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First Green Financing For Dutch Dairy Farming

17 September 2009

NETHERLANDS - Anton Stokman is the first dairy farmer in the Netherlands to receive green financing for his 'free choice barn'. His free-range cows can roam in and out of the automated milking barn designed to reduce CO2 emissions from manure. The ‘green’ dairy with a cow cooling pond was carefully considered to increase the quality of life for the cows and milk production for the farm.

Green dairy

The sustainable nature of Anton Stokman’s new barn was made possible with a range of pioneering products including a new type of grooved floor in the walking section, a new type of grated floor in the holding space, smart ventilation and a modified design for manure pits under the barn. These facilities enable an integrated reduction in emissions compared to standard dairy farms.

Animal welfare

The level of comfort for Stokman’s cows has been brought to a high standard. The cows are free to decide whether they want to be inside or outside the barn. An automatic milking system allows the cows to be milked as often as they like. And, Stockman has even placed a cow bath tub (JaCowZii) in the pasture near the barn to give the cows a place to cool off in hot weather.

On Sustainability Day (09-09-09), Director of Food & Agribusiness at Rabobank Nederland Dirk Duijzer presented Stokman with the green certificate. Rabobank worked intensively with the dairy farmer from Koudum, the Netherlands to assist him in obtaining a green certificate from the Dutch government. SenterNovem and the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment ultimately demonstrated their willingness to give green financing in dairy farming a chance. However, Stokman, is still an exception and an example for other dairy farmers who believe in sustainable farming.

Favourable financing

For years, Rabobank has been calling for the Green Funds Scheme to be expanded. But, the required expansion of the Green Funds Scheme is not expected to be realised until 2010.

“Including sustainable dairy farming structurally in the Green Funds Scheme will open up new opportunities for utilising green financing. It will mean that innovative entrepreneurs who realise sustainable developments will be able to take advantage of loans with favourable terms and conditions,” said Dirk Duijzer.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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