The project MilkyWay proposes a new, patented eco-innovative system which reduces the environmental impact of one of the most polluting industries, dairy production. The proposed solution also leads to important savings in operational costs for dairy farming, providing higher value to milk processors, premium prices to farmers and optimizing the supply chain. All this advantages will be possible thanks to a new method developed by AFIMILK consisting in milk classification which allows for producing the same amount of cheese with reduced quantities of milk processed, improving its quality.

The project is based on the strategic collaboration between 8 partners representing the entire supply chain:

–          AFIMILK which is the inventor of the innovative system;

–          TDM which is responsible for the realization of all the necessary instrumentation of the pilot systems;

–          CISSVA and DELLA BONA which will apply in their farms the innovative system in the pilot cowsheds and use the classified milk for cheese production;

–          Centro Latte responsible for controlling the pilot systems and animal wellness and for  monitoring and optimization of milk and feeds and microbiological analysis;

–          Nutriservice, an animal feeds producer;

–          MILA, a large dairy industry which will execute sector dissemination activities;

–          UNICATT which will be responsible for the realization of the Life Cycle Assessment and involved in the feed nutritional plans coordination.

The project activities will consist on: ad hoc engineering of the pilot system, construction and installation in the pilot cowsheds and precisely in 3 farms of the DELLA BONA agricultural company and 2 farms of the CISSVA Dairy Company, validation of the innovative systems, technical assistance and analysis provided by Centro Latte, feeding optimization and Life Cycle Assessment in charge of UNICATT. Market preparation activities will be based on a mix of communication tools aiming at reducing identified barriers and at opening the market for the new system.

  • Major outputs and results (including main result indicators)

The availability of the new system for milk quality, dairy production and yield improvement will offer clear environmental and economic advantages. From an environmental point of view, there will be lower GHG (-9,3%) and methane emissions (-11,5%), less manure (-10%) to be disposed/recycled and reduced energy (-10,5%) and water consumption (-11,2%), linked to the reduction of milk processed in farms, while still achieving the same amount of high-quality cheese. Thus, the same production rate with fewer resources employed. The economic advantages for producers will be directly linked to the enhanced cheese production process, accompanied by a reduction in the costs of:

–          maintenance and cleaning

–          water and energy consumption

–          manure disposal/recycling.

Economic advantages for producers will be directly and strongly related to the positive environmental impacts deriving from the application of this eco-innovative system.

As a result the milk supply chain will be optimized, and will provide a higher value to milk processors and premium prices to farmers.

The environmental and economic benefits of the innovative system will be underlined by the development of a business model – with promotional scopes – for dairy farmers and milk producers.