A draft plan to slash dairy’s environmental footprint by 30% in the next 10 years has been revealed. The industry believes this will provide ammunition with which to fight back against the outspoken anti-livestock lobby.
Kite Consulting’s John Allen, believes this. He said the vegan movement is using the environmental footprint of farming as its ‘trojan horse’ to convert people. This new strategy will he feels remove that powerful ‘guilt’ prop.
At war with vegans
Speaking at the Dairy Show last week at Shepton Mallet, Allen said:
“We see ourselves being in a war at present with vegans, and there is no point in fighting them in the social media space. We’ve already lost that battle and in the next one we have got to ensure we get our message over to policymakers as we have got to outflank them and use our wits as we are fighting for our lives.”
“The vegans are dressing up anti-livestock farming with environmentalism, and the two do not necessarily go together”.
By separating the two issues he believes that the dairy industry can by reducing its carbon footprint win over policymakers. He believes that the industry should target a reduction in its carbon footprint by up to 30 %. In this way it can deliver “guilt-free dairy” to a lot of consumers who are “currently being made to feel guilty about consuming dairy and livestock products,” he stated.
One way would be to increase milk yields as opposed to having greater numbers of cows with the corresponding slurry and methane emissions.
He said this could be brought about by the use of genomics and use of the latest technology to improve health and fertility.
Allen has consulted with supply chain representatives who have been “positive” about the proposals but not yet discussed the ideas with Defra. It is anticipated that a strategy document will be released in two months.