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Mars Steps Up with "Moo'ving Dairy Forward": A Major Leap in Dairy Sustainability

"Moo'ving Dairy Forward": Image of a cow on a sustainable dairy farm with dairy products in the foreground.

Dairy Sustainability Initiatives by Mars


In a decisive stride toward environmental accountability, Mars, Incorporated has unveiled its "Moo'ving Dairy Forward" plan, marking a pivotal commitment in the battle against climate change. This program is set to transform the landscape of dairy sustainability through a series of innovative strategies aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of dairy operations.



Strategic Investment and Goals


With an investment of $47 million over the next three years, Mars aligns this initiative with its broader climate strategy. This includes an ambitious target to halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from its 2015 baseline. This plan is part of Mars' overarching $1 billion climate action fund intended to fuel various sustainability projects across its global operations.



Collaborative Efforts for Sustainable Dairy


A cornerstone of the "Moo'ving Dairy Forward" initiative is its partnership with FrieslandCampina, one of the largest dairy cooperatives globally. This collaboration aims to pioneer the Mars-FrieslandCampina Sustainable Dairy Development Program.


This program will focus on a select group of farms that will serve as a testing ground for new sustainable practices and technologies. The goal is to refine these practices for wider application across the cooperative, enhancing dairy sustainability at scale.



Innovations in Dairy Farming


Mars is not only investing financially but is also deeply involved in practical innovations. The company has initiated three pilot "net zero" dairy farms in Germany in collaboration with the DMK Group. These farms are part of a five-year plan to develop and deploy new technologies and methods that could lead to scalable and economically feasible solutions for achieving net zero emissions in dairy production.



Exploring New Frontiers with Seaweed


In an intriguing exploration of novel solutions, Mars has partnered with Fonterra and Sea Forest to investigate the potential of SEAFEED™, a seaweed-based food supplement. This trial aims to demonstrate how SEAFEED™ can significantly reduce methane emissions produced by cows during digestion, a major contributor to global warming.



Impact and Future Directions


The initiative supports over 200,000 cows across 1,000 farms that supply dairy for Mars' globally recognized confectionery brands. Given that raw ingredients constitute over 70% of Mars' total GHG emissions, with dairy being the second largest contributor, the implications of successful implementation of the "Moo'ving Dairy Forward" plan are profound.



"Moo'ving Dairy Forward": Setting New Industry Standards in Dairy Sustainability


Mars' commitment to dairy sustainability signifies a major shift in corporate approaches to environmental impact. With the launch of "Moo'ving Dairy Forward," Mars is not just pledging significant financial resources but is also innovating at the farm level.


Amanda Davies, Chief R&D, Procurement and Sustainability Officer at Mars Snacking, emphasized the collaborative aspect of this initiative:


"Doing our part to keep our planet healthy is an absolute non-negotiable for us at Mars. But our vision for more sustainable dairy will only become a reality with the support and actions of farmers and our suppliers. Which is why, as part of our Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan, we’re putting millions of dollars directly back into the pockets of farmers through our contracts to help them make climate smart changes to the way they farm. Together, I know that we can forge a path that helps address climate change head on and contributes to reshaping our wider industry for a more sustainable future."

This quote underscores the commitment of Mars to not only fund but actively engage in the transformation of dairy farming into a more sustainable practice, setting new industry standards and modeling future-oriented collaboration and innovation.


 

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