How to Make Dairy Farming Sustainable
The Australian dairy industry is committed to following sustainable practices that will protect and improve the future of Australian dairy farming in our country. As an Australian dairy farmer, the Little Big Dairy Co is part of this initiative. We employ a number of sustainable farming practices and if we find ways that will enable us to do things better, we work towards implementing them.
How can dairy farming be sustainable?
Underpinning dairy farming in Australia is the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework which was brought in to encourage and help dairy farmers to initiate continuous improvements in their farming practices. For some farmers, it was necessary to make changes to meet the requirements of the framework and set up sustainable practices on their farms.
Such initiatives included:
- Reducing the carbon footprint of the farm by installing solar panels onto the roof of the dairy
- Fencing off waterways to improve water quality
- Recycling of waste water from the sheds
- Ensuring the herds had access to cooling facilities and shade
- Tree planting
- The use of liquid waste as fertiliser
- Setting aside areas of land for conservation and biodiversity.
How the The Little Big Dairy Co approach sustainability
The team here at The Little Big Dairy Co are fully committed to making our dairy farming practices sustainable. By installing solar panels on our factory and cool room roofs, we can now power 100KW of our 120KW power draw by solar energy. We’ve also implemented changes to ensure all our wash down water is used for irrigation. But our commitment doesn’t stop there. We’ve invested heavily in more environmentally friendly vehicles and machinery and, thanks to modern technology, now only have our machinery running when necessary, through our remote start and shut down programs.
More of our sustainable practices
The use of sustainable and recyclable packaging features heavily at The Little Big Dairy Co. We supply much of our milk in bottles and these bottles are packed in boxes made from recycled cardboard rather than plastic milk crates. The boxes can either be recycled by the customer or we bail returns onsite for recycling. Since moving away from traditional milk crates, our milk delivery drivers have been able to collect items such as new boxes and bottles on their return journeys. Previously, the return journey would have meant bringing the empty milk crates back to the factory. We can now better utilise this space on the truck, which means fewer and more efficient journeys.
As part of our commitment to being sustainable dairy farmers, we’re always looking at new ways to recycle and reuse the items used for our milk production. We currently bail the soft plastic that covers the pallets and send it to the local recycling centre and are working towards bailing our milk bottles and sending them for recycling too. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep dairy farming sustainable in Australia and to keep The Little Big Dairy Co at the forefront of sustainable and ethical dairy farming practices.