Arla using AI to predict milk intake

Arla using AI to predict milk intake
Courtesy of Arla Foods

An artificial intelligence tool developed by Arla Foods can predict milk intake from farmer-owners creating a more sustainable, streamlined supply chain.

Every year, Arla collects around 13 billion kilos of milk from its 10,300 farmer-owners across Northern Europe.

Now Arla has developed a tool that uses AI to predict how much milk 1.5 million cows will produce in the future.

Before, this kind of forecast took days to create and arose manually from piles of Excel sheets. But with the new tool, it only takes a few hours and the forecast comes out 1.4% more accurate.

“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,” said Michael Bøgh Linde Vinther, Director of Global Milk Planning at Arla.

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

The improved milk intake forecast means that 200 million kilos of milk can be utilised better each year.

Whilst forecasting from a much richer data foundation, the AI tech also allows Arla to include things like seasonal changes, the number of farmers converting to new milk types, the farmers’ geographical characteristics as well as how much milk they produce on a daily basis.

This means the Global Milk Planning team can handle the milk planning at a more detailed level than they could before.

For example, it is now possible to make the distinction between how much milk should be collected from farmers in North Germany and West Germany three to five months ahead of time.

The new milk intake forecasting tool is implemented in all Arla’s markets across Europe, including Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.