NIEA signs innovative environmental agreement with Lakeland Dairies

Working in partnership to protect the environment: Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies and David Small of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency celebrate the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the two organisations. The Agreement aims to improve the environmental and business outcomes through better links and collaboration.'Picture: Michael Cooper
Working in partnership to protect the environment: Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies and David Small of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency celebrate the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the two organisations. The Agreement aims to improve the environmental and business outcomes through better links and collaboration.'Picture: Michael Cooper

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Lakeland Dairies (NI) aimed at improving environmental and business outcomes for both organisations.

Lakeland Dairies is a leading farmer owned dairy co-operative with a heritage of over 120 years in dairy farming and milk processing. It is a global supplier of dairy foodservice products and food ingredients bringing together over 750 family farms producing 600 million litres of high-quality, sustainable, pasture-based milk in Northern Ireland.

Through the Prosperity Agreement, Lakeland Dairies has committed to working with NIEA to ensure significant improvements in resource and energy efficiency and in reducing carbon emissions from their factory operations. One of the most important aspects of the Agreement is its commitment to work with NIEA and the wider DAERA, as well as with farmers to identify ways to reduce ammonia emissions arising from dairy farms. Lakeland Dairies will also work to help farmers better understand land quality and nutrient requirements and to continue their support for biodiversity and habitat protection.

The Agreement was signed at the Lakeland Dairies’ manufacturing site and Global Logistics Centre in Newtownards.

Speaking at the signing, David Small, Chief Executive of NIEA said: “The Prosperity Agreement Programme is a great example of how Government and progressive organisations can work together for positive outcomes and to address key issues, delivering prosperity and well-being. Each agreement embodies commitments to a sustainable future for both the business and our environment. We have had some great achievements through the Programme to date and I look forward to more to come from Lakeland and all the other Agreement holders.

“This is our eighth Prosperity Agreement signed with a progressive company and it is great news both for the environment and the local economy as Lakeland plans to work with their supply chain in implementing this Agreement, leading to significant business and environmental benefits.”

Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies, said: “We are one of Northern Ireland’s leading dairy co-operatives and we’re delighted to be signing this Prosperity Agreement, recognising our ambitious and progressive environmental targets. This Agreement will help us as a business and across our sphere of influence to respond positively to key environmental challenges such as ammonia emissions and resource efficiency. For instance, we have committed to reducing the CO2 generated per litre of product by 50% by 2021. We look forward to delivering against our outcomes in partnership with NIEA.”