Eight agricultural sector leaders announced Farming for Generations, a unique, global collaboration to support dairy farmers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices that preserve and renew our planet’s resources, respect animal welfare and ensure the long-term economic viability of farms for the next generation.
Recognizing that the food system needs to change to address a range of environmental and health challenges, the alliance is convinced that agriculture is a solution and that dairy farming specifically has a key role to play in building the sustainable food systems of tomorrow.
Led by global food industry leader Danone, Farming for Generations draws on the expertise of leaders from the whole agricultural value chain: animal health and welfare companies MSD Animal Health, Neogen and FutureCow; animal nutrition and health company DSM; crop nutrition leader Yara; crop science company Corteva Agriscience; and artificial intelligence agri-food start-up Connecterra. Netherlands-based Wageningen University and Research, renowned for its food and food production research, will be a research and advisory partner.
Farming for Generations will initially work hand-in-hand with 25 dairy farms in the USA, EU and Russia to identify best practice solutions and innovations across different farming models, farm sizes and geographies. Viable and replicable solutions will be shared and scaled up within the full network of the alliance partners.
Food systems need to be transformed to be fit for the future. People are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impacts of their food choices. New scientific studies are working to define “sustainable diets” that can provide healthy and nutritious food to the growing world population while respecting environmental limits. Regenerative agriculture has a lead role to play in delivering this ambition, by protecting soil, water and biodiversity; respecting animal welfare, and empowering farmers.
Commenting on this initiative, Yann Gael Rio, VP Milk and Farming at Danone, said: “Regenerative agriculture is a solution to many of the environmental and health challenges we face today. Farming for Generations brings together expertise along the whole agricultural value chain with the collective know-how of farmers. This will ensure any solutions and innovations are tried and tested on the ground, capable of delivering real impact at scale and helping to build the sustainable food systems of tomorrow.”
Participating dairy farmer, Brock Peters based in Ohio (USA), said: “Farming for Generations has the appropriate balance of skills, knowledge, perspective and global reach to assist farmers of all sizes and in all locations in advancing their farms’ efficiency and sustainability. It’s unprecedented to have so many leading experts working towards this shared vision for dairy farming. Our role as farmers will be to serve as a sounding board to ensure practices are applicable and pragmatic and shared in a way so that they can be quickly adopted.”
Farming for Generations will help identify and scale up solutions across the farming system: growing animal feed, choosing the best animals for breeding programs, nurturing and rearing animals, and producing milk. It will explore regenerative agricultural practices that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect soil and biodiversity while providing the best quality feed for dairy cows; support animal health and wellbeing, ensuring cows have a healthy, stress-free life; and empower farmers with workable solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges.
Over the next three years, the alliance will gather cross-sector insights, refine best practices and develop new approaches, which will be shared in a practical toolbox. Farmers will be involved each step of the way, ensuring that practices are viable and suited to local customs and geographic specificities.
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Dedicated to bringing health through food to as many people as possible, Danone is a leading global food & beverage company building on health-focused and fast-growing categories in three businesses: Essential Dairy & Plant-Based Products, Waters and Specialized Nutrition. Danone aims to inspire healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices, in line with its ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision which reflects a strong belief that the health of people and that of the planet are interconnected. To bring this vision to life and create superior, sustainable, profitable value for all its stakeholders, Danone has defined its 2030 Goals: a set of nine integrated goals aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Danone commits to operating in an efficient, responsible and inclusive manner; it holds itself to the highest standards in doing business, as reflected by its ambition to become one of the first multinationals certified as B CorpTM. With more than 100,000 employees and products sold in over 120 markets, Danone generated €24.7 billion in sales in 2018. Danone’s portfolio includes leading international brands (Actimel, Activia, Alpro, Aptamil, Danette, Danio, Danonino, Evian, Nutricia, Nutrilon, Volvic, among others) as well as strong local and regional brands (including AQUA, Blédina, Bonafont, Cow & Gate, Horizon, Mizone, Oikos, Prostokvashino, Silk, Vega).
Listed on Euronext Paris and on the OTCQX market via an ADR (American Depositary Receipt) program, Danone is a component stock of leading social responsibility indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, Vigeo Eiris, the Ethibel Sustainability Index, MSCI Global Sustainability, MSCI Global SRI Indexes and the FTSE4Good Index.
Connecterra exists to give people a previously impossible understanding of the world around them so they can make more productive, humane and sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources. We use sensors and machine learning to turn raw data into insight-driven efficiencies for the benefit of people, companies, and the natural habitats in which they operate. With an increased need for food by 2050, a declining farmer population and changing consumer demands, our mission is to create an artificial intelligence that will work with farmers to help them scale to the demands of the future.
We will always use AI to support the human endeavour, not usurp it. We believe that together, people, nature and machines can answer the big questions facing our planet. Founded in 2014, Connecterra is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and operational in 16 countries.
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is founded on a rich tradition of innovation that draws upon the combined strengths of DuPont Crop Protection, Dow AgroSciences and DuPont Pioneer. We are the new pure-play agriscience company exploiting the latest technology to transform agriculture by offering seed solutions, crop protection and digital services. This is critical for feeding a growing planet as food and productivity demands reach all-time highs. Corteva Agriscience listens to farmers to understand their needs, applying our science to develop integrated offerings to meet those needs today, with a rich pipeline focused on the future. Furthermore, as champion of sustainability and responsible agriculture, we listen to consumers’ concerns, helping them understand the science and stewardship behind our actions. We also believe in the power of collaboration, inviting in ideas from a wide variety of sources, and developing partnerships with universities and NGOs across the world.
Corteva Agriscience provides farmers around the world with the most complete input portfolio in the industry to enable them to maximize yield and profitability — including some of the most recognized brands in agriculture: Pioneer®, Granular®, Brevant™ seeds, as well as award-winning Crop Protection products — while bringing new products to market through its robust pipeline of active chemistry and technologies. The company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfils its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.
Royal DSM is a purpose-led global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative business solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, green products and applications, and new mobility and connectivity. DSM and its associated companies deliver annual net sales of about €10 billion with approximately 23,000 employees. The company is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
FutureCow is an industry expert in the health and comfort of cows and calves. Our products include the popular Teatscrubber Prep System used to improve cows hygiene prior to milking. We also manufacture a full line of cow comfort products including our flagship ComfortBrush, a heavy-duty, rotating cow brush with options specifically suited for cows and calves. FutureCow products are designed and built to handle the tough conditions on dairy farms, while always focusing on the comfort and well-being of the animals under your care. FutureCow is a global brand reaching over 25 countries around the world. All FutureCow products are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets.
Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Animal Safety Division is a leader in worldwide biosecurity products, animal genomics testing, and the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and veterinary instruments. Neogen’s Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, and sanitation concerns.
Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet, to fulfil our vision of a collaborative society, a world without hunger and a planet respected. To meet these commitments, we have taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming and work closely with partners throughout the whole food value chain to develop more climate-friendly crop nutrition solutions. In addition, we are committed to working towards sustainable mineral fertilizer production. We foster an open culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes the safety and integrity of our employees, contractors, business partners, and society at large. Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has a worldwide presence with about 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries. In 2018, Yara reported revenues of USD 12.9 billion. Website: www.yara.com
About Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research combines fundamental and applied knowledge in order to contribute to resolving important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. Focussing on the mission ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’, we are inspired by nature, society, and technology and tackle the issues with an open and curious perspective. We have a long tradition in developing sustainable dairy value chains in close collaboration with dairy farmers as well as their suppliers and dairy processors.
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