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Arla signs up to cutting-edge agreement to tackle food and drink waste

Arla Foods UK, the farmer-owned dairy company has announced its commitment to transform food and drink production.

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Arla Foods UK, the farmer-owned dairy company has announced its commitment to transform food and drink production. As a founder signatory to the Courtauld Commitment 2025, Arla has joined leading organisations from across the industry to work together to tackle food and drink waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water intensity.

The announcement signifies Arla’s continued commitment to work alongside the 90 other signatories to drive forward change, including food manufacturers, retailers, hospitality, trade bodies and local authorities.

The farmer-owned dairy company has previously supported Courtauld 2 and Courtauld 3 over the last six years making a significant contribution towards reaching the targets set on packaging weight reduction, industrial waste and food waste.

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is a voluntary agreement led by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which goes further than ever before with three ambitious targets:

  • A 20% reduction in food and drink waste leading to saving of £20 billion;
  • A 20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity from food and drink consumed; and
  • A reduction in impact associated with water use in the supply chain.

Commenting on Arla’s decision to sign the new Courtauld Commitment, Dan Kolding, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Arla Foods UK said:

“Arla is delighted to be collaborating with some of the most important and innovative names in our sector. This commitment enables us to work collaboratively with our retail customers to drive forward reductions in the environmental impact of food production.”

“As one of the founder signatory members, we have been able to contribute to the design of this 2025 Commitment through detailed discussions and proposals. Its emphasis on food waste reduction is partly testament to our ambition to deliver change in this area.”

Arla is committed to creating a long-term sustainable dairy industry for its 12,700 farmer owners, 2,700 of whom are British, underpinned by the highest environmental and animal welfare standards throughout its supply chain.

Examples include a state-of-the-art filtration system which allows rainwater to be harvested and clean waste water to be recycled at Aylesbury; approximately 1,000 tonnes of surplus liquid waste which is sent for animal feed instead of anaerobic digesters at Stourton and heat recovery systems to store and reuse hot water which have been installed at Llandyrnog.

Also, in 2015, Arla began a partnership which involves sending surplus food to Fareshare, a national organisation supplying charities with food for meals for the disadvantaged.

Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems and Technical Lead, WRAP, said:

“Courtauld 2025 is our most ambitious agreement yet and we are delighted that Arla has pledged its support as a signatory. We are faced with some big challenges ahead with rising populations, climate change and dwindling resources.

“But tackling food waste offers a practical option to address these challenges and in doing so, will create new opportunities. Only by working together can we hope to realise the big changes that are essential to ensuring a more prosperous future for individuals, businesses and the planet.”

As part of its focus on reducing its environmental impact, Arla has developed and is implementing global plans to minimise the environmental impact and maximise opportunities to collaborate within its total value chain. Plans focus on the following four key areas: sustainable farming; climate; energy and water and zero waste and have stretching 2020 targets:

  • Reducing Co2 by 30%: more milk, less harm, currently 22.5% ratio of reduced Co2;
  • Increasing renewable energy by 30%: currently 19.1%;
  • Zero Waste to landfill: achieved;
  • 100% recyclable packaging: currently 82% of all Arla packaging is recyclable; and
  • Reducing food waste by 50%: developing our global food waste strategy.

Read more about Arla’s global environmental strategy here: www.arla.com/company/responsibility/environmental-strategy/

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