WP3 - Capitalization

The goal of the Dairy-4-Future capitalization strategy is to create economic, social and policy environments within which the dairy sector can flourish in the long-term. This WP will be led by AHDB, but all partners will actively participate. The starting point will be a better understanding of how dairy innovation chains are performing in the Atlantic Region. This will inform how to optimize a collaborative platform which will ensure project outputs are exploited during the lifetime of the project, and beyond. This WP will utilize outputs from other WPs to organize and stimulate further interactions, build networks and develop frameworks for long term collaboration. Key target audiences will be farmers and their representative organisations, policy makers, supply chain actors (milk buyers, processors and supply industries, including technology companies), relevant NGO’s, educators, trainers and extension workers. Outputs will include formal and informal connections made between researchers and farmers, new or refined tools and methodologies, or strategic policy insight which could be updated in the future. Key drivers of technical efficiency, cost competitiveness and connectivity with the market will ensure engagement, as well as continuing relevance for sustainability issues beyond the life of the project. Before the end of the project a Forum (hosted on the D4F website) will be created to exploit technical, market and policy networks identified during the project. Via the involvment on other projects, dissemination activities and other contacts with farms, companies… the Dairy4Future partners will ensure that the results obtained on the Atlantic Area region will be deployed on other regions of Europe.

WP4 - Dairy sector analysis

This WP will help to provide a clear vision of dairy industry at AA scale, for dairy processors and stakeholders. It will update the current situation of the dairy sector in the AA (milk production, dairy processing, market…), through a deepening of a large variety of production systems (conventional and organic) and dairy companies. A regional SWOT analysis will identify the possible cohesion elements at the AA level. An analysis will be realized regarding its activity (production, rural vitality, environment footprint, animal welfare…), in close relationship with dairy groups that are linked to this project, to better identify the assets of the dairy production. The generic elements for the dairy companies of the AA will thus be identified. Analyze of production differentiation strategies, in order to create added value on dairy products, will be made through 10 cases studies. Closely linked with the first steps of this WP and WP 5 to 7, the perspectives of the growth of the dairy sector of the Atlantic area for 2025 will be appreciated, according to markets perspectives and opportunities (at the European and international scale), dairy industry strategies and dairy farm conditions (farmers skills, feed resources availability, structure of farms, environmental constraints…). This WP will mobilize information and databases of partners, including the FADN European base. Aim of this WP is to have a clear view of dairy sector, in order to build more added value strategies.

WP5 - Fostering dairy sector economic resilience in the Atlantic Area

The objective of this work package is to enhance the economic and environmental performance of dairy farms in the Atlantic Area through identification of innovations and demonstration of effective economic practises that simultaneously maximise profitability and improve efficiency. Ten farms per region/country: Ireland, western Scotland, Northern Ireland, southwest England, Galicia, Basque Country, Portugal and the Azores (i.e. 80 farms) and a further 20 farms across Normandy, New Aquitaine and Brittany will form a network of 100 innovative dairy enterprises (conventional and organic farms), led by project partners. They will cover diversity of dairy systems of each country, but main criteria of choice will be innovative aspects of farms. Economic variables drawn from this network will be analysed to determine best practises and to establish comparative financial and technical production efficiencies, alongside the potential for improvement and results will align with outputs from WP6 and feed into WP7. External factors that impact upon on the commercial success of a dairy farm will be assessed and the effect on farm profitability will be determined and industry perspectives will be sought through associated partners. Opportunities and trade-offs within and across countries will be demonstrated by each of the regional partners to farmers, advisors and stakeholders through a series of workshops and demonstrations on pilot farms. All partners are involved in this WP.

WP6 - Sharing knowledge for innovative resource use efficiency on dairy farms in the Atlantic Area

This action encompasses collaboration between a transnational network of 10 dairy experimental farms and 100 pilot dairy farms (same as in WP5). Experimental farms, already related (or even with strong cooperation) to partners many times in the past are:

-Crichton Research and Innovation Farm (Scotland)
-Greenmount Agricultural College Farm (Northern Ireland)
-Duchy College Farm in (South West England)
-Kildalton Agricultural College Farm (Ireland)
-Solohead Research Farm (Ireland)
-Blanche Maison Experimental Farm (Normandy)
-Trevarez Experimental Farm (Brittany)
-Agroecological System at Lusignan (New Aquitaine)
-Fraisoro Agricultural School (Basque Country)
-The system at CIAM (Galicia)

The 100 pilot dairy farms network (already described in WP5) covers all the AA regions with at least 10 farms per region with either conventional or organic production, used to be at the forefront of dairy farming innovation.
The objective is to improve sustainability, identifying and demonstrating best practices to improve resource use efficiency. This will involve analyzing needs and opportunities for improvement and to support key stakeholders to optimize their activities and cooperation. Experimental and pilot farms will demonstrate practical options and benefits of improved resource use. Training programs will be formulated focused on resource-use. Farmers will undertake exchange visits between regions to share experience and develop innovative solutions.

WP7 - Sustainable systems for the future (links, blue print systems, key recommendations /good practices)

This will involve evaluation of outputs of WP4, WP5 and WP6 in terms of prospects and optimum balance between profitability, resource use efficiency and environmental performance of dairy farms. The pilot and experimental dairy farms represent a range of dairy production systems across the Atlantic Area where, for example, greater than 75% of the diet of dairy cows is from grazed grass in Azores and Ireland to where 100% of the diet is fed indoors on farms in Northern Portugal and western Scotland with the majority of systems being implemented on farms across the Atlantic Area falling between these extremes. The study of these differences in management strategies between farms will allow us to identify practices that offer best outcomes for resilient dairy farms, often the economic cornerstone of rural communities across the Atlantic Area. This will allow us to identify and recommend best practices in terms of the future direction (roadmap for 2020 to 2025) for development of the dairy industry across the Atlantic Area and the design and promotion of blueprint systems adapted to the socioeconomic, soil and to changing climatic conditions in each region. Part of this process will involve the development of tools and for evaluating and categorizing milk produced on farms in terms of sustainability credentials, which is multifaceted and complex but which is increasingly being required by the milk processing industry to meet the growing demand for such information from consumers.