Arla Foods has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to predict its milk intake from farmers across Northern Europe.

Aimed to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the milking process, the AI tool will predict the output of the 1.5 million cow production line under different circumstances in order to advise business decisions.

The technology will create an intake forecast from a rich data foundation, which includes seasonal changes, the number of farmers converting to new milk types, the farmers’ geographical characteristics, and the quantity of milk produced on a daily basis.

So far, this forecast has identified 200 million kilos of milk that could be utilised better each year.

Arla global milk planning director Michael Bøgh Linde Vinther said: “The better we are at predicting what our milk intake will be, the better we can plan and optimise our entire value chain, which both improves profitability for our farmer-owners and drives sustainability.

“The new AI tool provides us with an insight into our supply of milk that we have never had before.”

Vinther further added: “We are now able to make important strategic decisions on a more informed basis. The data has become more valid as it is now formalised in a bulletproof system rather than based on individual knowledge.

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“This kind of knowledge is very valuable, as it makes us able to plan and adjust the number of Arla trucks travelling across the country. In that way, we can both reduce cost and save the environment for unnecessary CO2 emissions.”

The company currently collects around 13 billion kilos of milk from 10,300 farmers annually.