In a first for New Zealand, this month Taupō-based dairy company Miraka will be reporting farm-specific carbon emissions for each of the over 100 farms they work with. The reports will give a detailed understanding of greenhouse gas emissions, and compare results between farms. “Currently many of our farmers have little awareness of their carbon footprint” says Grant Jackson, Miraka’s General Manager of Milk Supply. “Measurement and reporting are the first steps in the journey. Once we’ve identified the biggest impacts on each farm, we can start working with our farmers on reduction targets and strategies” says Grant.
Miraka’s emissions reports have been generated using data from Overseer – software developed in New Zealand to help farmers more effectively monitor and manage nutrient use. Miraka also provides freshwater nutrient reports and detailed environment management plans for their farmers.
“At Miraka we believe in the importance of kaitiakitanga, about making decisions for the long-term” says Murray Hemi, Miraka’s Kaitiaki and General Manager of Environmental Leadership. “As part of the Paris Agreement New Zealand has made a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from the primary sector are significant, and we all have a role to play in addressing the growing threat of climate change” says Murray.
Although Miraka believes that future innovation will play a big part in reducing agricultural emissions, there several actions they currently recommend to farmers. “Balancing feed to include lower roughage/higher sugar options can help reduce methane emissions, and optimising the application of nitrogen fertilisers also significantly reduces emissions. Improving pasture species and soil quality is another great step our farmers can take” says Grant.
Miraka’s investment in emissions reporting and environmental management plans puts them at the forefront of sustainability in the dairy sector. “Our goal is to have the lowest carbon footprint of any New Zealand dairy processor. By investing in emissions reporting and environmental management plans we are helping our supplier community take control of the greenhouse gas challenge. Providing quality information to our farmer whānau enables us to work together and find solutions” says Murray.
Posted: Tue 22 Oct 2019