Farmers play a vital role in the Company’s supply chain, not only as suppliers of the precious milk source for the Company’s products but also as stewards of the environment and as vital contributors to local communities. In addition, the humane treatment of cows is of the utmost importance. The Company is committed to working with and supporting farmers to enable them to improve the impact on the environment.
Animal welfare programme
Best practice standards for animal welfare on farms are central to the responsible sourcing of raw milk which naturally contains only the A2 protein and no A1.
The Company’s animal welfare programme meets globally recognised frameworks for Animal Health and is evolving from the Five Freedoms Model to the Five Domains Framework of animal welfare.
a2MC’s approach to animal welfare is to drive improvement, reduce risk and ensure farmers are welfare centric. This is achieved through the combination of increased audits, wider audit scope, milk monitoring, on-farm technology and training.
A number of extensions to the animal welfare programme were developed in FY22, supporting farmers to establish systems for continuous improvement in animal welfare and to further improve programmes beyond the industry standard.
Farm environmental plans
The Company has developed a global framework for farm environmental plans. The principles of the framework address the most material aspects of environmental management in the dairy industry:
— Lowering GHG emissions
— Managing water quality and efficiency
— Managing soil quality
— Boosting on-farm biodiversity
— Improving nutrient (effluent) management
Farm environmental plans
- 100% of farms supplying raw A1 protein free milk to have a farm environmental plan in place by the end of 2023
- 100% of farms to be certified under an upgraded programme by the end of 2023
The a2 Milk Company is partnering with Lincoln University to launch a new initiative to support sustainable dairy farming projects in New Zealand.
The Farm Sustainability Fund, is a collaboration between The a2 Milk Company and Lincoln University, New Zealand's only specialist land-based university. The a2 Milk Company will provide up to $500,000 to the Fund in the first year to enable fund grants for farm projects that demonstrate an integrated approach to a sustainable future and enable a positive and meaningful impact across the community and environment.
The Company has partnered with Landcare Australia since 2017 and provided more than $850,000 of funding for sustainability initiatives with positive environmental and business outcomes. In 2022, the Company commenced a partnership with Lincoln University, New Zealand’s only specialist land-based university, to launch a new initiative to support sustainable dairy farming projects – The New Zealand Farm Sustainability Fund™.
The Company supports additional farming community specific programmes through:
- Surfing for farmers
- Bale up conference
- NSW Women in Dairy