Influential figures in the dairy industry have offered their support to the newly-formed Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP) as part of its efforts to drive change towards a more sustainable dairy industry. The announcement took place today at the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit, in Istanbul.
Representing approximately 30% of the total global milk volume, 22 local and global figures in the dairy industry have collaborated to provide a unified sustainability approach in business-to-business transactions. The collaborative efforts are made up of farmer cooperatives, processors, buyers and retailers, including Danone, Fonterra, FrieslandCampina, Mars and Nestlé.
The dairy industry is currently facing challenges regarding sustainable and responsible sourcing. The SDP acknowledges the industry need to take on more responsibility and make further progress on sustainability measures.
The SDP intends to have a lasting impact across the dairy supply chain, so is focused on streamlining the relationship between dairy buyers and processors, believing it to be essential in improving sustainability measures. As a result, the dairy industry will align under one unified sustainability approach and will address the pressures of environmental and social impacts.
Built on the Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF), the SDP reinforces the existing programme’s criteria alongside others. It aims to improve farmer practices, while offering buyers a rational approach in showing how sustainable the dairy products are produced.
It defines five key stages that help processors assess their sustainability and measure their impact. Each company that produces dairy products prioritise the most important issues relevant to them.
By adopting these frameworks, excessive farm audits will be reduced which will enable better use of resources to work towards sustainability priorities.
The SDP also requires processors to address deforestation, animal welfare, human rights and compliance with local legislation.
Jan Kees Vis, global director sustainable sourcing development at Unilever and SAI platform president said: “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.”
The Sustainable Dairy Partnership was created by members of the SAI Platform Dairy Working Group and has been piloted across Europe, the USA, and Australia and is expected to be in full use in the first half of 2020.
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