Terraprima publishes study on the carbon footprint of the “Vacas Felizes” pasture-based milk production system

Terraprima is proud to share the fruits of the work developed with Bel Portugal/Terra Nostra. In particular, the results from the study “Carbon Footprint of Milk from Pasture-Based Diary Farms in Azores, Portugal” were released by Bel Portugal/Terra Nostra at the end of October through an advertising video.
As presented in the study, the dairy sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Pasture-based dairy production is sometimes credited as environmentally friendlier but is less studied than more intensive production systems. This study aims at filling that gap by characterizing and estimating the carbon footprint of the “Vacas Felizes” pasture-based milk production system, in the Azores archipelago. A Life Cycle Assessment was performed, together with multivariate analysis to assess the contribution of production parameters to the carbon footprint. Results show that emissions from enteric fermentation, concentrated feed production and (organic and mineral) fertilizer application are the three main sources of impact. Milk yield is a key production feature for the determination of emissions. The average carbon footprint is 0.83 kg CO2/kg raw milk. Compared with other studies, “Vacas Felizes” milk has a lower carbon footprint than 80 (out of 84) published CFs and on average it is approximately 32% lower. This study was published in the scientific journal "Sustainability" and can be consulted here.
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