Spanish Agri-food Cooperatives organised on 23 March in Navia, Asturias, as part of the European COOPID project, a conference about the actions being carried out by dairy cooperatives to achieve the implementation of the bioeconomy, in particular towards the decarbonisation of the dairy sector. The event brought together more than 60 people, including farmers, managers and technicians from the main dairy cooperatives and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Alberto Álvarez, President of Central Lechera Asturiana and Gabriel Trenzado, Director General of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España took part in the inauguration. The President of the cooperative pointed out that, in the face of the challenges facing the dairy sector, solutions must be sought by taking advantage of technology, and Gabriel Trenzado stressed that cooperation is the basis for achieving profitability and a key factor for the implementation of the bioeconomy in the primary sector.
Susana Rivera, a technician from the Sustainability Department of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España, then presented the objectives of the European COOPID project, which seeks precisely a more active participation of the primary sector in the implementation of the bioeconomy.
This project has shown different success stories on circular bioeconomy through practical knowledge.
Two of them were presented during the conference, the case of the Irish dairy cooperative Carbery and the Finnish cooperative Valio.
Luis Alejandro Vergara explained how the Carbery cooperative wants to produce milk with zero emissions and the initiatives carried out by the three Spanish cooperatives, COVAP, AIRA and Central Lechera Asturiana. Three technicians from these cooperatives have been ambassadors for the project, and during their visit to Carbery and Valio, they saw how the use of waste from the dairy sector represents an opportunity for diversification. Raquel López, from Central Lechera Asturiana, Ana Alicia Bolívar from COVAP and Ángel Pereira from GALACTEUM AIRA, explained their perception of what aspects of the Valio model can be replicated in Spanish cooperatives and what they are doing in their respective cooperatives to make progress in the decarbonisation of the dairy sector.