bonus payment.

Farmers have been asked by the co-op to complete an individual regenerative farming plan by the end of March 2022.

The plans should detail farmers' current practices and planned changes to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity.

First Milk has worked with Kingshay to develop a digital mapping tool to enable completion of regenerative plans, providing field-level data.

The new regenerative farming bonus of 0.5ppl will then come into effect from 1 April 2022 for those farmers who committed to a plan, the co-op said.

Mark Brooking, First Milk's sustainability director, said: “Dairy farmers can be part of the solution to the climate crisis by adopting regenerative principles that store carbon in soil for the long term.

"The response that we’ve had from members has been overwhelmingly positive and we will support them as they develop their own regenerative farm plans.

"We will then test and monitor soil carbon levels across our members’ farms through our partnership with Agricarbon, providing clear, robust data on soil carbon sequestration levels and progress towards net zero as we move forward."

“I believe that this programme is unique in its scale and approach," he added, "We are confident that this will help us deliver our ambitious net zero goals and safeguard the future for our dairy farmer owners."

It follows the completion of a round of 11 regenerative farming workshops across the country, held in partnership with First Milk and Farm Carbon Toolkit.

These saw more than 300 farmers attend to understand more about the benefits of adopting regenerative farming, covering topics such as soil health and climate resilience.