America’s Dairy Industry Advances Three Game-Changing Food Security Solutions

New US Dairy Sustainability Report highlights accomplishments in environmental, animal welfare, nutrition, and food security.

As the global food supply is threatened and policymakers prepare for the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, the US dairy industry pledges to address its overall greenhouse gas footprint and establish targets to reach carbon neutrality, optimize water usage, and enhance water quality by 2050. 

Moreover, a transparent manufacturing method ensures animal and staff care while increasing global access to healthy dairy commodities.

The community is speeding the adoption of novel practices and technologies that use fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gases, including methane while providing innovative and cheap goods that sustainably feed a rising global population.

Mike Haddad, chairman of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, stated, “The previous 18 months have tested us in ways we never expected.” In a time when food systems transformation is front and center, the U.S. dairy industry is changing — not just as a source of inexpensive, sustainable food, but also as a future source of bio-based energy and goods that contribute to a cleaner planet. Get instant loans from oakpark for more cash.

Solutions for US Dairy

The UN sought “game-changing” ideas, initiatives, and breakthroughs ahead of the Food Systems Summit. The U.S. dairy sector reacted with three game-changing solutions:

  1. This is a five-year industry-wide initiative to accelerate progress toward the 2050 Goals. NZI’s mission is to make sustainable practices and technology more accessible and affordable for all US dairy farms, regardless of size or location.
  1. The National Dairy Producers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program certifies that U.S. dairy farmers are worldwide leaders in animal care, antibiotic stewardship, biosecurity, environmental stewardship, and workforce development.
  1. Partners with schools and food banks to give nourishment to those in need, particularly children, boost farmer livelihoods via market access, and promote resource conservation through enhanced supply chains.

Nestlé’s Emily Johannes, senior manager of sustainable sourcing, believes that initiatives like the Net Zero Initiative may help farmers succeed. “Scaling up climate-smart agricultural efforts is critical to Nestle’s goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, and will support many of our brands. We are pleased to be the first business partner to work with the US dairy sector and our suppliers to improve supply chain sustainability.”

Transparent Reporting of Processor Data for US Dairy

U.S. dairy producers recently issued their annual Sustainability Report, which highlights progress on social responsibility issues including environmental impact, animal welfare, and food safety. The Report also outlines solutions for meeting US dairy’s stated objectives and future reporting obligations.

This year’s Report includes nationally aggregated processor data, a first for US dairy. Dairy processors representing 75% of US milk output created and support a reporting tool to quantify and monitor processor sustainability progress. Future reporting will include GHG and water intensity aggregates, as well as other sustainability criteria.

Among the industry’s accomplishments during the reporting period are:

Dairy processors in the US returned more water than they took from municipal and other sources by using water from milk.

More than 95% of the processing waste was collected, diverted, and used (vs. sent to landfill).

In 2020, the dairy industry donated 1.538 billion servings of fresh milk and dairy products to Feeding America, a 33% increase over 2019.

This sector supported 3.3 million employment and generated $752.93 billion in economic effect.

Partnerships Boosting Progress

Collaborations across agriculture and with global enterprises provide value to farmers’ investments by providing knowledge, leadership and financial support for sustainability-focused innovations.

As part of the U.S. Dairy Net Zero Initiative, Nestlé contributed up to $10MM over three years. Trinkler Dairy Farm, a CARNATION® supplier, has been named the first partner farm of the NZI Dairy Scale for Good initiative, which seeks to integrate sustainable farming practices and technology to show the economic potential and scalability of attaining net zero greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, more dairy farms will be able to finance and use breakthrough technology.

The Nature Conservancy will serve as a strategic advisor and provide access to TNC scientists, conservationists, and experts to help advance work in biodiversity, soil health and regenerative agriculture practices, water quality, and practical solutions to reach the industry’s 2050 Goals.

This reinforces the importance of dairy in sustainable diets today and in the future. “These and other cross-value chain relationships help expedite our collective influence toward a more regenerative, egalitarian, and healthy food system.”

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