Unilever and GEA Collaborate on Eco-Friendly Dairy Farming Solutions

Producer News

In a recent move towards sustainable dairy farming, Unilever and GEA have joined forces to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Their strategy involves the integration of GEA’s innovative ProManure E2950 system, designed to enrich manure.

The pilot phase will see GEA setting up four of these systems on Dutch dairy farms that cater to Unilever. Over the next year, the performance and impact of these units on Unilever’s carbon emissions will be closely monitored.

The collaboration’s primary goal is to evaluate and amplify the system’s capability to drastically cut down GHG emissions during milk production. This is in line with Unilever’s commitment to enhancing sustainability throughout its operational chain.

GEA’s manure enricher stands out as it allows farms to generate eco-friendly organic fertilizers using just livestock waste, air, and electricity. The technology infuses nitrogen from the air into the manure using plasma technology. This not only maximizes nutrient utilization on the farm by minimizing ammonia losses (up to 95%) during storage and application but also ensures immediate nutrient availability for plants, bolstering their growth.

The benefits are manifold. GEA claims that farms can witness a surge in crop yield by as much as 40% when using this enriched manure. Additionally, methane emissions, a significant concern with manure storage, are eradicated. Cumulatively, these advantages can lead to a 30% reduction in a farm’s carbon emissions.

Eric Soubeiran, from Unilever’s Climate and Nature Fund, emphasized the role of technology in making the dairy sector more carbon-neutral. He remarked, “This collaboration exemplifies our vision of a circular farm management system. By adopting this technology, we’re advancing our regenerative approach, significantly diminishing the carbon footprint of our dairy components, and offering our customers more sustainable products.”

Echoing this sentiment, Peter Lauwers, the CEO of GEA Farm Technologies, stated that their ‘Next Generation Farming philosophy’ is centered around equipping global dairy farmers to adapt sustainably to challenges like stringent environmental norms and rising operational intricacies. He added, “Being a global leader in food system supplies and a champion of sustainable transformation, we’re excited to work alongside Unilever to champion this manure enricher system and promote circular farming.”