This month, DanoneWave hosted its annual forum for the company’s farmer partners; the two-day event—the fourth held by Dannon and the first as DanoneWave—convening a range of expert agriculturalists looking to learn and share the company's diverse experience and expertise.
“As we embarked on the journey to pursue the Dannon Pledge last year, not only have we learned how to work better with our farmer partners, but we’ve learned about the farmers’ hard work and love of the land,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of DanoneWave, in a press release. “The opportunity for me to hear directly from them helps our business better serve American families with the variety of choices they want. Further, we know that developing these relationships and holding collaborative events such as this annual forum uniquely positions us to provide opportunities for our farmer partners to learn from us, and us from them.”
Reflecting DanoneWave’s commitment to serving the growing demand among consumers for more choices to meet their individual needs and preferences, farmers with expertise in animal and plant-based agriculture, organic, non-GMO, and conventional practices, came from throughout the country to attend the two-day event.
“Farmers, the stability of their business and the health of the environment are the starting points for the tasty foods and beverages we make, whether they are organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, grass-fed or conventional,” added Lozano. “As a public benefit corporation, we are committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable manner; working closely with our farmer partners is one way we live this commitment every day.”
Over the course of two days, attendees participated in a varied and engaging program including:
The event also featured a live and unfiltered Q&A session with the CEO of DanoneWave, Mariano Lozano.
“Mariano provided farmers with an update from DanoneWave to help ground them in our strategy and the market overall. Following the presentation, farmers posed questions on topics ranging from the implementation of the vision behind the Dannon Pledge and the journey the company is on with farmer partners, differentiation from other products and factors that are taken into consideration when working with farms,” noted Michael Neuwirth, Senior Director, External Communications, DanoneWave & Danone North America. “He highlighted that one way we differentiate our commitment to the Dannon Pledge is with transparency around the changes we're making and the objective to obtain Non-GMO Project Verification from a third party for some products. Finally, he highlighted that we work with a range of farmer partners, of varying sizes, who share our values.”
Additionally, DanoneWave recognized several of its partners with awards during the forum for exceptional work in four key areas: nature, economics, well-being, and social. The company also announced a Supplier of the Year award. Partners recognized for the most significant contributions to the company and their communities included:
“We are honored to receive an award from DanoneWave recognizing our social contributions. On our family farm, we’re focused on producing wholesome milk and providing it to DanoneWave, a company we’ve come to know and trust. The recognition reinforces the great pride we have for the work we do each day,” noted Esther Flores, Human Resources Manager, GreenTop Acres. “While we are thrilled to receive the award, coming to the annual forum is a highlight in and of itself. This year, we particularly appreciated the opportunity and time to connect with growers, which is something we rarely get to do. Working with DanoneWave helps us to expand our expertise and improve our business.”
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