A promising pilot in Belgium to further reduce methane emissions in dairy farming

Cattle eating feed in barn


A unique collaboration between Danone Belgium, DSM and Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  (ILVO) demonstrated promising results in reducing methane emissions through the introduction of a new ingredient to cattle feed.

About the research project

Between 2018 and 2020, Danone carried out a large research project in Belgium on the effect of Bovaer®[1] at a dairy farm. This 18-month trial in a pilot farm in Belgium was the first major-scale study and the longest commercial trial ever conducted with this new ingredient.


The aim of the trial was to measure the methane reduction effect from Bovaer® during a full lactation and whether this was maintained during the period of the study. In addition, the study investigated the impact of this innovative feed ingredient on the animals’ health and welfare and on milk quality and processability into yoghurts.



Developed by DSM, the Bovaer® ingredient is the result of a decade of scientific research worldwide, including over 50 peer-reviewed studies and 48 field trials.




[1] The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has found that DSM’s feed ingredient, 3-NOP, branded Bovaer® reduces enteric methane emissions from dairy cows and is safe for the animal and the consumer. On April 7, 2022, the EU commission published its formal approval for the use of Bovaer® in dairy and reproductive cows.. 

Promising results at farm scale

The on-farm trial confirmed the long-term methane reduction effect with a significant reduction of 18.3% in methane enteric emissions, as well as the safety for cattle and consumers and ease of use of this ingredient[1]. No material changes in milk composition or quality were found and milk processing was unaffected. End-product was also tested and proven to meet Danone quality standards.



Using Bovaer is easy. It is added to a feed component that I already feed and add to the ration. During the test we did not notice any change in the behavior of the animals and the milk production remained the same. We look forward to continuing to use this product and keeping the carbon footprint of our milk as low as possible”, said Koen Slegers.



These results clear the way for further roll out within 10 farms of Danone collect in Belgium, in support of Actimel’s Carbon Neutral Certification.



[1] ILVO will publish later this year a dedicated scientific publication on this trial conducted in Belgium.

Supporting farmers to build sustainable future for dairy farming 

This pilot is one of the innovative programs Danone is conducting to support dairy farmers in their transition toward regenerative agriculture practices.


Via its regenerative agriculture program and through initiatives like Farming for Generations, Danone is exploring various solutions to reduce methane emissions such as herd management – to produce more or same amount of milk with less animals or manure management. Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture capital arm of Danone has also recently invested in innovative startups Zelp (wearable technology mitigating methane) and Symbrosia (Seaweed feed supplements) both going to market soon with solutions delivering significant emission reductions.