GAIA actions 2019
7/10/2019 – Scientific Seminar at University of Thessaly, as part of the European project Cowficiency
The seminar, titled “Ruminant animal breeding – contemporary trends in dairy farming” took place at the University of Thessaly, on October 7th, 2019.
Subjects presented and discussed included:
- Proposals on the improvement of animal living conditions and health, from Dr. Oikonomou, professor at Liverpool’s Veterinary School.
- Improvements on feeding rations, aimed at optimising utilisation of animal feed and reducing the environmental footprint of dairy animals, from Dr. Foskolos, Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaly.
- Improvement on the handling of pregnant cows, aimed at reducing stress during delivery, promoting quicker recovery, improving the health of both cow and calf, and producing higher quality milk, from Dr. Huw McConochie, renowned researcher-nutritionist/ Central & Eastern Europe.
This seminar was part of Cowficiency, a European project for the sensible utilisation of animal feed, whose goal is to increase the efficiency of nitrogen use in milk production, reduce surplus nitrogen emission during breathing and digestion, and create a network based on innovation and the sharing of knowledge. DELTA was both a participant and sponsor in this seminar and provided attendees with a variety of products. Also attending the seminar were staff from milk Zone, as well as cooperating producers, producers from Thessaly, and nutritionists and diary farm consultants from all regions of Greece. Through its inspectors, DELTA’s milk Zone will communicate these new trends to all producers who cooperate with DELTA.
September 2019 – Experimental cultivation of non-genetically modified soya.
As part of the GAIA Action Plan and our long-term cooperation with the Agricultural University of Athens, we organized an experimental cultivation of non-genetically modified soya at the Institute of Animal Science’s farm in Giannitsa. The goal of this experiment is to study the cultivation conditions, the productivity and the production costs of soya in Greece. According to Professor G. Zervas of the Agricultural University of Athens, who is also in charge of this experiment, “feeding rations for dairy cows require a percentage of soy flour in order to satisfy the animals’ high nutritional needs. Given that there is a shortage of protein-rich animal feed in the European Union, the long-term goal is to decrease soya imports by 50% by 2040, while increasing soya production in European countries. An additional aim is to reduce the environmental impact of transporting soya from South American countries. Also, since there has been limited soya cultivation in Greece so far, this experimental cultivation further utilises the country’s production potential.” Several very useful conclusions were drawn from the cultivation, all of which were announced to media outlets.
Staff form DELTA and EUROFEED, G. Papadopoulos, F. Matsoukatidou and K. Nestoratos at the Institute of Animal Science in Giannitsa, during the evaluation of the soya harvest.
15/5/2019 – Completion of the scholarship programme for new animal farmers offered by DELTA to the American Farm School of Thessaloniki for the third consecutive year.
May 7th, 2019, marked the completion of training of 25 new animal farmers which took place at the American Farm School of Thessaloniki’s School of Professional Education. The scholarships were offered by DELTA to new animal farmers and children of cooperating animal farmers. The programme’s goal is to provide specialised, experiential training to new animal farmers, in order to improve the sustainability of the farms where they’re employed.
The scholarships were part of the GAIA Action Plan, which DELTA has been implementing since 2012. The plan’s mission is the support and sustainable development of the primary sector–particularly animal farming–as well as to advance the company’s strategy of encouraging and supporting youth. This is the third time in a row that DELTA implements its scholarship program, having offered 64 scholarships since the program’s inception. Aiming to provide services to new farmers who live in remote areas and haven’t had the opportunity to follow this program due to the distance involved, the company announced 20 scholarships that will take place in Florina and 5 in Thessaloniki.
During the graduation ceremony, which took place at the American Farm School, the graduates received their participation certificates from the Center for Life-Long Learning Level 2 of the American Farm School and attended speeches by DELTA and American Farm School executives.
20/3/2019 – DELTA participates in a very important European project, in cooperation with the Association of Greek Food Industries
DELTA took part in testing methods of assessing the environmental footprint of feta cheese and had a pivotal role in the successful conclusion of the test. The Association of Greek Food Industries was in charge of the project’s implementation, in addition to other National Associations of Food Industries from Italy, Spain, France, Slovenia and Portugal.
The goal of this project was to test he methodology of assessing the environmental footprint of different foods produced in the Mediterranean region.
The European Union initiative for the Product Environmental Footprint evaluates the environmental behaviour of a given product throughout its life cycle, from the production of raw materials, the use of resources such as land and water, processing, transportation, usage, to end consumption and disposal. The goal of this method is to discover ways to intervene along the process, in order to limit the environmental impact of food production, create standards, as well as to promote and support traditional products which have low environmental footprints.
DELTA staff from the Elasona factory in Thessaly–the production site of feta PDO and milk zone–provided all the necessary elements for the method testing, throughout the product’s life cycle, from the farm to customer distribution. Their contribution was pivotal to the success of the test, which resulted in many useful conclusions and proposals.
DELTA will continue to support similar initiatives by the A.G.F.I., as they help to improve the environmental performance of the Greek Food Industry and promote synergies along the entire supply chain.
For more information on the PEFMED program, please visit: http://www.pefmed-blog.eu
I. Vastadis, Director of DELTA’s milk zone, talks about DELTA’s contribution in the implementation of the project: https://youtu.be/dmD0kH24zDE
Mrs. Β. Papadimitriou, Director of A.G.F.I presents the Program’s proceedings during the Final Conference for PEFMED, titled “PRODUCT ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT – The opportunity to boost circular economy in the agri-food sector”, in Rome on 27/5/2019.
DELTA’s participation and sponsorship of ZOOTECHNIA conferences 2019
During the 11th ZOOTECHNIA, the animal farming sector’s largest conference that took place at HELEXPO in Thessaloniki on 31/1-3/2/2019, DELTA and EUROFEED participated as sponsors of the 7th Hellenic Animal Production Technology Conference. During this conference, which is co-organized by the Departments of Animal Production Agronomist Technologists of Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.) of Greece, all recent scientific developments in animal production are presented. In this year’s conference, the emphasis was on climate change and how it affects–and is affected by–animal farming.
34th Hellenic Society of Animal Production Conference
The annual Hellenic Society of Animal Production Conference took place on October 2nd-4th, 2019, during which scientific studies on animal production in Greece were presented. For yet another year, DELTA participated as sponsor, supporting research in the primary sector. Presentations were made on the subjects of animal welfare improvement, the production of wholesome animal products, expanded use of Greek flora for dairy animal feed, and more.
DELTA supports research on the optimal use of Greek crops and the promotion of the quality characteristics of Greek milk, on a regular basis – a fact that was proven once again by the DELTA staff’s participation in the conference’s proceedings.
Dairy Farming Cowficiency Meeting, in cooperation with the University of Thessaly
The first meeting of the Cowficiency program took place at the University of Thessaly’s
Laboratory of Ruminant Livestock Farming. Five countries participate in this three-year program, which is headed by Mr. A. Foskolos of Aberystwyth University of Whales (and candidate professor of the University of Thessaly). The program’s subject is the sensible utilisation of animal feed, while the goal is to increase the efficiency of nitrogen use in milk production, reduce surplus nitrogen emission during breathing and digestion, and create a network based on innovation and the sharing of knowledge.