Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Announces Review Period for Sustainability GuideMon, 11 Jan 2016 11:48:19 CST
The Stewardship and Sustainability Guide for U.S. Dairy – a tool created through the farmed-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® – will improve consumer confidence in dairy by providing more industry transparency.
The guide, launched in 2013 through an industry-wide effort, provides co-operatives, dairy marketers and other businesses a standardized way to assess, communicate and celebrate dairy’s longstanding sustainability story to buyers and stakeholders.
The Innovation Center announced a 60-day review period of the guide for retailers, government agencies and non-governmental organizations before its May release. The document can be viewed and comments submitted at USDairy.com/SustainabilityGuide through March 10. This follows a previous comment period for dairy cooperatives and other companies.
Consumers increasingly want more transparency about the food they eat and how it’s produced. The guide will help provide assurance that the industry, beginning at the farm, is meeting those expectations.
“This tool is one more way to show our customers that farmers and dairy companies do the right thing,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy farmer, Innovation Center board member and chair of
Dairy Management Inc.TM (DMI), which manages the national checkoff program. “The guide helps satisfy the demand from customers who increasingly evaluate environmental and social
impacts of our industry when making purchase and other business decisions.”
Measuring sustainability efforts helps identify and assess resources and their impact to determine if changes in management practices or investments in technology are paying off.
The farm indicators address soil health, landscape stewardship, resource recovery, feed management and water quality/quantity. For crop- and field-specific topic areas, the Innovation Center proposes adopting the metrics developed by Field to Market, the leading U.S. initiative focused on the sustainability of row crops. New processor and manufacturer indicators include resource recovery and air emissions.
To learn more about the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment, visit USDairy.com/Sustainability.
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