DUBAI — Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced it brought together global food corporations Bel Group, Danone, General Mills, Kraft Heinz, Lactalis USA and Nestlé to form the Dairy Methane Action Alliance (DMAA).

As part of joining the initiative, the companies committed to annually account and publicly disclose methane emissions within their respective dairy supply chains. Each company also pledged to create and implement a comprehensive methane action plan.

Coinciding with the launch of DMAA, EDF called for “all companies in the global dairy supply chain to join this effort to expedite a global shift to climate-smart dairy.”

EDF president Fred Krupp said stabilizing the climate through new food production approaches and supporting farmers are essential parts of making an impact.

“Dairy companies can be part of the fight against climate change by reducing methane pollution,” Krupp said. “This is an exciting step forward in putting methane action front and center for the dairy sector."

He added: "Together we can support farm economies, enhance global nutrition access, and make supply chains more resilient. This historic group represents the leadership we need not just from dairy companies, but from food producers everywhere. Now the hard work begins, to put words into action to meet these milestones — and it’s time for others in the dairy industry to join us.”

EDF noted that the majority of food companies’ methane emissions come from livestock, and dairy is responsible for nearly 10% of global methane emissions. The nonprofit described ambitious climate action in the dairy sector as a “triple win, benefiting farmers' livelihoods, food security and the climate.”

Simon Bonnet, sustainable milk purchasing director for the Bel Group, said the company collaborates with farmers as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases coming from its dairy farms by 25% by 2035.

“We can accelerate and be more efficient by working with the whole dairy ecosystem,” Bonnet said. “This is the purpose of the Dairy Methane Action Alliance: Gather all dairy players and partners to work collectively by setting the base and accelerating on methane mitigation journey. We are thrilled to be a co-founding member of this alliance, to position the dairy sector as part of the solution to fight against climate change while giving access to nutritious, responsible and affordable food for all.”

Danone’s chief sustainability and strategic business development officer, Henri Bruxelles, said the company committed to reduce methane emissions from fresh milk by 30% by 2030.

“We are convinced that we can deliver on this ambition by working with other dairy players and partners to set the bar high, develop tools and scale best practices,” Bruxelles said. “This is what the Dairy Methane Action Alliance is about.”

Rolf Carlson, Lactalis USA’s vice president of corporate social responsibility, said “time is of the essence” in helping farmers mitigate climate change.

“DMAA provides a forum for collaboration among processors, farmers and researchers where we can identify and elevate the best solutions to accelerate progress on reducing methane emissions, one of the most potent climate pollutants,” Carlson said.