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Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy Project

EU Interreg and ABCD logos

A new approach to feeding dairy cattle is being piloted in Cornwall (UK) and Finistère (Brittany, France). A two-year project aimed at reducing industry greenhouse gas emissions and improving productivity.

  • It is cross-Channel, between UK and France
  • Will support 80 farmers across Brittany and Cornwall in transitioning to greener farming

Cornwall and Finistère both have large dairy sectors. The Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy (ABCD) expects to reduce carbon footprints at pilot farms by 10% through:

  • measuring existing emissions, and
  • piloting new approaches for feeding dairy cattle.

This will also contribute to climate goals to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The micro-project has received €400,000 from the Interreg France (Channel) England programme. This is part of the European Regional Development Fund. The project will draw on expertise from Cornwall Council and Finistère Council, as well as the Brittany Chamber of Agriculture.

The project is in two phases:

Phase one

Two pilot farms (one in France and one in the UK) will measure existing emissions and test new diets on several cattle during winter.

Results from phase one will be used for the second phase,

Phase two

Knowledge transfer and training farmers in the carbon reductions achieved by adopting the new methods.

Find out more about the pilot farms

In Cornwall, two dairy processors are already involved, Saputo Dairy and Trewithen Dairy. They will contribute to farmers’ support by ensuring a link with their network of Cornish farms. But, any dairy farmer in Cornwall will be able to get involved.

Cornwall Council is using this project as another opportunity to install new low-carbon practices. The plan is that the methane captured in the slurry pits of its farm estate will be used to fuel the Council’s fleet of vehicles.

The project’s wider ambitions are:

  • to use the farming research to support the transition towards greener agriculture,
  • and make it accessible to all farmers who are willing to develop this approach.
  • contribute to a global change in dairy farming practices.

The project aims to disseminate the results across the whole Channel area. This will enable consumers to access low-carbon dairy products at an affordable price.

Climate change is a top priority for both Cornwall and Finistere Council. They are working together on a cross-border low carbon action plan that will also focus on a variety of topics where a common response is relevant.

Carolyn Reid, Programme Manager for the Interreg France (Channel) England programme, said:

“Project ABCD is a great example of cross-border partnership - Cornwall and Finistère are working together to find a common solution to a shared problem. Through funding this project, we aim to support the transition to a greener dairy industry, with practical solutions that can be implemented at farms across the Channel area and beyond.”

Stephen Rushworth, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for the Economy, said:

“By assisting farmers estimate and reduce their carbon emissions, the ABCD project will help dairy farmers consider changes in their cattle feeding regime that will reduce their carbon footprint and improve their productivity.”

Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change, said:

“Projects like this are why Cornwall is recognised as such a forward thinking and innovative region.

“With agriculture accounting for 21 per cent of Cornwall’s carbon emissions and dairy farming an important part of our economy, projects like this that look at dairy farming from a ‘it’s not the cow, it’s the how’ angle, will help us to find new approaches to reduce emissions and at the same time advance new technologies and industry.

“This is a really great example of how we can work and learn together, to bring about real change that is better for people, farming and our planet.”

Find more information

Find out more about Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy farms (Micro Project) on the  Channel Manche website.

Project information on Channel Manche website

Climate change is a top priority for both Cornwall and Finistere Council. They are working together on a cross-border low carbon action plan that will also focus on a variety of topics where a common response is relevant.

The results of the project’s activities can be found here:

About the Interreg FCE program

  • supporting innovation
  • improving attractiveness of the Channel area
  • developing low carbon technologies

Objectives include:

More information on the Channel Manche website

More information on the Channel Manche website

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