Service Design, Design Strategy, UI/UX
Dorset Dairy Co., Royal College of Art
Service Design, Design Research, Strategy Planning, UI Design
Cultivating a Sustainable Dairy Industry.
Milk for Progress: Nurturing a Sustainable Tomorrow
The dairy industry plays a crucial role in both the economy and the environment. Cows are not just milk producers; they are essential carbon circulators, vital for maintaining a balance of biodiversity. Dairy products, rich in essential nutrients, contribute significantly to human nutrition. However, in light of the Net Zero 2030 plan, it's clear that dairy farms must embark on a transformation journey towards a more sustainable future.
Target Users: Understanding what are UK dairy farmers struggling with.
Farmer Challenges: Sustainability Struggles
Farmers in the dairy industry face notable challenges. High financial risks associated with implementing sustainable practices, a shortage of direct sales channels, and public misconceptions about the industry's environmental and nutritional contributions present substantial obstacles.
What are farmers struggling with?
Sustainable dairy farming requires costly investments in clean energy and eco-friendly inputs.
How hight is the cost?
Lack of Support:
Insufficient support from government sources adds to the financial challenges, impeding broader adoption of sustainable practices.
of Gen Zers “felt ashamed to order dairy in public in front of their peers." (Arla, 2022)
of farmers in the UK are probably or possibly depressed (RABI’s Big Farming Survey, 2021)
More than dairy farms in the UK have closed in the last three years (2019-2022).
Sustainability in Dairy: A Complex, Costly Reality
Sustainable dairy practices yield environmental and social benefits like reduced emissions, improved animal welfare, and local business support. Yet, achieving dairy sustainability often requires substantial investments in technology and finances, making the journey complex and resource-intensive.
What is sustainable dairy farming?
We talked to people who work in this industry and also learned about the current market situation…
Target Users: Understanding what UK dairy farmers want and what has changed around them.
Drivers of farmers' stress
Value Driver Analysis
Target user survey (approximately 100 people participated)
"What do you value most when buying dairy products?"
High financial risk and difficult to monitor
The sustainable strategies adopted by sustainable dairy farms are diverse and complex, and all require farmers to invest a lot of money and time to operate, but government subsidies to dairy farmers are currently not effectively distributed to farmers.
Lack of direct sales channels
Since the purchase price of supermarkets and dairy brands is based on international milk prices, farmers need to skip the supermarket industry chain through direct sales in order to profit effectively, but there are too few direct sales channels today.
People don’t understand the value of sustainable dairy
Studies reveal consumer concern over dairy sustainability and difficulty in understanding it, impacting purchasing decisions. Arla data highlights social media's influence on dietary choices and Gen Z's discomfort with public dairy consumption.
Sustainable dairy products are not accessible enough
Sustainable milk is not as accessible as regular milk, unlike organic milk which has a certification label to recognise it, but it actually contributes a lot to the environment.
Customers' pain points
Farmers' pain points
From farmers’ side:
Assist farmers in monitoring carbon emissions, expand direct sales channels, and provide financial support.
Due to difficulty in monitoring and high cost, sustainable dairy products are difficult to sell in supermarket chains, making them less competitive in the market.
From customers’ side:
Find touch points in people's daily life patterns and convey information naturally
People aren't aware of the value of the UK sustainable dairy industry and the urgency of shrinking local businesses.
'How Might We' Statement
How might we find touch points to provide farmers with technical, financial and mental support in operating sustainable dairy farms?
Sponsor dairy farms that are undergoing transition or difficult to transition to help the local dairy industry in the UK achieve sustainable goals.
Update consumers' cognition of "sustainable dairy farming", strengthen consumers and farmers' emotional connection, and establish “Good Cycle”.
Find the touch points in consumers' daily life, trigger the "button" through the product itself, and start the journey of exploring "sustainable milk farms".
How to provide farmers with technical, financial and spiritual support?
In order to provide farmers with technical, financial and mental support, assistance needs to be provided at two levels, the farm side and the consumer side. In addition to building a platform for farmers to monitor carbon emission data in real time, it also needs to establish a connection between farmers and customersto increase sales or raise funds. Among others, we believe coffee and fundraising platforms are a great touch point in people’s lives to gain a deeper understanding of sustainable dairy farming…
Carbon emissions monitoring system helps efficiency
Coffee shops can go deep into the community
Cafe is a place where nature conversations happen
Fundraising platforms help with market exposure and funding
How Dairy Dream Works Within The System?
DairyDream is a comprehensive platform designed to offer farmers technical, financial, and emotional support. Through a carbon emission monitoring system, farmers can track their farms' sustainability performance in real-time. Additionally, it serves as a bridge connecting farmers with coffee shops via a fundraising platform. By converting consumer spending and donations into funds, DairyDream raises awareness and supports the sustainable transformation of local dairy farms, contributing to the UK's sustainability objectives
User: Dairy Farmers
Real-time Emission Monitoring
Introducing a comprehensive background monitoring dashboard for dairy farmers, enabling real-time tracking of farm carbon emissions and energy usage, including methane emissions, energy efficiency, and water utilization. This integrated map feature allows farmers to simultaneously monitor various dairy farms across different locations.
User: Dairy Farmers
We've developed a streamlined backend dashboard for dairy farmers, facilitating real-time management of sales across cooperative stores, market revenue, and social marketing performance. Farmers can conveniently view urban sales point inventory in real-time, allowing for flexible scheduling of dairy products.
Real-time Sales Management
We've developed a sustainable dairy platform to link coffee shops and stores using sustainable dairy products. It offers subscription services and rewards for customer engagement, showcasing the carbon emissions saved. Our fundraising feature allows dairy farmers to share stories and progress, fostering consumer support for local farmers and environmental sustainability.
Dairy Dream: Funding future
Special thanks to our tutor Richard Atkinson for guiding us throughout the journey, Daniel Miller (Head of The Dorset Dairy Co), Dulcie (Owner of Fen Farm Dairy) and all our interviewees from public show, coffee shops, farmers markets and local farms for the positive feedback and valuable support.