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A selection of thoughts, observations and writings, taken from our day-to-day work and activities.

Can ‘low emission’ cattle help slow the pace of climate change?

Zelp_on_cowAn action plan requiring ‘rapid and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ was the stark message contained in this week’s special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week, with agriculture cited as amongst those needing to change most. But a British start-up is already ‘on the case’.

Four big global systems must adapt, says the IPCC. Energy, cities, industry and land use are the prime carbon generators. While it acknowledged the big decisions were in the hands of politicians, ordinary consumers, said the IPCC, could do their bit by buying less meat, milk, cheese and butter – all products of the planet’s 1 billion methane-belching cattle.

So it’s interesting to see a British agtech start-up developing an idea that, if initial trials are sustained, could reduce methane emissions from cattle by a factor of 85, using a ‘smart’ nose-ring. The idea has attracted the attention of three of the biggest US meat and dairy processors and, closer to home, the device has been shortlisted as a Tesco Agri T-Jam finalist at next week’s World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London.

Agro Mavens met ZELP during a visit to February’s GFIA summit in Abu Dhabi. Intrigued by the concept and wanting to ensure it was seen by a wider audience, we donned our freelance hat and produced an article for the British ag title, Farmers Weekly.

We also encouraged them to put forward an entry for the ‘Agri T-Jam’ technology search, run by British food retailer Tesco. Together with its supply partners, Tesco is seeking innovative, breakthrough technologies and solutions to improve its supply chain and help provide affordable, sustainable and healthy food.

Just ten companies are invited to present to a panel comprising Tesco representatives and agribusiness leaders. The winner will be given the opportunity to trial their technology with Tesco, and will also receive mentoring support from Tesco’s agricultural team.

We’re wishing ZELP the very best of luck; it’s a tremendously innovative idea that has real potential to make a significant change to agriculture’s global emissions.

AdrianBell

AdrianBell