Danone has partnered with the Global Methane Hub (GMH) to invest in research around the reduction of enteric emissions in its dairy farming.
The dairy giant said it will be “the first corporate funder” of GMH’s “globally coordinated” Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator.
The project intends to develop scalable solutions to help farmers limit enteric fermentation, a digestive process occurring in ruminant livestock which releases methane into the atmosphere.
To find a viable solution, research will focus on plant and animal genetics, as well as creating feed additives, methane-limiting vaccines and “accessible and affordable measurement technologies”.
Working with academics and technology producers, Danone said it plans to develop solutions for its farms in a number of countries that “support dossier building for regulatory approvals”.
Marcelo Mena, CEO at GMH, said in a statement the investment will “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”.
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Some $200m has already been injected into the accelerator by several groups, including governments in Ireland, New Zealand and the US, as well as Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Hightide Foundation and sustainable energy investor Breakthrough Energy.
Just Food has asked Danone to confirm how much it has invested in the accelerator.
The partnership also includes working toward creating “a methane accounting and feed optimisation decision support tool” for Danone’s dairy cows, a project that will take place at the company’s smallholder farms in North Africa.
Starting in Morocco, Danone will pilot the tool with 1,000 farmers to assist farm advisors in the development of a suitable diet for dairy cows using locally produced, high-quality feed.
The dairy group will also assess whether “improved livestock nutrition” can bring down methane emissions, as well as increase productivity and farmer income.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO at Danone, said the partnership would be “a key milestone in creating, testing, and deploying impactful and practical solutions in the field of methane reduction”.
He added: “This will allow the world to keep enjoying the benefits of yogurt and help secure a sustainable future to many rural communities.”
The news of the Danone-GMH alliance comes following FAIRR’s damning report released earlier this month revealing 20 globally listed meat and dairy companies had seen a 3.28% increase in emissions year-on-year.
Alongside Tyson Foods, Danone reported a fall in emissions this year, but that was offset by the increase from other dairy and meat companies, the study noted.
In January 2023, Danone said it was working toward cutting absolute methane emissions from its fresh milk by 30% by 2030, compared to a 2020 baseline.
Last year, the dairy company also announced its investment in US-based firm Symbrosia, which develops seaweed-based feed said to reduce methane emissions from cattle by over 80%.