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Kuusamon Juusto, celebrated for its pure northern flavors, and Hankkija, a prominent name in quality research and feed industry product development, have joined forces to create an entirely new class of cheese. These innovative “Parempi” cheese slices are crafted from milk with 15% lower CH4 (methane) emissions, setting a new standard for climate-smart dairy production

Climate Challenge in Food Production

Reducing emissions of food production is a common challenge globally.  The Finnish governmentaims at carbon-neutral Finland by 2035, and the EU has set a similar goal for 2050. As food production is contributing around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which 17% originate from livestock production, it’s time for a transformation. The Paris Climate Agreement advocates reducing methane emissions from livestock to 11-30% of 2010 levels by 2025 and 24-47% by 2050, depending on the scenario.

The climate impact of the milk production chain is exacerbated by the methane gas produced by cows. Although rumen microbes enable the digestion of fibrous feed that is inedible by humans,  turning it into nutritionally rich animal products, methane is produced as a by-product.

Innovating feed concept to Reduce Methane Emissions

Research into livestock breeding and feeding in Finland and around the world seeks ways to reduce methane emissions from ruminants. Kuusamon Juusto, in collaboration with Hankkija and dairy farmers, is striving to tangibly decrease greenhouse gas emissions generated by milk production using an innovative “Fiksu-ilmastorehu” (Smart Climate Feed). This innovative feed reduces the environmental impact of milk production while improving cow welfare and productivity.

Science in Action: Rapeseed Cake’s Role

The key components of “Fiksu-ilmastorehu” include Hankkija’s patented natural feed innovations, Progres® and Progut®, as well as rapeseed cake. The effect of rapeseed cake in reducing methane emissions were studied in a joint experiment by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Hankkija, as well as in study by the University of Helsinki. The use of rapeseed cake in feeding reduced methane production per liter of milk by 15-20% compared to control feeding (Halmemies-Beauchet-Filleau et al. 2019 & Bayat et al. 2022)

Patented Solutions: Progut® and Progres®

Hankkija’s patented feed innovation, Progut®, is an extremely efficient yeast preparation produced through hydrolysis treatment, which activates  rumen microbes. Progut® has been shown in studies to improve feed efficiency and increase milk production in cattle. Patented Progres®, on the other hand, is a ground-breaking feed innovation based on resin acids. Progres® strengthens the intestinal epithelium, and suppresses inflammation. A healthy gut enhances the better absorption of nutrients. The improvement in feed efficiency, milk production, and welfare positively impacts the profitability and environmental footprint per liter of milk.

A Collective Effort Towards Responsibility

This collaboration between Kuusamon Juusto and Hankkija is a significant step towards a more responsible production chain, emphasizing the value of northern dairy farms. While this project involves just three products, it underscores the commitment to offering consumers the option to choose a more sustainable and environmentally responsible product.

Hankkija’s Commitment to Sustainability

Hankkija has been a growth expert and a trusted partner in agricultural production for over a century. Hankkija’s sustainability program, “Huomisen Hankkija” (Tomorrow’s Hankkija), consists of both big and small actions aimed at achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production and contribute to the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Smart Climate Feeds are part of Hankkija’s “Huomisen Hankkija” sustainability program

Kuusamon Juusto’s groundbreaking “Parempi” cheese slices represent tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in milk production, in collaboration with dedicated producers. While it might not address all environmental challenges linked to cheese production, it’s a significant stride towards making northern milk production more environmentally responsible. These innovative “Parempi” cheese slices are now available in Finnish stores, starting from May 2023.

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Hankkija Oy is Finland’s leading agricultural and machinery trade company. Hankkija is also Finland’s largest industrial animal feed manufacturer. Hankkija has 54 stores and the most extensive online store in the industry.

Hankkija is also an active hobbyist store with comprehensive and diverse selections of garden, equestrian, pet, forestry, and hunting products. Hankkija employs over 1,000 people, and the company’s turnover in 2022 was 958 million euros.

Kuusamon Juusto Oy

Kuusamon Juusto is the northernmost cheese dairy in the world, known for its unique taste and courage. Cheese has been produced in Kuusamo for over 60 years. We skillfully produce cheeses developed by our cheese masters, whose character ripens surrounded by the northern nature.