• Global dairy industry leaders come together with a streamlined approach to sustainability measures in business-to-business transactions
• 22 companies including Danone, Fonterra, Friesland Campina, Mars and Nestlé are developing and supporting this new approach
• In the dairy industry, milk provides a source of nutrition for 6 billion people world-wide and is a source of income for 1 billion
Dairy industry leaders today announced their support for the Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP) at the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit, in Istanbul. Representing approximately 30% of the total global milk volume, farmer cooperatives, processors, buyers and retailers have worked in close collaboration to present this innovative approach to drive change towards a more sustainable dairy industry.
The SDP provides a unified sustainability approach to commercial relationships between dairy customers and their suppliers. It recognises and reinforces sustainability programmes that are already in place. By harmonising buyer programmes, excessive farm audits will be reduced, enabling better use of resources to work towards sustainability priorities.
A priority for the dairy industry
The SDP comes at a time when the dairy industry is facing multiple challenges in sustainable and responsible sourcing. As a collaborative approach the SDP acknowledges the industry need to take on more responsibility and make further progress on sustainability measures. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, milk is one of the most widely produced and valuable agricultural commodities world-wide. It is a source of nutrition for 6 billion people around the world and a source of income for 1 billion. However, the dairy industry is under pressure to address environmental and social impacts.
The main benefits for using the Sustainable Dairy Partnership
22 businesses around the globe are already supporting the development of the SDP. For farmers this approach will help them improve their practices and become more sustainable. Miles Hurrell, CEO at Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited comments: “The Sustainable Dairy Partnership will help recognise the hard work that our farmers have put into improving on-farm sustainability.”
The aim of the SDP is to have a lasting impact across the dairy supply chain. It is built on the Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) and its eleven criteria that tackle sustainability issues. In addition, the SDP requires all participating processors to address deforestation, animal welfare, human rights and compliance with local legislation.
For companies that buy dairy products and want to show how sustainably they are produced, the SDP offers a credible and rational approach. It defines five key stages that help processors assess where they are on their sustainability journey and measure their impact. Each company that produces dairy products prioritises the most important issues relevant to them. Checks are streamlined and a simple one-page report indicates the progress of the processors providing verification status and key performance indicators.
Jan Kees Vis, Global Director Sustainable Sourcing Development at Unilever and SAI Platform President commented: “The Sustainable Dairy Partnership allows dairy suppliers to report progress on the most relevant issues. It represents a major step for the sector to move from compliance-based reporting to impact-based reporting.”
An aligned relationship between dairy buyers and processors is essential to improve measures on sustainability priorities. By streamlining this relationship, the SDP recognises and reinforces the DSF as well as robust national and company programmes to improve sustainability performance at farm level.
“This new Sustainable Dairy Partnership is the next evolution of the strong collaboration that we have built with our suppliers to meet consumer expectations. It now helps us to progress from activity-based to results-based management to further enhance our sustainability work.” says Patricia Stroup, Global Vice-President and Head of Procurement, Commodities, Nestlé.”
The origin of the Sustainable Dairy Partnership
The Sustainable Dairy Partnership was created by members of the SAI Platform Dairy Working Group: Ahold Delhaize, Arla, Barry Callebaut, Bord Bia, The Coca Cola Company, Dairy Australia, Dairy Farmers of America, Danone, Ferrero, Fonterra, FrieslandCampina, Givaudan, Glanbia Ireland, Innovation Center for US Dairy, Kerry, Land O’Lakes, Mars Wrigley, Molkerei Ammerland, Nestlé, Reckitt Benckiser, Starbucks and Unilever.
The Sustainable Dairy Partnership has been piloted across Europe, the USA, and Australia and is expected to be in full use in the first half of 2020.