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Tetra Pak sets up Dairy Processing Task Force to tackle emissions in dairy production

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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Food processing and packaging giant Tetra Pak has launched the Dairy Processing Task Force, a coalition bringing together industry figures from the global dairy industry to improve decarbonisation efforts in the production of milk-based products.

The initiative has been formed in part to reinforce the company’s contribution to the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative, which aims to assemble dairy farms and organisations from around the world and across the supply chain to improve the sector’s sustainability goals.

Led by Tetra Pak, the task force will assess what innovative approaches and processing technologies can be used to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within dairy production systems, without negatively impacting outputs or nutritional value. New technologies have the potential to bring down levels of food waste, plus energy and water consumption in dairy processing, the company says.

According to a 2010 FAO study, the global production, processing, and transportation of milk produces approximately 2.7% of the world’s GHG emissions.

The main goals of the Dairy Processing Task Force are expected to change as members join, says Tetra Pak, but some of them are likely to include:

  • Measuring and mitigating GHG emissions in dairy processing
  • Creating and sharing best practices to limit emissions
  • Finding and implementing reduction solutions in the sector
  • Building industry standard guidelines on sustainability and reporting frameworks

Charles Brand, Executive Vice President for Processing Solutions & Equipment at Tetra Pak commented on the news in a statement: “Dairy plays a vital role in contributing to livelihoods, food security and nutrition, yet sits within a food system that is not sustainable in the long run. At Tetra Pak, enabling the transition to sustainable dairy is a key pathway in our sustainable food systems strategy.

“We are continually striving to optimise performance for our customers, working with them, alongside suppliers and partners, in a bid to reduce pressures on finite resources – land, water and energy. The launch of this Dairy Processing Task Force will expand this approach beyond our own operations and bring together the expertise of leaders in our industry.

“Sustainability is arguably one of, if not the, key challenge that we as an industry need to address. This can only be achieved through collaboration, and we encourage other leading members of the dairy value chain to join us on this journey. Together, we can accelerate real climate change action across the dairy sector.”

Donald Moore, Executive Director at the Global Dairy Platform, a non-profit which promotes sustainable dairy nutrition, added: “Globally, the dairy industry is working to produce highly nutritious foods sustainably and responsibly to meet the demands of a growing world population. However, the impact of climate change leaves the entire value chain at risk, and as an industry, it is critical we act quickly and strategically on environmental issues.

“As a global leader in innovative systems that improve the efficiency, quality, and safety of food production and processing technologies, we believe that Tetra Pak is well suited to lead the processing component of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero Initiative.”

Other big food companies are also announcing plans to bring down emissions in milk production. Last month, dairy product and ingredient manufacturer FrieslandCampina and Mondelēz International signed a four-year agreement to cut the level of GHGs coming from FrieslandCampina’s member dairy farmers by 14% by 2025 in comparison to 2019.


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