FrieslandCampina: Dairy farming & Climate Adaptation

Many efforts are undertaken to minimise the acceleration of climate change. Regardless of these mitigating efforts, we will experience a global temperature rise. Consequently, the climate will change. But climate change is not confined to the future, the climate is changing and has already changed. Hence, we should not solely focus on minimising climate change, we should also take measures to adapt to the changing climate.

Sectors that depend heavily on weather conditions are likely to be the first to suffer from extreme weather conditions and thus require attention. Dairy farming will be greatly affected by climate change. Food and water shortage are results of drought and negatively impact milk production. Since droughts are expected to become more frequent and intense, it is clear that the dairy industry will suffer from climate change.

FrieslandCampina is one of the top global dairy companies, producing nutritious dairy products world-wide. FrieslandCampina is aware of the necessity of climate adaptation to maintain dairy production and to ensure farmers’ incomes. Additionally, climate adaptation could aid in maintaining enough nutritious dairy products for the growing world-population and could help the Netherlands in becoming more resistant to climate change since FrieslandCampina fams cover approximately 25% of the Dutch surface.

It is evident that adaptation to climate change is paramount. In this project we will focus on climate adaptation in dairy farming. The main question that needs to be answered is: How can dairy farming adapt to the predicted climate change? The aim of this project is to provide a foundation for future research and initiatives for the sustainable adaptation of dairy farming to climate change. We will complete our research by conducting interviews with experts on climate change and adaptation, and with farmers whose knowledge and opinions will be a crucial for successful adaptation. The integration of insights from these experts will enable us to provide the basis for initiatives to study or implement adaptation measures in dairy farming.

Rafick de Mol, Iris van Os, Kimberly Vuurboom