Sustainability Resource Guide
for U.S. Dairy Processors
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Dairy Community
The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment Advantage

The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment provides a voluntary platform to define and exhibit sustainability progress and build confidence among our customers and constituents.

The Commitment:

  • Expands business development opportunities in the global marketplace
  • Simplifies measurement and reporting by reducing demands of multiple and overlapping external surveys
  • Saves time and money by jointly developing protocols, tools and metrics
  • Validates the combined work of U.S. dairy farmers, cooperatives and companies

Progress against our collective goals is summarized in the 2020 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report.

Commitment Resources

Social responsibility is larger than any single organization or sector of the supply chain. It requires a transparent, collaborative and ongoing effort to work toward the benefit of all. To reflect these values, dairy companies are encouraged to formally adopt the Stewardship Commitment while dairy farmers, retailers, community partners are encouraged to contribute and support this effort.

Making Industry Connections

Since 2008, the U.S. dairy community — dairy farmers, companies and key stakeholders — has worked together pre-competitively to advance a shared social responsibility platform. Numerous working groups and programs are available to assist dairy companies at all stages of their sustainability journey. To learn more, contact Jennifer Block at Stewardship.Commitment​

  • Dairy Sustainability Alliance®: A multi-stakeholder group of more than 165 member organizations Members convene to collaborate on issues affecting the industry at large, accelerate progress toward common sustainability goals and contribute to the long-term viability of the U.S. dairy industry.
  • The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program: Has established a rigorous framework of best practices to show customers and consumers that the dairy industry holds itself to the highest standards. The program has four silos: Animal Care; Environmental Stewardship; Antibiotic Stewardship; and Workforce Development.
  • Processor Working Group: More than 50 participants representing more than 25 processing organizations, this group is engaged in facility-focused workstreams for waste, water, packaging and greenhouse gas emissions to drive action and demonstrate progress toward the goals.
  • Dairy Stewardship Commitment: Adopters of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment represent nearly 3/4 of U.S. milk production. These 34 cooperatives and processors have taken the voluntary pledge to demonstrate positive impacts in environmental sustainability, animal welfare, community contributions and food safety.
  • U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative (NZI): NZI is a collaboration of dairy organizations to advance research, on-farm pilots and new market development to make sustainability practices more accessible and affordable to farms of all sizes — an essential first phase to accelerate progress toward the 2050 goals.
  • Traceability: Is the ability to track a product through all stages of production, processing and distribution. The U.S. Dairy Traceability Guidance focuses on product flows, labeling, recordkeeping, data collection and other protocols from the plant to the supply chain to end-product manufacturers. This guidance document and checklist contains information needed to implement traceability standards at your company.
  • IDFA People First: IDFA’s People Strategy focuses on ensuring dairy companies have the knowledge, tools and talent to succeed in a more competitive, diverse and inclusive future.
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