ABCD

Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy farms (ABCD) aims to reduce the overall carbon impact of the dairy industry by working collaboratively with farms in Cornwall, Brittany and Finistere to share local best practices between England and France.

ABCD's story

Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy farms (ABCD) aims to reduce the carbon impacts of the dairy industry, as this sector is energy-consuming and represents a high proportion of the different farm types throughout the Channel area.

The agriculture sector, which is significant across the Channel area, is responsible for 23% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Cornwall and 32% in Finistère, with the majority of emissions in each area being generated from livestock production. Both regions aim to become carbon neutral territories and so tackling carbon emissions in the dairy industry alongside increasing sequestration is a key priority.

The project, led by Département du Finistère, is piloting a new diet for dairy cattle using alternatives to soy meal, which is known for its highly negative carbon footprint. The project also enables a scientific comparison of diet practices based in rigorous methodology. Future Farm is one of the Cornish participants in this innovative research project.

With the results captured from the pilot sites, the project will support 80 farms across Cornwall and Brittany in their green transition, through training and workshops. The project will also ensure transferability of the results through engagement with 400 farmers and links with the French Livestock Institute and four UK and French major dairy processors.

Image: Unsplash stock image, Veronica White

Useful learnings from ABCD

Partnership working across Cornwall and Brittany in France has been key to this project as local leadership can have a much wider impact nationally than in the locations where innovation is taking place.

It is estimated that carbon footprint reductions at herd level of up to 10% can be delivered through changes in dairy cattle diets; so if the results are adopted by every dairy farmer in both areas a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 10% is deemed possible. In addition, ABCD will also be promoting methane-capture technologies that enable fugitive methane emissions from slurry systems to be collected, cleaned and utilised to replace fossil fuel use.

ABCD's metrics

Percentage reduction in carbon footprint.
Number of farms supported across Cornwall and Brittany.
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