Every cow should be a part of the climate solution
By Thomas Hafner, Founder and CEO of Mootral
When we started Mootral in 2016, our driving force was a bold vision: transform animal farming from a climate challenge to a key part of the solution. The complexity of that endeavour was immense - our solution had to have a demonstrably positive impact on reducing methane, while ensuring our approach was economically viable for farmers.
Apart from the obvious criteria around safety, efficacy and feasibility, we identified many issues over the years:
Our science can’t take the long view. Methane reduction is the fastest opportunity to cool the planet and, therefore, must start at scale within this decade. Enteric fermentation is the biggest source of methane. It also offers the best opportunity for scaled reductions by 2030, as most technologies tackling CO2 are just not scalable yet.
Not all cows are created equal. There are many breeds of cattle, living in different climates and eating different diets. It was always clear to us that a one-size-fits-all approach was never going to be possible. Any solution that wants to truly move the needle needs to work in any cow in any setting and, therefore, needs to be adaptable.
Farmers can’t afford to live off ideals. Whatever solution we were going to come up with, it had to make farmers money. We’ve seen this issue get ignored. We’ve even seen outrageous proposals of penalising farmers for their emissions. Yet our work on the farm made it abundantly clear that tackling climate change was about tackling farmer economics as well.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul does not work. We studied countless compounds and technologies over the years. There are only very few approaches that work and even fewer viable solutions. Many solutions currently proposed are promising in theory, but grapple with issues such as scalability, financial viability, risks to human and animal health, environmental impact, and uncontrollable variability in active compounds - including all the issues that come with that. Succeeding in one area at the expense of others was simply not an option.
Throughout, our North Star has been to create a stable, standardised product that is safe for animals, humans and the planet; can be applied to any cow in any setting, and makes commercial sense for the farmer.
Our existing Enterix solution can already achieve good methane reductions and productivity gains important to farmers. Its limitations, including the lack of applicability in grazing cattle have encouraged us to do better. While we could have just made some incremental improvements to the solution we have, and indeed we did, stopping there would mean abandoning our mission to future-proof global food production.
Recognising limitations proved a catalyst for our approach to R&D. Our thinking has been shaped by a holistic view of all the challenges - scientific, commercial and regulatory. We also learned a great amount from the challenges our competitors are facing along the way.
Meet Enterix Advanced
Enterix Advanced stands as a beacon of our commitment to overcoming years worth of challenges. By synergizing a specific molecule from garlic with Iodoform, a molecule found in some types of mushrooms and seaweed, and with a mode of action akin to bromoform, yet devoid of its adverse effects, we've crafted a solution that is safe, scalable, and environmentally sound. This patented synergy also allows for lower dosage, removing any drawbacks of using high quantities of either component.
Critically, we have found a way to overcome a huge obstacle to worldwide adoption - how to tackle methane production in grazing cows. Our new technology allows for a controlled release formulation necessary for bolus administration in grazing cattle. This is a game changer in that it vastly increases the feasibility of methane mitigation in animal agriculture globally.
First principles - always
Our approach has been grounded in first principles of safety, efficacy, scalability and farmer economics. The lessons learned along the way validated our beliefs. For us, Enterix Advanced is more than just a product - it is a solution that has embedded answers to a complex set of challenges our stakeholders - the dairy and beef farmers, brands, grocers and processors, as well as governments have been struggling with.
The time to take action is finally here
As we prepare to introduce Enterix Advanced to the world, we are certain of its potential to give farmers the means to lead on climate change mitigation and strengthen the economic viability of their farms. We see a potential for the industry to take charge and offer meaningful choices to consumers. And we see a clear role for governments in incentivising change that supports their own metrics towards a Net Zero world.
For Enterix Advanced press release, see here.