SLU news

Organic milk is better for biodiversity per litre of milk

Published: 07 February 2014

Despite double acreage, organic milk gives less negative effect on biodiversity compared with conventional production. This was showed by researchers using a new method to include impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment.

Effects of exploiting and converting land for agriculture has been quantified by a new method in a lifecycle analysis that compared conventional and organic milk production in the region of Västra Götaland, Sweden. It was found that the effects were smaller on organic farms per kg milk, even if the production of organic milk demanded the double area compared to conventional milk.

New method to include biodiversity in life cycle assessment
The method for quantifying the impacts on biodiversity is based on differences in the number of plant species between different types of land use. The results are sensitive to different assumptions and the method is new, but it is important to work on to develop methods to quantify biodiversity.