Jun 01, 2021

Reducing Methane Emissions

Mootral’s all-natural feed additive helps reduce planet-warming cow burps

Cow burps are a big part of the reason that dairy and beef have large carbon footprints, and Mootral wants to help change that.

Methane is 84 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. A single industrially farmed cow produces roughly as much pollution as six average European cars. One estimate says there are around 1.5 billion cattle in the world.

Mootral’s natural feed supplement, Mootral Ruminant, adds compounds from garlic and citrus to pellets that are mixed in with cow feed. Inside a cow’s stomach, microbes typically break down food and produce methane. The garlic-based supplement can help reduce the number of microbes, so burps become less potent.

The additive is proven to cut the amount of methane they release by up to 38%, while increasing yield naturally and enabling production of climate-friendly milk and beef.

According to the company, agricultural emissions are set to be under scrutiny at the COP26 climate summit in November, while the global carbon market, estimated to be worth $215 billion, is anticipated to grow even further after a 34% leap in 2019 on the previous year.

With the success of this additive, which was introduced in 2020, Mootral, which is based in Switzerland and the U.K., is now also the first company to sell carbon credits generated through reductions in cattle methane emissions, meaning businesses across the globe can purchase CowCredits to offset their emissions.

Mootral estimates that if all 1.5 billion cows in the world ate Mootral Ruminant for a year, the reduction in methane emissions would be equivalent to taking 330 million European cars off the road — more than currently in use in the EU.

It also means over half a billion carbon credits could be generated, making Mootral one of the most scalable currently available solutions in the fight against climate change.

Currently Mootral feed is used by commercial dairy farms such as Brades farm in the UK which supplies premium barista milk to the UK’s leading coffee shops.

Because methane emissions can vary depending on the cow’s breed and its environment, Mootral plans to conduct 40 studies in different parts of the world over the next two years to measure the supplement’s impact in specific locations in order to take the initiative global and generate more CowCredits.

Bloomberg reports that so far, Mootral has generated just over 300 CowCredits by selling them to companies such as U.S. coffee chains and a dietary supplement producer.

The company wants to create 20,000 to 50,000 credits in a year and is raising funds to scale up the rollout. It’s now focused on U.K. dairy farmers and is trialing the product on farms in the U.S. and Europe to create “climate-friendly” beef. ■

For more information, visit mootral.com.

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