CHARLOTTE, NC – Dairy industry leaders examined how dairy companies are taking action and impacting sustainability during the recent fall meeting of the Dairy Sustainability Alliance.
One session highlighted the need for the industry to work collaboratively to support the modernization of greenhouse gas emissions accounting standards, so they better meet the needs of all parties involved.
Some of the key topics during the meeting included transparency in communicating progress to stakeholders, sustainable food production and investments in new research and technologies. Dairy leaders also discussed how to maintain economic viability and find new revenue opportunities while committing to protecting natural resources and minimizing the environmental footprint the industry leaves behind.
An opening panel looked into how dairy farmers are adapting and how collaboration, direct conversations with farmers and investment throughout the dairy value chain are needed to achieve progress.
The Dairy Sustainability Alliance, formed through the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for US Dairy, this year saw more than 340 dairy industry stakeholders, including close to 30 farmers, attend.
Barbara O’Brien, president and chief executive officer of Dairy Management Inc. and the Innovation Center for US Dairy, said the alliance meetings represent “collaboration at its best,” with various perspectives and solutions from across the value chain coming together.
“It is clear that we are leveraging our individual and collective strengths to advance action within those sustainability topics that are important to customers and consumers and to the future demand for dairy both domestically and globally,” O’Brien said.
The fall meeting came in advance of the Sustainable Agriculture Summit, Dec. 6-7, in Charlotte, NC. There O’Brien said, “we need to take a more thoughtful approach to building resilient food systems” and “agriculture must be at the forefront,” while pointing to such factors as the growing global population, geo-political unrest and unprecedented climate challenges.
The Innovation Center for US Dairy co-hosts the summit with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. The theme for the 2023 summit was “Scaling Collective Impact: Collaborating to Accelerate Agricultural Sustainability.”
As part of the summit, dairy farmers provided first-hand accounts of integrating sustainable practices and technologies.