FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Maria Woldt, Sustainability Lead + Director of Industry Relations
Dairy Business Association
(608) 577-4345 | firstname.lastname@example.org
New group launches to foster collaboration and continuous improvement in the dairy community
WAUNAKEE, Wis. (Aug. 16, 2016) — A diverse group of partners have come together to ensure that all touch points in the production of dairy foods are continuously improving in animal care, environmental conservation, food safety and many other practices.
The new Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance is a collaborative group that represents all aspects of the dairy community: farmers, processors and packagers, conservation groups, vendors and service providers, transporters, consumer packaged goods companies, retailers, government agencies, universities and dairy and trade non-profits. The goal is to show tangible continuous improvements in the areas of land use, soil conservation, nutrient management, water quality and use, energy use, animal welfare, food safety, greenhouse emissions, economic health and social responsibility.
The alliance seeks to bring all aspects of dairy sustainability, from farm to table, together to position Wisconsin and the Midwest as a global leader in dairy sustainability. Organizations that might otherwise compete in the marketplace will come together to share successes and points of learning that lead to measurable results and continuous improvement at every step.
“To make a significant difference at the scale of the state, or ultimately the region, we need the active leadership of the dairy supply chain and dairy farmers. Farmers can drive the biggest impacts and take beneficial practices to scale the fastest way,” says Steve Richter, director of conservation programs in Wisconsin for The Nature Conservancy. “We are excited to find common ground with the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance doing on-the-ground projects that benefit our lands, waters and the dairy community.”
The Nature Conservancy, along with representatives from Yahara Pride Farms, Peninsula Pride Farms, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and the Dairy Business Association formed a working group this past spring to develop the program.
Using the guiding expertise of national groups like Field to Market, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the National Dairy FARM Program, the alliance will use existing metrics and tools that have been embraced by many consumer retailers, agriculture groups and farmer organizations to measure results.
The alliance is also seeking other collaborators to leverage strengths that will improve the program. Farmers, individually or as part of a watershed, are being recruited to participate in a 2017 pilot program. To learn more about the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance, go to dairystrong.org/sustainability.
About the Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance: Organized in the spring of 2016, the goal of the DSSA is to show tangible improvement throughout the dairy supply chain in the areas of land use, soil conservation, nutrient management, water quality and use, energy use, animal welfare, food safety, greenhouse emissions, economic health and social responsibility. The DSSA achieves these goals by taking existing sustainability tools and applying them to early and mid-stage grassroots efforts led by farmers, individually or as part of a watershed.