Arla Foods and Danish Crown have formed a “climate-neutral” transport initiative between Denmark and the UK.

The respective dairy and pork giants have teamed up with Danish shipping and transportation companies DFDS and DSV for the project. It aims to “develop a new transport corridor to achieve climate-neutral food transports from Denmark to the UK (net zero) by 2030”, according to a joint statement.

Both companies “export vast quantities of foods” each year through the proposed climate-neutral route – from the Danish port of Esbjerg across the North Sea to Immingham on the east coast of England and onward into the UK – creating a “significant carbon footprint”, they said.

Electric trucks and electric refrigerated trailers will be deployed along the route, which will be expanded over time, along with the development of “greener fuels” for shipping.

A spokesperson for Danish Crown said the UK was chosen for the pilot because it is an “important market” for both companies and “British customers and retailers have a strong focus on sustainable products”. And because the route covers land and sea, “it gives us an opportunity to test solutions both on the ground and on water”.

Bo Svane, the head of logistics at Arla, said in the statement: “The entire agricultural sector is currently undergoing a historic transition, and both Arla and Danish Crown have committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050. We can only achieve that by joining forces, and DFDS and DVS are of a similar mind.

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“Together, we want to explore and develop the opportunities already available to us today, rather than wait for new technologies.”

Danish Crown’s spokesperson said some of the electric trucks and trailers will also have solar panels, adding: “Some trailers on the world market utilise gas within the refrigerated area, but we are not planning to include any of those within this project.”

Pilot projects have already started: “DFDS and DSV have bought the first electric trucks and trailers, and Danish Crown and Arla are building charging stations at selected locations,” the spokesperson explained.

Lars Feldskou, Danish Crown’s chief product officer, said: “The partnership for the corridor fits hand-in-glove with our ambition to lead the way in the green transition of the food industry. We’ll be opening a new factory in the UK this autumn, and with the corridor in place by 2030, we’ll be able to offer our British customers food products that have been transported all the way from farms in Denmark to supermarkets in the UK without impacting the environment.”