We’re proud to have worked closely with a number of farmers in Ayrshire, south-west Scotland, for two decades in partnership with First Milk, a British farmer-owned organisation.

The 48 farmers we’re currently working with provide fresh milk that’s used to make many of Nestlé’s much-loved confectionery products including KitKat at our York factory.

Did you know: 7% of all the milk produced in Scotland is used to make Nestlé's chocolate bars in the UK? That's enough to fill 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year!

 

First Milk Logo Transparent

The Milk Plan is a partnership that aims to support the livelihoods of dairy farmers while improving the social and environmental impact in the local area.

Farmers receive a sustainability bonus payment for implementing a range of activities on their farms that aim to make a positive impact on their environment and the community.

More recently, First Milk farmers have enrolled in a programme that’s aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations by 50% by 2026.

 

Read on and watch some short videos to find out more about the key impact areas: environment, community and carbon.

  • In the last five years (2017-22) Milk Plan farmers have taken a range of actions to protect the environment and encourage biodiversity in the landscape.
  • They have planted 11 miles of hedgerows and 5 hectares of woodland (that’s the size of 8 football pitches!) to provide habitat for many species of mammals, insects and birds.
  • They’ve fenced off 18 miles of streams and rivers to stop livestock access and prevent bank erosion.
  • They are carrying out bird counts each year to understand the number of species present and how this is changing, and worm counts which are a good indicator of the soil health on the farm.
  • They have evaluated the amount of plastic used on the farm and built plans to remove, reduce, re-use and recycle.

  • The Milk Plan farmers are proud members of their local communities.
  • In partnership with the Royal Highland Educational Trust, many of the farmers host school visits to help children learn about agriculture, farming and the environment.
  • We are proud to support Women in Agriculture and Next Generation Farmer groups within the co-operative, where participants share best practice and learn from each other or receive training to enhance their business acumen.

  • In 2021 we started the next chapter of work with the First Milk farmers: an ambitious plan to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2026.
  • Healthy soil stores carbon. There's twice as much carbon in the soil as in the atmosphere. Looking after the soil keeps carbon in the ground and avoids it being released into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
  • First, soil was extracted from every field on every farm by our partner Agricarbon and its carbon level was evaluated to establish the start point for our work.
  • Then, farmers selected a series of actions they could take on their farms to reduce carbon emissions as well as capture more carbon from the atmosphere in their soils over the coming years. Examples include planting more trees or hedgerows in and around their fields, minimising tilling the fields which churns the soil and releases carbon into the atmosphere.
  • We’ll chart progress annually, which will be validated by independent experts.