Nestlé USA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy today announced that Trinkler Dairy Farm, a CARNATION® supplier, is the first partner farm of the Dairy Scale for Good pilot within the Net Zero Initiative, a first-of-its-kind industry effort helping U.S. dairy farms of all sizes and geographies adopt new technologies and economically viable practices. As part of this industry effort, Trinkler Dairy Farm is the first U.S. dairy farm to pilot new technologies and implement sustainable farming practices to demonstrate the economic viability of achieving net zero emissions within the next five years.
This initiative is a key milestone in Nestlé’s $10 million investment and multi-year partnership with the U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative. It aims to scale access to environmental practices and resources on farms, as well as to develop markets for new products and ecosystem services, helping farmers diversify revenue and enabling a self-sustaining model. It is also a critical component of the U.S. dairy industry’s goals to achieve carbon neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050.
“Our consumers expect that we will deliver products made with high quality, fresh dairy, and they expect we will do that in a sustainable way that is better for the planet,” said Steve Presley, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé USA. “As the first farm to join Dairy Scale for Good, our Carnation supplier is charting the path toward carbon neutral dairy in the U.S. This is an exciting step toward delivering on consumer demands while advancing our journey towards net zero emissions by 2050. We are using our scale to have a positive impact within our business and supply chain, while working to propel the industry forward and create a more sustainable future.”
Nestlé’s investment in dairy is critical to its goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 because the vast majority of Nestlé’s emissions stem from its supply chain. Dairy accounts for approximately 16 percent of Nestlé’s overall U.S. carbon footprint, and about three percent comes from fresh milk sourced from 13 dairy farms in Modesto, California. According to Nestlé’s Net Zero Roadmap, which is based on the Science-Based Targets initiative, net zero emissions are achieved when greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere are balanced by removal of GHG emissions over a specified period.
With an initial $1.5 million dollar investment from Nestlé, Trinkler Dairy Farm will install technology and incorporate practices that significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of achieving a reduction of 30 percent by 2023. As part of Dairy Scale for Good, Trinkler Dairy Farm will collaborate with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Nestlé to develop strategies for reducing emissions on the farm and achieve net zero emissions within the next five years.
Dairy farms can incorporate various practices and on-farm technologies to drastically reduce emissions—particularly methane, a GHG emitted from cows’ digestive system and long-term manure storages. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to upgrade infrastructure and better manage manure. By installing anaerobic digesters and advanced nutrient recovery technologies, farms can convert manure into usable by-products such as energy, solids for cow bedding and fresh water. More emissions are saved by adding ingredients to cows’ diets that reduce the amount of methane they produce and by using energy from renewable sources like solar, wind, or biogas created on the farm. Farms can capture carbon from the atmosphere while producing cow feed by using regenerative practices that protect and restore one of their greatest assets – their soil. These practices could include low-till and precision farming, adding cover crops and using renewable fertilizers. These technologies require significant investment, and this pilot is setting out to demonstrate the economic viability for farmers.
“Our family has been dairy farming for three generations and have been supplying fresh milk to CARNATION® since 2014,” said Jon Rebiero, manager of Trinkler Dairy Farm. “We are embarking on a path to achieve net zero emissions, building on practices we use today that protect our land, our cows’ welfare and our family business for future generations. We’re excited to be at the start of a movement that will transform the future of the dairy industry.”
The impact will be assessed using science-based measurement tools, and the data will be analyzed by scientists at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy starting in 2022. Nestlé will scale the solutions implemented at Trinkler Dairy Farm to additional dairy farms in the coming years, as it partners with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to help farms of all sizes and geographies reduce emissions. Currently, U.S. dairy accounts for less than 2 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions.
“Producing a gallon of milk has 19% less greenhouse gas emissions than it did in 2007. That’s equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by half a million acres of U.S. forest every year,” said Mike Haddad, Chairman, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. “This partnership with Nestlé and Trinkler Dairy Farm is a powerful example of the innovative collaborations needed to scale knowledge and new innovations that will make the transition to net zero emissions a reality.”
“Dairy industry research and WWF analysis show that large U.S. dairy farms could reduce net emissions to zero in five years, and by investing in sustainable technologies, farms could see an annual return of $1.9 million, accelerating progress and the direct benefit to farming families, the dairy industry, the economy, and our planet,” said Jason Clay, Executive Director, Markets Institute, World Wildlife Fund. “Efforts to get to net zero emissions are a critical step toward transforming the dairy industry.”
Trinkler Dairy Farm is the second Nestlé dairy farm globally to pursue net zero emissions. In December 2020, the company announced that its dairy farm in George, South Africa committed to becoming carbon net zero by 2023 as part of the Skimmelkrans Net Zero Carbon Emissions Project.
About Nestlé USA
Nestlé USA is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. The company's food and beverage portfolio includes some of the most recognizable brands in the United States including Coffee mate®, DiGiorno® and Nestlé® Toll House® as well as category disruptors such as Sweet Earth®, and are in nearly every home in the country. Nestlé USA also boasts the largest coffee portfolio in the U.S. with Nescafé®, Nestlé Starbucks Coffee and Chameleon Cold-Brew®. With 2020 sales of $10 billion, Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world's largest food and beverage company, which has been named among "The World's Most Admired Food Companies" by Fortune magazine for twenty-four consecutive years.
About the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a leadership forum that brings together the dairy community and third parties to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers and customers. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff, Innovation Center leaders and members collaborate on important areas like the environment, nutrition and health, animal care, food safety, and community contributions. Through the Innovation Center, the U.S. dairy community demonstrates its commitment to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to ensure a socially responsible and economically viable dairy community. For more information, visit www.usdairy.com.
The U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI) is an industry-wide effort to accelerate voluntary action on farm to reduce environmental impacts by making sustainable practices and technologies more accessible and affordable to all U.S. dairy farms. NZI was established to unite the assets and expertise of dairy trade, professional and industry organizations and their constituents toward a shared objective. It is led by six national dairy organizations: the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Dairy Management Inc., Newtrient, Inc., National Milk Producers Federation, International Dairy Foods Association and the U.S. Dairy Export Council.