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5 new indicators to report on sustainability in dairy

The Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) has announced the launch of 5 further global indicators for public reporting of the industry’s progress under its 11 sustainability criteria.

Members of the DSF, representing over 31% of global milk production, endorse the 11 Criteria and then prioritise these based on their own region’s challenges, identified through a robust materiality analysis. Each Criteria has its own Strategic Intent – the dairy sector’s aspirational improvement goal – and sustainability target and timeline based initiatives are developed by the membership to work towards these goals at a regional, national and local level. Annual reporting of progress is a commitment of membership.

Photo: Dreamstime
Photo: Dreamstime

Cooperation with University of Arkansas

In addition to the individual member programmes, the DSF worked with scientists from the University of Arkansas, members and wider stakeholder groups (including a public consultation) to identify high level Indicator metrics for the Criteria; Soil – Quality & Retention, Soil Nutrients, Water – Availability & Quality, Biodiversity and Working Conditions. These join those for Animal Care and GHG Emissions, launched in 2016.

Working on benchmarking

By establishing and tracking the Indicator metrics for each Criteria, the DSF will be able to report aggregate continuous improvement performance of the global dairy sector.

Donald Moore, Chairman of the DSF says: “Consumers want to know that their food has been produced in a sustainable and responsible way. Reporting on these indicators will allow the dairy sector to monitor and report its performance as producers of high quality and sustainable nutrition that deliver the essentials for a better life.” Work is now underway, for completion by the end of the year, to calculate the baseline against which the annual reporting will be benchmarked.

4 more indicators to come

The confirmed indicators are detailed in the interactive picture below. Click on the dots in the picture to read the criteria and indicators. The remaining four indicators (Product Safety & Quality, Market Development, Rural Economies and Waste) will be developed through a multi-stakeholder approach, starting in January 2018.

Author: Philippa Stagg

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