In 2017, Lion and Landcare Australia awarded grants to ten of our dairy suppliers to help improve on-farm sustainability, and support them in making their businesses even more efficient.

Close to $100,000 in funding provided recipients with the opportunity to introduce new innovations to their established farming practices, and we’re delighted to announce that these farmers are already seeing sustainability improvements, cost savings and increased operational efficiency.

Key highlights achieved across the board include an average of 8% energy savings since the implementation of the projects, the installation of 544 energy-efficient devices, and planting of 500 plants, with 90% plant survival.

“We were really encouraged to see that the projects achieved some great environmental outcomes with many of them also delivering sustainable cost reductions too”, said Lion Agriculture Procurement Director Murray Jeffrey.

“The wide range of innovations implemented has been impressive, and we look forward to seeing how these results continue to evolve.”

One such initiative, at the Beaulands farm in coastal New South Wales has been the installation of an exchange system, which uses the heat from the cooling unit to heat the water required for cleaning and sterilising. Farmer Sam Graham believes that a 25% rise in electricity costs has been cancelled out by the new system, which will pay for itself in the medium to long-term.

Further South, the Woodbine family in Victoria used their grant to fund the installation of a variable speed drive unit that adjusts power consumption to meet levels of demand during milking, a fantastic example of an 80-year-old dairy adapting and innovating to support the growing demands of their 850-milking cow strong dairy to be more efficient and effective.

The innovation has cut energy consumption by 10% across seven months, with more savings expected. Additionally, this system requires less maintenance and less oil than the previous system.

Lion is proud to partner with Landcare to offer this grants program, and to provide tools and resources to help combat the ongoing environmental challenges that the dairy industry faces, in partnership with Landcare.

Landcare Australia Acting CEO, Shane Norrish agrees, speaking to the success of the program, “we continue to be able to support projects that make a tangible difference to the sustainability of farm businesses in Australia. We’re well aware of the increasing challenges that farmers face and welcome any opportunity to help them balance their production requirements with the need to farm sustainability.”

The Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants program forms part of Lion Dairy Pride, a dairy farm sustainability program launched by Lion in 2016. The program offers farmers who supply Lion a unique way to measure, evaluate and improve key areas of sustainability on their farm.

For those feeling inspired by this year’s results, we will be in touch over the coming months to advise you on how to submit your farm for the 2018 Landcare grants program, and we encourage you all to consider getting involved.