The a2 Milk Company and Lincoln University partner to support sustainable dairy farming

20 May 2022 | News

The a2 Milk Company is partnering with Lincoln University to launch a new initiative to support sustainable dairy farming projects in New Zealand.

The Farm Sustainability Fund, launched today, is a collaboration between The a2 Milk Company and Lincoln University, New Zealand's only specialist land-based university. The a2 Milk Company will provide up to $500,000 to the Fund in the first year to enable fund grants for farm projects that demonstrate an integrated approach to a sustainable future and enable a positive and meaningful impact across the community and environment.

The Fund is open to New Zealand farms that supply milk under contract with Mataura Valley Milk Limited or Synlait Milk Limited for use in the manufacture of products for The a2 Milk Company. (1) (2) Applications for this year’s awards will be open from 23 May and close on 4 July 2022.

Announcing the launch of the Fund, the Managing Director and CEO of The a2 Milk Company, David Bortolussi, said: “We’re excited to be involved in a venture that has enormous potential to benefit dairy farmers, our communities and the environment. The Fund brings together a2MC’s determination to deliver on our sustainability strategy and Lincoln’s internationally-renowned knowledge in all facets of agriculture and agribusiness – along with the commitment and operating excellence of our milk supply partners.

“We know there are farmer suppliers with innovative and important projects they would be keen to get under way. The Fund can help many of these to happen by providing extra financial support to make them more viable, to the benefit of the farmers/suppliers and at the same time promoting the spread of good ideas and good practice through the farming community.”

LU Research Management Office Director, Professor Travis Glare said, “Lincoln University is committed to researching, teaching and showcasing practices and approaches that will advance a more productive and sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand.

It’s through like-minded partnerships such as with The a2 Milk Company, that we can effectively make the most of our collective expertise in helping shape a better, more sustainable world.

Awards will be made on the basis of Assessment Criteria that include alignment with The a2 Milk Company’s sustainability objectives and one or more of its key environmental improvement themes:

  • Lowering greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increasing on-farm carbon sequestration
  • Improving farm system resilience
  • Improving water quality and efficiency
  • Enhancing on-farm biodiversity
  • Animal wellbeing/health
  • Managing and improving soil health

Applications will be assessed by The a2 Milk Company and Lincoln University New Zealand Farm Sustainability Fund Investment Committee.

Funding is generally available up to $35,000 (GST excl.) per award.


Information about the Farm Sustainability Fund, along with the application form for awards, is available at: 


Further information on The a2 Milk Company or Lincoln University

 Photo credit: Brendan Holt - Display


Statement from Bernard May, Chief Executive Officer, Mataura Valley Milk

“I’m delighted that Mataura Valley Milk’s suppliers will have the opportunity to work with the Farm Sustainability Fund. The Fund will bring forward projects that might otherwise have been marginal or difficult to finance, and that will lead to long-term benefits for our farmers, their communities and the environment.

“Sustainability is a core principle for our business and putting that principle into effect starts on-farm. By investing through the Fund into projects that drive sustainability, The a2 Milk Company is supporting our suppliers, our own business and the future of our industry.

“It’s important also to acknowledge the role of Lincoln University in this initiative. Lincoln’s insight into all matters agricultural and its involvement in the assessment process for grants will make a vital contribution to the success of the Fund and the realisation of its objectives.” 

Statement from Grant Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Synlait Milk 

“It’s a real pleasure to welcome this initiative, which fits with Synlait’s aspiration to build sustainability into everything we do. The Fund is an excellent complement to our existing on-farm programmes, and we have no doubt that the environmental and economic gains from these projects will be a catalyst for further positive change in our industry.”


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