NIEA signs innovative environmental agreement with Lakeland Dairies

Date published: 15 June 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today announced the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Lakeland Dairies (NI) aimed at improving environmental and business outcomes for both organisations.

Lakeland Dairies is a leading farmer owned dairy co-operative with a heritage of over 120 years in dairy farming and milk processing. It is a global supplier of dairy foodservice products and food ingredients bringing together over 750 family farms producing 600 million litres of high-quality, sustainable, pasture-based milk in Northern Ireland.

Through the Prosperity Agreement, Lakeland Dairies has committed to working with NIEA to ensure significant improvements in resource and energy efficiency and in reducing carbon emissions from their factory operations. One of the most important aspects of the Agreement is its commitment to work with NIEA and the wider DAERA, as well as with farmers to identify ways to reduce ammonia emissions arising from dairy farms. Lakeland Dairies will also work to help farmers better understand land quality and nutrient requirements and to continue their support for biodiversity and habitat protection.

The Agreement was signed this morning at the Lakeland Dairies’ manufacturing site and Global Logistics Centre in Newtownards. 

Speaking at the signing, David Small, Chief Executive of NIEA said: “The Prosperity Agreement Programme is a great example of how Government and progressive organisations can work together for positive outcomes and to address key issues, delivering prosperity and well-being. Each agreement embodies commitments to a sustainable future for both the business and our environment. We have had some great achievements through the Programme to date and I look forward to more to come from Lakeland and all the other Agreement holders.

“This is our 8th Prosperity Agreement signed with a progressive company and it is great news both for the environment and the local economy as Lakeland plans to work with their supply chain in implementing this Agreement, leading to significant business and environmental benefits.”

Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies, said: “We are one of Northern Ireland’s leading dairy co-operatives and we’re delighted to be signing this Prosperity Agreement, recognising our ambitious and progressive environmental targets. This Agreement will help us as a business and across our sphere of influence to respond positively to key environmental challenges such as ammonia emissions and resource efficiency. For instance, we have committed to reducing the CO2 generated per litre of product by 50% by 2021. We look forward to delivering against our outcomes in partnership with NIEA.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption - Working in partnership to protect the environment: Alo Duffy, Chairman of Lakeland Dairies and David Small of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency celebrate the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the two organisations. The Agreement aims to improve the environmental and business outcomes through better links and collaboration.
  2. Lakeland Dairies is a leading farmer owned dairy co-operative with a heritage of over 120 years in dairy farming and milk processing. The co-operative is a global supplier of dairy foodservice products and food ingredients with over 750 family farms producing 600 million litres of high quality, sustainable, pasture based milk in NI.
  3. Ammonia (NH3) is a gas with an odour. It is produced by many common farming activities such as the housing of livestock, the storage and spreading of manure and slurries and the application of fertiliser.
  4. Ammonia emitted into the air is subsequently deposited as nitrogen onto land and water surfaces. Nitrogen deposition occurs in gaseous form close to the source (dry deposition) or through rainfall (wet deposition), often many miles from the original ammonia source.
  5. Excess ammonia acts like a fertiliser and can lead to a reduction in species diversity, particularly those habitats adapted to low nitrogen availability and certain plants such as lichens, ferns and mosses. It can also lead to changes in ecosystem structure and function. It is estimated that 45% of the plant species occurring in the UK between 1987 and 1999 were associated with the increases with nitrogen availability.
  6. NIEA has existing agreements with Linden Foods/Linergy, Lafarge Cement Ireland, John Thompson and Sons, Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Co., AES UK and Ireland Ltd,Granville Ecopark Ltd and Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (USEL).
  7. For more information about signing a Prosperity Agreement with NIEA email: or visit the DAERA website.
  8. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.
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  10. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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