Nestle and New Zealand’s largest milk processor, Fonterra have partnered to develop the country’s first net zero carbon emissions dairy farm. The net zero milk project will assess the dairy farm’s total carbon emissions and will run for 5 years with co-partner Dairy Trust Taranaki. It aims to reduce emissions by 30% by mid-2027 and achieve net zero emissions in 10 years. The pilot project will be on a 290-hectare property, and any insights and activities will be shared with other farmers to increase adoption. Farmers can then adopt techniques and technologies most suitable for their own farms. The agricultural industry makes up 48% of New Zealand’s overall emissions. Methane, nitrous oxide (N2O), and CO2 are the key components of the livestock industry’s total emissions. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) says 15 of the largest dairy companies in the world (including Fonterra) are responsible for 3.4% of global methane emissions and 11% of total global livestock emissions. Last month, New Zealand sought to levy farmers for the emissions of their cows. But apart from the cows’ own emissions, the dairy ingredients they provide also emit pollution. The country has the lowest carbon footprint for milk in the world. Still, dairy contributes about 50% of the country’s agricultural livestock emissions. And about a quarter comes from dairy biological emissions (N2O and methane). This New Zealand pilot scheme will hopefully be the first of many global projects. The dairy farm project will help both Nestle and Fonterra in achieving their climate goals. Both aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Nestle New Zealand CEO Jennifer Chappell said that the project would build on the food giant’s work worldwide to help transform the dairy industry. Nestle has over 100 pilot projects globally, with 20 farms working out their net zero targets. She also added that: “Dairy is our single biggest ingredient, and our vision is that the future for dairy can be net zero… To reduce our Scope 3 emissions, it’s critical we work with dairy farmers and their communities. Working towards a net zero farm means looking at all aspects of the farm, from cow nutrition to sequestering carbon.” The partnership also involves launching a support program for dairy farmers. Farms enrolled in the project will get additional support from Fonterra to allow reductions in on-farm emissions. Solutions may include improved management of feed and pasture and enhanced milk production efficiency. The pilot will begin with about 50 farms and be scaled up over the next 3 years.