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Setting the Benchmark for Sustainable Dairy Production

Author: Laura Higham, FAI Farm

Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate, has partnered with FAI Farms to create the VisionDairy program. Our common goal is to create a sustainability benchmark for dairy production, which addresses animal welfare, environmental protection and farm performance.

Setting the Benchmark for Sustainable Dairy Production

In order to “make sustainable chocolate the norm”, Barry Callebaut has committed to having 100% sustainable ingredients in all of their products. In the case of dairy this means working with their suppliers to help them move in one direction and create an alignment between the variety of approaches that exist to date.

To this effect VisionDairy have developed a Charter with 15 principles for suppliers that will help identify and demonstrate best practices in cow and calf welfare; support resilient and ethical business practices (e.g. the production of quality milk, and human rights and worker well-being of farmers and farm workers); and protect and enhance our shared environment (reducing greenhouse gases, energy and water use, protecting biodiversity, and improving soil health).

The programme will align with the Dairy Sustainability Framework and by developing a set of outcome measures we will focus on driving impact and global progress. The measures will be collected through an innovative online platform that allows suppliers and farmers to demonstrate their impact, as well as inform and direct our joint research and improvement programs.

The next step is to set up a pilot with a selected group of joint Barry Callebaut suppliers in order to fine-tune the charter and outcome measures and establish first farmer groups to work with. Upon successful completion of the pilot we hope to roll-out the program more widely in the coming years.