Case study

Sustainable milk production in dairy cooperatives

Participating partners: Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España U de Coop Sociedad Cooperativa (Spain)

Through the analysis of the experiences of various dairy cooperatives, the aim is to provide knowledge on a number of aspects related to sustainable cooperative milk production: reduction of the carbon footprint of cow’s milk, good animal feeding practices, livestock waste management through biogas, CO2 market compensation mechanisms, logistic efficiency and carbon footprint labelling, efficiency in the use of energy and packaging in the industrial phase.


The Spanish Science-Policy-Interface (SPI) will be based on assessing how to approach cooperative dairy production to make it sustainable. One of the most relevant aspects being worked on in this regard is the reduction of the carbon footprint of milk production. However, given that the Spanish dairy sector is considered a vulnerable group that competes at low prices with a product that is a global commodity, it is essential to analyse the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of milk production in great depth. Thus, the aim is to provide knowledge on relevant aspects related to this end, ranging, for example, from animal feed management to CO2 compensation mechanisms, with a view to both social perception and the environmental approach and the necessary economic support mechanisms. This will be done through a cross-cutting dialogue with dairy farmers, dairy cooperatives, dairy market actors, policymakers, and representatives of academia and research.