ARCHIVE: Milk product roadmaps

As part of our work on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), we are developing ten product roadmaps to reduce the environmental impacts across the life cycle of a range of priority products.

Milk Roadmap 2008 (PDF 360 KB) The milk roadmap

The Dairy Supply Chain Forum's Milk Roadmap published May 2008: the first stage of a comprehensive action plan which will help the dairy sector to address its environmental impacts. The document also aims to take into account the economic and social sustainability of the dairy sector.

This is a living document which will be revisited regularly to ensure that the targets and evidence remains relevant.  The Taskforce are meeting in plenary sessios twice yearly to review progress on the targets.

A ‘One Year On’ Report, summarising the achievements so far has been produced by the Taskforce and was published in August.

The evidence base for the Milk Roadmap also highlighted areas for potential future research, which will help refine the roadmap when it is revisited in the future.

Why milk?

Evidence showed that milk and meat were high impact product categories, with food and drink consumption and production overall accounting for between 20-30% of all environmental impacts within the EU-25 (European Commission (2006): Environmental Impact of Products). Liquid milk was chosen as a starting point for the roadmap process in this area for a number of reasons, including:

  • the market for liquid milk tends to be limited to the UK, enabling evidence on milk to be mapped relatively quickly and clearly
  • mapping sustainability impacts for a base product like liquid milk may also produce useful data for future studies on the sustainability impacts of other products
  • the willingness of the dairy sector to undertake positive action to map and help to reduce the negative impacts associated with milk production and consumption. Defra have been working in partnership with the Dairy Supply Chain Forum's Sustainable Consumption and Production Taskforce to produce the milk roadmap.

Production and consumption trends

Average liquid milk consumption in the UK is fairly high at around 1.6 litres per person per week for 2007 (or just under 3 pints). Overall consumption has decreased on the previous year by 2.4 percent.

Provisional figures show UK milk production at 12,858 million litres for 2008/2009 with 6,690 million litres (51%) of that destined for the liquid milk market (the remainder going into products such as butter, cheese and yoghurt).  Therefore, the Milk Roadmap work captures information relating to more than half of the overall production of milk in the UK (source: MDC Datum).

Current activities

Defra are continuing to work in partnership with the Dairy Supply Chain Forum’s Sustainable Consumption and Production Taskforce in implementing the Milk Roadmap and achieving its targets.

A ‘One Year On’ Report, summarising the achievements so far has been produced by the Taskforce and will be published shortly.

Further information

Page last modified: 23 November 2009