Chobani has announced a collaboration with Fair Trade USA to explore developing a certification programme for the dairy industry.
The US yogurt maker said the Milk Matters programme will encompass its commitment to its milkshed as well as efforts to support greater transparency across dairy farms.
The scheme has been designed to address “the unprecedented challenges” faced by today’s dairy industry.
Alongside Chobani, the programme will include co-op partners, dairy farms, and third parties such as Fair Trade USA, the World Wildlife Fund, National Milk Producers Federation and Cornell University.
Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, said: “Proud to share our vision for the future of dairy – from cows to people to planet. It’s a small step with a big message: the future of dairy farmers matters to all of us.
“Dairy farms are the backbone of the communities we call home, but the current model is broken and it’s leaving consumers questioning everything, including the treatment of animals, farm workers, and the land itself. Our solution is simple but powerful. We all have a responsibility to support the farmers who make our business and our vision possible.”
To develop the programme, Chobani has spent years listening to farmers, farm workers, elected officials and experts across the dairy industry to create a path forward. The company said it is aiming to take a leadership position in the category at a time when dairy in the US is at a “moment of evolution”.
Milk Matters consists of six pillars: worker wellbeing, environmental stewardship, animal care, local sourcing, investing in dairy communities, and freedom and flexibility for dairy farms.
Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA, said: “This is a big move for one of the important sectors of agriculture in the U S – creating shared trust, partnership and value between consumers, farms and brands with a Fair Trade USA standard for dairy.
“By funding the exploration and development of a standard that will be available to the entire dairy industry, Chobani is taking a real leadership position. We’re thrilled to support an initiative that will drive continued progress, value, and transparency across the dairy industry.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020