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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN CASE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS --------3. BARRIERS TO CHANGE IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN DAIRY SECTOR ------3.1. BARRIERS TO ENTER ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES ---------------------------------------------3.2. LACK OF PROFITABILITY AND IMPACT OF COST ------------------------------------------------3.3. TIME MANAGEMENT AND COMPLEX PROCEDURE---------------------------------------------3.4. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, TRAINING, AND MENTORING ----------------------------------------4. WAYS IN WHICH BARRIERS COULD BE ADDRESSED --------------------------------------------4.1. DEVELOPING BETTER UNDERSTANDING ---------------------------------------------------------4.2. COST REDUCTION --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4.3. ACCELERATING TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE ------------------------------------------------------5. CONCLUSION ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------REFERENCES ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Dairy farming is known as one of the successful businesses in today‟s environment. Dairy farming in UK is one of the largest sectors which accounts for £3 billion. It forms a major part in agricultural production that occupies 17% of value (Allen et al., 2007). The current study mainly focuses on the extent to which environmental sustainability has been investigated in dairy sector. There are many studies and reviews that were already done on environmental sustainability in dairy sector. Those studies and reports are clearly reviewed by the researcher in the current study.
2- REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN CASE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
The UK dairy industry is one of the largest industries in Europe especially in producing milk (Dewick et al., 2007). From past few decades, dairy sector of UK has grown up at extensive level. The extensive production of dairy products is also generating negative impacts on the environment (Garcia and Mainar, 2009). In this section of the report, a review of environmental sustainability will be investigated in dairy sector of UK. According to the latest National Statistics generated by Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), total intake of milk in England and Wales is approximately 772,793 litres and survey study also reveals that approximately 95% of the milk is available for processing in England and Wales (DEFRA, 2011). According to Berlin (2002), the production of milk at its primary stage produces 95% acidification and eutrophication effect that contributes 800g to 1400g carbon dioxide (CO2) to global warming. Similarly, United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) reveals that the use of solid manure, manure slurries, and different chemical fertilizers causes to contaminate ground water (UNEP, 2000). Forster et al. (2006) opine that the conventional milk production system in UK causes to generate 52% methane (CH4) and 27% to 38% nitrous oxide (N2O) gases depending upon the method and fuel used for the production. After the primary stage of production of milk and other dairy products, the next stage is dairy processing. The major environmental impact concerned with dairy processing is the high usage of water and energy (DEFRA, 2006). Milk is the largest input to other dairy
products such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter. Therefore, the environmental impact of milk is applicable on all types of dairy products. It is evident from working of DEFRA that the government is keen to reduce overall environmental impacts of dairy productions. Recently, DEFRA developed a roadmap to recognise and to avoid the environmental effects of dairy productions. The roadmap aims to achieve sustainability of dairy supply chain by working to improve the environment (DEFRA, 2009). For this purpose, Environmental Plan for Dairy Farming (EPDF) has been produced that propose integrated solutions to tackle multiple environmental problems at the same time. The EPDF is based on three basic principles: adapting nutrient planning to reduce water pollution, supporting Environmental Stewardship Schemes for registering land farmed milk producers, and engaging private consultants with Catchment Sensitive Farming programme (DEFRA, 2008). This integrated framework with straightforward solutions attempted to reduce pollution risk in last couple of years. According to the survey of Pullar (2010), 65% dairy farmers responded to Nutrient Management Plan (NMP), developed by DEFRA, consists of „Tried and Tested‟ instructions to guide the farmers about the process of nutrient planning in order to manage manures and fertiliser more efficiently (Nicholson and Chambers, 2011). According to the guidelines provided by DEFRA (2009) for managing livestock manures (slurry and solid manures) and contaminated water, the most beneficial and environment friendly method is to apply them on agriculture land. The combination of these nutrient and manures plans can help farmers to reduce the risk of water pollution. There has been a great progress shown by the dairy industries in UK to reduce the waste and water. The processing sector of dairy industries needs to come up with a strategy to use the renewable energy effectively so that they can get 10% of non-transport energy that can be resulted from renewable energy. Dairy UK is also conducting many workshops in order to develop the renewable energy at the sites of dairy farms in UK (Saunders & Barber., 2007). Embedded water is one of the factors that have become an important topic for the dairy sector. DEFRA has been constantly examining this area by doing in-depth analysis. They also have conducted some workshops at the sites of dairy farms in order to help the
industries in understanding the importance of water usage. DEFRA has worked with some of their science researchers to get more data on water footprinting and also the impacts by using this type of methodology. UK Government launched Environment Stewardship Scheme (ESS) in 2005 to build upon Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The Environmental Stewardship Scheme consists of five schemes: Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS), Higher Level Stewardship (HLS), Farm Environment Plan (FEP), and Uplands Entry Level Stewardship (UELS). The entire schemes are open for all types of farmers including dairy farmers and aims to deliver important benefits in highly concerned and sensitive areas. These schemes provide 80 different environment management options to farmers suitable for them. DEFRA (2011) reveals that 4500 (65%) dairy farmers in England and Wales are registered under Entry Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme. The primary objective of this scheme is to protect the historic environment and natural resources such as water and soil. The Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) provide guidelines to dairy farmers and key personnel about how to manage land by following particular environmental standards in return of small fee (DEFRA, 2011). Catchment Sensitive Farming programme helps the farmers to control and reduce the level of diffuses pollution in groundwater caused by farming operations in order to fulfil the requirements of Water Framework Directive (DEFRA, 2009). The wastewater treatment used by many factories in UK includes numerous technological arrangements to maintain environmental sustainability. There are many biological treatments used by the experts where Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) is common technique to avoid the effects of wastewater in producing milk (Watkins and Nash, 2010). According to recent survey investigation, wastewater from dairy factories is usually disposed of to drain (37%) and 58% by irrigation. Just 2% of the total wastewater is disposed of to oceanic outfall and 3% disposed by other methods (Watkins and Nash, 2010). DEFRA is presently considering the methods to improve dairy farming by reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. The organization is using the phenomena to keep tracking GHG emission spots where the emissions are considered to be higher during the
production of the dairy products. In the meanwhile, they are finding ways to reduce the emissions by adapting appropriate strategies (Soussana and Loiseau, 2004). According to the recent survey study conducted by Farming Futures, 34% dairy farmers are experiencing the effects of climatic changes and 62% are expecting the changes in next 10 years. Moreover, Methane gas emission is the biggest environmental issue in dairy farming industry that accounts for 30% of agriculture sector and 23 times greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide produced from the digestive systems and from manures and slurries (Farming Future, 2010). Farming future is the government organization aims to assist dairy farmers how to reduce methane gas emissions by adapting Low Carbon Transition Plan. The plan assists farmers to improve feeding efficiency, improve milk yield per cow within the herd, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by adapting more efficient equipments can lead to save costs and gas emissions based on fuel and power. In dairy sector, greenhouse gas emissions account for nearly 3 times of overall carbon footprint for liquid milk. UK government has a plan to reduce 80% greenhouse gas emissions until 2050. The plan set for agriculture sector is to reduce 11% GHG by 2020 (DairyCo, 2012). In order to meet the challenge, carbon footprint in Great Britain has significant attention in last few years. Carbon footprint is a term used for three types of gases produced in agriculture sector: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide where methane is 23% and nitrous oxide 297 times powerful than carbon dioxide. DairyCo is working on the project to reduce the environmental impact of dairy farming and for this purpose DairyCo‟s carbon footprint study aims to provide better understanding of greenhouse gas emissions from the production of milk and also to identify the reduction opportunities available. The core objectives of carbon footprint study are: (1) to provide average carbon figures to dairy farmers using Carbon Footprint Calculator for the production of milk by identifying „hot spots‟ of carbon emissions and the ways to reduce them (Carbon Trust, 2012); (2) to provide carbon figures based on International Dairy Foundation (IDF, 2010); (3) to guide dairy farmers about the target areas for improvement in order to reduce environmental impact (DairyCo, 2012).
A recent survey conducted by Carbon Trust reveals that public sector in UK is more committed in reducing carbon emissions (Rugg, 2012). In the survey, 58% public sector participants were agreed to plan and contribute carbon reduction programs in 2012 and 77.9% said that reduction of emissions is beneficial for the environment. The director of Carbon Trust programme said “We’ve worked with some truly pioneering public sector organisations to slash their costs and carbon. Even in the face of an economic downturn, the public sector clearly still recognises the benefit of managing down its carbon and sees the short-term as well as long-term benefits of doing so. You don’t have to invest large sums upfront to see a return. An open goal for the public sector is engaging their staff in energy efficiency programmes” (Rugg, 2012).
3- BARRIERS TO CHANGE IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN DAIRY SECTOR
Some of the key barriers that arise in environmental sustainability in dairy sector are applicable to stakeholder groups while other barriers are reported infrequently, when they occurred during major achievements of environmental sustainability. However, it would be interesting to see which barriers are 100% applicable to stakeholders by considering various primary researches undertaken by public and private organizations in the UK. 3.1 Barriers to enter environmental schemes In the review section, the importance of Entry Stewardship Scheme (ESS) was explored in detail. There are number of issues involve in implementing these environmental schemes. For example, the survey of Dairy Development Centre (2008) indicated that the major barriers to enter environmental schemes are thorough inspections, more paperwork and less freedom of farm. In addition, according to maximum respondents, their farms may not meet the standards set in the environmental schemes. It was found that only 30% farmers were ready to join the scheme in future and 70% were either not agreed or not likely to join the schemes. The survey study of Dairy Development Centre (2008) in Wales identified many barriers to entre environmental schemes. The largest barrier (accounted for 15%) to implement entry schemes is the fear of more investigations and inspections on the farm. Almost 13%
farmers identify the hassle to perform more paperwork especially for resource management planning. Furthermore, 10% respondents felt that the entry schemes are not suitable for their farms because of financial instability. The other barriers include stocking limitations (7%), leaving buffer zone (roughly 25%) around hedges, payment delay in case of single farm, no capital grants, and lack of information about schemes. Respondents also identified that rules and regulations of schemes should consider weather and climatic changes in providing deadlines. Few respondents indicate that due to expensive land every bit is costly. The major barriers to enter environmental sustainability schemes are shown in figure 1.
Figure 1 – barriers to environmental sustainability schemes
Source: Dairy Development Centre (2008)
3.2 Lack of profitability in dairy sector and impact of cost The entire production and processing system of UK dairy system has been developed and running from the beginning that leads to emission of greenhouse gases and it is difficult to overcome this problem on frequent basis because it requires higher costs to implement such plans (Soussana et al., 2004). In addition, farmers need to bear huge costs in arranging live stocks and slurry storage facilities in order to protect environment; and for that purpose they need to be more profitable. Similarly, William and Dair (2006) state that cost of addressing and implementing environmental sustainability is too high because it requires deep and thorough researches, case studies, and surveys analyses.
3.3 Time management and complex procedures The availability of time is one of the major barriers to environmental sustainability because farmers are always busy in their routine schedules and they normally do not have time to carry out additional practices (Dairy Development Centre, 2008). Similarly, the hassle of following strict guidelines and complex procedures are restricting stakeholders to perform such practices. 3.4 Lack of knowledge, training, and mentoring There is a lack of knowledge transfer within dairy sector of UK and between its stakeholders. Although there are many training and mentoring facilities available to farmers, but the survey study of DEFRA (2005) reveals that many farmers are not happy from the advice and training in handling environmental issues. Especially, the role of Local Government Environmental Health and Training Standards departments perceived inconsistency in delivering quality services. Similarly, it was also found out that local authority teams were not having enough resources and permissions to help farmers as they required (DEFRA, 2005)
4- WAYS IN WHICH BARRIERS COULD BE ADDRESSED
UK dairy industries and various government organizations like DEFRA, DairyCo, Dairy UK, and Dairy Development Centre have come up with lots of strategies to address the problems which are described in earlier section of the study. These reports and forums have provided with a document for all the dairy industries to work together and are very strong in facing the problems and challenges that will arise in the near future (Smith et al., 2005). The environmental policy of every government should be based on improving the efficiency of the sector. The Milk Roadmap and Environmental Stewardship Schemes in conjunction with DEFRA represent strong commitment of government in delivering environmental sustainability in UK. But in order to address the barriers to environmental stability, UK government and private organizations should carefully examine that how their policies are affecting dairy business and stakeholders. It can be estimated from the barriers in earlier section that there are many areas where farmers are not feeling
confident about the actions of government regarding environmental sustainability. International Dairy Federation (2010) and Dairy Development Centre (2008) suggest few ways to address barriers efficiently. 4.1 Developing better understanding The best way to address barriers is to develop better understanding about environmental schemes because lack of scheme knowledge by stakeholders including unions leads to poor uptake of environmental schemes. At this point more efficient marketing and promotional plan is needed to correct the misconceptions about the schemes (Dairy Development Centre, 2008). Similarly, the entry to schemes should be easier to farmers most probably the procedure should be based on simple application form. Today, many farmers consult with unions in such matters so it could be appropriate practice give more time to farmers to fill the application forms. According to International Dairy Federation (2010), introducing new environmental scheme should be based on minimum number of actions to enter the scheme. This might require additional payment to encourage the participation in the near future because it is hoped that these kinds of schemes are starting soon throughout Wales (Dairy Development Centre, 2008). For the better understanding of environmental schemes, it is inherent for the advisors to have proper knowledge and expertise to respond farmers on urgent basis. Similarly, Local Government Environmental Health and Training Standards departments should improve their services with enough resources and permissions to help farmers when they require assistance. In addition, demonstrator farms such as those utilized through Farming Connect may play their roles in promoting better practices for the success of environmental schemes (Diary Development Centre, 2008). 4.2 Cost reduction DEFRA and DairyCo are arranging many „planning for profit‟ workshops for the stakeholders in order to reduce production costs. For the arrangements, DairyCo is funded by Rural Development Programme and Residual Milk Marketing Board (House of
Commons, 2011). The grants will be available to England and Wales farmers for the improvement of slurry storage. This is now the opportunity to encourage farmers to invest their time for the betterment of environment. Similarly, the present prices of land, water, and other resources required for dairy production often do not reflect scarcities. These issues lead to big inadequacies in the production process due to overuse of resources and results in cost overrun (International Dairy Federation, 2010). The next policies of the government and public sector organizations in mitigating environmental impacts should be based on adequate market pricing for the core inputs. These policies may be applicable to resource management, livestock production, and reduction of costs. Some of the committees like Dairy Supply Chain Forum (DSCF) are playing critical roles in reducing the costs of the production in dairy sector and also they are providing the funds to the UK dairy industries in order to make them produce some new products which have higher value in the market with low cost. These industries are well aware of the environmental impacts due to the production of dairy products so they are taking proper care in reducing them (Smith, 2005). 4.3 Accelerating technological change Technology is playing a vital role in every field of life. In the dairy sector, the use of technology could lessen the negative environmental and social impacts of intensive livestock production. However, the selection and implementation of suitable technology is restraining issues within the dairy sector. But these restrains can be reduced with best incorporation of water, land, animal, human, and other relevant resources (International Dairy Federation, 2010).
From this present study conducted by researcher who is a technical manager has provided with significant amount of data. The study has clearly described the environmental sustainability investigated in dairy sector. And also the study concentrated on various environmental implications in dairy farming sector. Barriers were identified in dairy
farming sector and also some of the ways were suggested to overcome environmental barriers that arise during the production of dairy products.
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