We have been working alongside Oxford-based organisation Food Animal Initiative (FAI) to develop, implement, measure and review a bespoke programme. FAI are leaders in their field and they are also farmers - so they understand the issues right along the supply chain.
The programme was initially shaped by working with internal and external stakeholders to prioritise sustainability issues. We then undertook a science review and cross-referenced it with stakeholder feedback, to ensure that each project was based on sound and justifiable reasons for action.
This feedback put a focus on dominant issues, for example, alongside economic sustainability, cow and calf welfare were especially important to both business and external stakeholders.
We are focusing on five specific programme areas:
Feed for the future is about optimising the use of forage and locally grown energy sources. It is about helping farmers to develop the most sustainable rations for their cows, their business and the environment. By doing this, we will help to create a more resilient dairy industry.
The Cow and Calf programme addresses the fundamentals of cow and calf welfare - what keeps them healthy and provides them with what they want. The programme implements solutions through on-farm working groups and most importantly, supports farmers to share this know-how with each other.
This programme addresses the interface between farm and factory, and focuses on ensuring that our milk price schedules incentivise sustainable farming, and that our transport movements and factory processes are as efficient as possible.
Reduce, Renew, Recycle supports our drive towards renewable energy, zero waste and recovered water use throughout the supply chain. By helping farmers understand their carbon footprint, and partnering with them on renewable energy projects, we can bring benefits to both farm and factory.
The focus for the food for the future programme is added value products that maximise the utilisation of all the components of milk and the development of products and packaging that promote sustainable consumption.
Against each programme area, long-term goals have been set for delivery by 2020.
For full information, click below to download our sustainability report.