Latteria Soresina in the front row for environmental sustainability. The Cooperativa from Cremona in fact joined the app-iDaiS (App for DAIry Sustainability) project, launched thanks to funding from the Lombardy Region and co-operation with the University of Milan (Departments of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Sciences and Policies) and 13 contributing livestock farms. The app is an information system based on smartphone and cloud data apps for energy monitoring, reducing environmental impact and optimising the management of milk collection logistics to make the dairy supply chain more sustainable. The project is fully in line with national and European policies aimed at promoting the conscious use of resources and the integration of production systems in line with sustainable development criteria (PSR 2015-2020).
Tiziano Fusar Poli Chairman of Latteria Soresina explains: “Today more than ever the environmental protection is central to the inhabitants of the planet and the consumer’s sensitivity to the environmental impact of production was held in high regard. Unfortunately, in general, the implementation of actions in response to this very important and concrete need meets many obstacles, including cultural obstacles. Lombardy, which produces 43% of the national milk, is a major player in the entire Italian and European milk sector both in terms of quantity of milk produced and quality. But the companies that produce it, finding themselves on a global market in a sector that is now mature, with very low and sometimes non-existent margins, have great difficulty in introducing possible product and process innovations, also because the higher costs are often not recognized by the market. Nevertheless, Latteria Soresina believes that it is also ethically necessary to think and implement innovative solutions to make our contribution to mitigate the environmental impact of production. We already did a lot in the past but a lot remains to be done. The aim was and continues to be to offer better and “fairer” products made with respect for people, animals and the environment, also through new organizational models, increasingly seeking operational excellence, precision farming that reduces waste, sensor technology in production processes able to detect errors and inefficiencies in real time and to include self-corrections to protect consumers and the environment. Such interventions require significant investments. The availability of public funding therefore represents an important opportunity for the optimization and efficiency of the different stages of the supply chain” and is a real proof of how politics can help and direct change.
The objective of the project as put forward in the introduction is to speed up, through specific actions, some technological applications, which often see the livestock sector and the related industrial transformation lagging behind the other categories. These actions are based on the use of ‘enabling technologies’ (KETs, Key Enabling Technologies), in order to put the livestock sector in a more sustainable context in response to the 17 SDG’s defined by UN member states. These principles are easily applicable to the livestock production chain for milk production and processing into dairy products.
The project, which will initially be applied in the first two stages of the dairy chain (production and delivery of milk to the dairy), will in any case allow benefits to be obtained also in the following stages. Through an approach of comparison between the different companies that supply Latteria Soresina, the aim is to promote a virtuous process that leads to reduce the environmental impact of milk production. The individual farmers will be called upon to “identify” the milk in terms of energy and environmental impact by collecting some information about their production process. A second step is the optimization of the delivery logistics in order to optimize the delivery of milk also from an environmental point of view.
The project, started in August 2018, lasts for 24 months and is divided into two macro-phases. A preliminary step consists of data collection for monitoring production through the Life Cycle Assessment method. Another step consists of the development of the app with an user-frendly interface allowing farmers to become aware of their environmental impact, the possible solutions to reduce it, and the Cooperativa to collect information along the entire production chain facilitating an optimization of the production process.
“The project also provides from economic advantages coming from the optimisation of collection routes and monitoring of energy consumption, the planning of specific collection routes according to the qualitative features of the product, the possibility of monitoring and characterising the environmental performance of the entire production process and, therefore of the final product, which takes on particular importance at a time, as mentioned earlier, when consumers, and consequently also the large-scale retail trade (GDO), are increasingly rigorous in evaluating the organoleptic features of products but also the ethics of their production phases and processes”, concludes Chairman Tiziano Fusar Poli.