Farmers supplying Lakeland Dairies who carry out environmental actions on their farms will be paid a new farm sustainability incentive payment in the coming months.

The payment is part of Lakeland’s new strategy entitled Pathway to a Better Future, which is aimed at reducing emissions at farm and factory level. A price has yet to be applied to the payment.

Central to the strategy is a policy of rewarding farmers for taking positive environmental actions on their farms, according to the processor.

Later this year, Lakeland Dairies will announce a farm sustainability programme which will deliver the incentive payment “to support farm families on the collective sustainability journey”.

Key targets contained in the strategy include:

  • A 30% reduction in scope one and scope two emissions by 2030.
  • A 30% reduction in carbon footprint of milk production by 2030.
  • 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2030.
  • A 15% reduction in water usage by 2025.
  • A clear commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Zero waste to landfill by 2026.
  • A net zero commitment working with the science-based targets initiative (SBTi).
  • Rollout of farm sustainability programme in 2023.
  • Lakeland Dairies, which has 3,200 farm families and annual turnover of over €2bn, processes some 2bn litres of milk on sites in Ireland as well as Northern Ireland.

    Lakeland Dairies chair Niall Matthews said the strategy forms a key part of the ongoing and future evolution of Lakeland Dairies.


    “We are making a clear and unambiguous commitment to continue on the pathway of reducing emissions and protecting the co-op and our environment for another 130 years and more.

    “Lakeland Dairies’ farm families have already played a huge role in tackling climate change and improving our sustainability credentials.

    "Large-scale adoption of low-emissions slurry spreading (LESS) technology, efficient management of nutrients, using the latest breeding advancements and leadership in the uptake of clover grasses and multi-species swards (MSS) means that Lakeland Dairies suppliers are well placed to meet the future with optimism,” he said.


    Lakeland CEO Colin Kelly said that the world and environment in which the company is operating has changed considerably in recent times, with environmental demands now greater than ever at farm and factory level.

    “This trend will continue and we are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in this new chapter of the co-op’s history.

    “Our farm families are true pioneers of sustainability. They have adopted new technologies and practices to make their businesses and farms more sustainable – futureproofing their operations for the next generation.

    "Our people, our staff and our communities are at the centre of this strategy. We are making clear commitments on diversity and inclusion, targeting a zero-harm workplace and we pledge to continue to be a force for positivity in the areas in which we operate.”