Foremost Farms and Ginkgo Bioworks partner for upcycling dairy co-products

Foremost Farms has partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks to commercialize a technology that can convert dairy manufacturing co-products into environmentally friendly, value-added materials. The partners aim to reduce the dairy industry’s carbon footprint while simultaneously lowering manufacturing costs and creating a significant new revenue stream for the hundreds of Midwest dairy farmer members comprising the Foremost Farms cooperative.

Foremost Farms and Ginkgo Bioworks partner for upcycling dairy co-products
Foremost Farms Selects Ginkgo Bioworks to Develop Technology for Upcycling Dairy Co-products

Foremost Farms USA, a world-class producer of cheese, butter, and dairy ingredients supplied to national and international markets, and Ginkgo Bioworks, which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, have announced a partnership to use advances in biotechnology to enable domestic, sustainable biomanufacturing of materials from dairy co-products to benefit the environment, family farms and the dairy industry as a whole.

Through this partnership, Foremost Farms will leverage Ginkgo’s bioproduction services to develop and commercialize a new technology that could help upcycle billions of pounds of dairy co-products each year. Foremost Farms has selected Ginkgo as its partner of choice to develop a new upcycling technology because of Ginkgo’s leading metabolic engineering and analytical capabilities, which will allow strain optimization for challenging environmental conditions while avoiding common toxicity issues.

Today, the dairy industry produces low-value co-products that contribute to their overall carbon footprint. Ginkgo aims to help Foremost build a technology to reduce this carbon footprint by upcycling these low-value co-products. This process could provide an environmentally friendly alternative to wasteful and carbon-intensive chemical production through domestic, sustainable biomanufacturing solutions.

“We’re excited to partner with Ginkgo Bioworks, which can uniquely help Foremost Farms realize its goals. Ginkgo’s platform gives us access to everything we need to move from concept to commercialization faster, providing a competitive advantage,” said Greg Schlafer, President and CEO of Foremost Farms. “We are innovating to continue our trajectory as environmental stewards that take care of our world and create value for dairy farm families by potentially lowering manufacturing costs and creating a significant new revenue stream for those farmers.”

“Ginkgo is always on the lookout for opportunities to use biology to create more sustainable products, and we are especially interested in helping customers in legacy industries develop improved production processes and a more circular economy,” said Jennifer Wipf, Ginkgo’s Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering. “We’re eager to put our advanced metabolic engineering capabilities to work for Foremost Farms and are proud to help accelerate efforts focused on sustainable biomanufacturing.”

“We’re in a unique position to leverage Ginkgo’s expertise because their flexible R&D service offerings allow us to creatively approach this significant opportunity in our value chain,” said Declan Roche, Chief Commercial Officer at Foremost Farms. “With Ginkgo, we’re able to pursue this exciting opportunity while minimizing our internal R&D fixed costs and allowing our team to remain focused on our core business.”