Coles boosts sustainability in beef production with expanded use of supplement

Three beef suppliers now using Bovaer that is proven to reduce cattle emissions by at least 50%

15 November 2023

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Coles is expanding the use of the methane reducing feed supplement Bovaer, following two successful trials which found the innovative product reduced cattle methane emissions by at least 501%.

Approved for use by European Food Safety Authority and available in more than 50 countries, Bovaer will now play a role in Coles’ strategy to reduce emissions throughout its supply chain, with three Coles Finest Carbon Neutral Beef suppliers using the supplement, thanks to a new partnership with global nutrition and health company dsm-firmenich.

Coles commenced the use of Bovaer in 2022 when it participated in trials with one of the country’s leading feedlots Mort and Co, University of New England and the manufacturer of Bovaer, dsm-firmenich. 

Results from the Australian-first trials into Bovaer, which works by suppressing the enzyme that triggers methane production in a cow and is broken down as part of the natural digestive process of the animal, found the supplement to be successful in reducing methane emissions, with no effect on average exit weight, total weight gain, average daily gain, or feed to gain ratio. 

The study also measured Meat Standards Australia (MSA) parameters which capture the quality, tenderness, flavour and juiciness of beef. It found the meat from cattle fed Bovaer has the same great taste and eating experience expected of Australian beef. 

Coles Livestock Sustainability & Innovation Manager Maria Crawford says the trial results gave the retailer the knowledge and confidence to expand the use of Bovaer as an emissions reduction initiative.

“We were very encouraged by the results of our Bovaer trials and have used the findings to introduce the supplement to some of our beef suppliers to help them lower emissions on farm and help to reduce our Scope 3 emissions,” said Maria. 

“We’re looking forward to expanding the use of this innovative supplement to more of our Coles Finest certified carbon neutral beef suppliers and continuing the important research to help support the beef industry’s aspiration of carbon neutrality by 2030 as well as Coles’ sustainability ambitions,” Maria added.

Coles Finest certified carbon neutral beef supplier Warren Barnett has been using Bovaer on his New South Wales farm since May and says the supplement is an important part of his overall goal to reduce emissions across his operation. 

“I’ve been working hard to reduce emissions on my farm for the past two decades, and this supplement is the new frontier in our sustainability journey,” said Warren, who currently has 5,500 cattle in the Bovaer feed program. 

“It’s been a small change to our feed management which will have a positive environmental benefit and continue to deliver consistent, great-tasting beef,” he added.

Dr Steve Wiedemann, Principal Scientist and Managing Direct of Integrity Ag & Environment, has been working with Coles to track supplier performance and lower the emission intensity of beef for the past three years and says the use of methane-reducing supplement is the next step to lower the carbon footprint of beef.

“Bovaer is a highly effective product with strong research supporting mitigation rates of at least 50%, and up to as high as 85%2 in the diets being used to finish cattle in the Coles Finest certified carbon neutral beef program. I’m confident this product can deliver lower emissions and I’m looking forward to seeing its use expanded throughout the Coles supply chain over time,” said Dr Wiedemann

dsm-firmenich Vice President-Bovaer Mark van Nieuwland said Bovaer has been in development for more than 10 years with 70 peer-reviewed trials and believes the large-scale commercial feedlot trial undertaken at Mort & Co’s Grassdale feedlot provided further evidence of the efficacy of Bovaer under Australian conditions. 

“The potential to reduce methane emissions is exciting and offers great opportunity to the Australian beef industry. Australian beef can be lower in emissions while retaining the same great quality it is known for,” said Mark. 

“We’re looking forward to now expanding the program and our partnership with Coles to explore further opportunities that will ultimately lead to more environmentally focused offerings to consumers,” he said. 

The use of Bovaer builds on the industry-leading Coles Finest certified carbon neutral beef range which launched in April 2022 and is now available in all stores nationally. More recently the range expanded with the release of Coles Finest certified carbon neutral pork.  These beef and pork products are certified carbon neutral from farm to shelf in accordance with the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.

Coles Livestock Sustainability & Innovation Manager Maria Crawford with Coles Finest certified carbon neutral beef supplier Warren Barnett

For further information, please contact Coles Media Line (03) 9829 5250 or

1 Wiedemann, S. G. & Longworth, E, 2021, Efficacy of 3-NOP (Bovaer) in Australian beef cattle, Integrity Ag Technical Literature Review, Integrity Ag and Environment, 2021.

2 UNE research: Amelia K Almeida, Frances Cowley, Joe P McMeniman, Alex Karagiannis, Nicola Walker, Luis F M Tamassia, Joseph J McGrath, Roger S Hegarty, Effect of 3-nitrooxypropanol on enteric methane emissions of feedlot cattle fed with a tempered barley-based diet with canola oil, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 101, 2023, skad237,

Coles boosts sustainability in beef production with expanded use of supplement

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