Projects per year
Through the Sustainable Dairy Chain initiative, dairy processing companies and dairy farmers are jointly working on a future-proof and responsible dairy sector. The Sustainable Dairy Chain has formulated targets for climate-neutral development, the continuous improvement in livestock health and welfare, preservation of grazing and protection of biodiversity and the environment. This sector report describes progress on these targets in 2019. The 2020 targets for five themes (the responsible use of antibiotics, energy efficiency, grazing, responsible soy and phosphate excretion) were achieved in 2019. For four other themes, progress was made in 2019 but the 2020 targets have not yet been achieved. The lifespan of dairy cows increased following the decrease in each of the three preceding years and ammonia emissions decreased in the second year in a row (based on tentative figures). On these two themes, the distance to the 2020 target is still very large. Greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy chain fell for the third year in a row. As a consequence, the climate-neutral development target is now coming within reach. To achieve the 20% reduction compared with the 1990 target, more progress is needed. Also for sustainable energy production there is a substantial distance between the 2019 performance and the 2020 target. Both for animal welfare and biodiversity, monitoring systems have been developed but in 2019 baseline assessments had not yet been conducted and/or sector targets not yet specified. 2019 was the second year in which dairy farmers needed to take account of phosphate rights. The dairy cow herd declined compared with 2018. This was favourable for the results for the greenhouse gas emissions, phosphate and ammonia themes.