Greek yogurt brand Chobani is taking a step in the right direction to transform its milkshed and support the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the dairy industry. Last week, the company unveiled a new groundbreaking program, the Milk Matters™ program, which was designed to address many of the dairy industry’s biggest challenges and establish transparency between dairy farmers and consumers.
"Proud to share our vision for the future of dairy—from cows to people to planet. It's a small step with a big message: The future of dairy farmers matters to all of us," said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani. "Dairy farms are the backbone of the communities we call home, but the current model is broken, and it's leaving consumers questioning everything, including the treatment of animals, farm workers, and the land itself. Our solution is simple but powerful. We all have a responsibility to support the farmers who make our business and our vision possible."
According to a press release, the Milk Matters program will include co-op partners, dairy farms, and third-parties, such as Fair Trade USA, the World Wildlife Fund, National Milk Producers Federation, Cornell University, and state programs and community foundations in Idaho and New York. Chobani and its partners will then work to implement a comprehensive approach in bringing transparency to dairy, providing meaningful support to the community, and preserving long-term viability for the entirety of the dairy industry—all by 2025.
"This is a big move for one of the important sectors of agriculture in the U.S.—creating shared trust, partnership, and value between consumers, farms, and brands with a Fair Trade USA standard for dairy," said Paul Rice, CEO, Fair Trade USA. "By funding the exploration and development of a standard that will be available to the entire dairy industry, Chobani is taking a real leadership position. We're thrilled to support an initiative that will drive continued progress, value, and transparency across the dairy industry."
In order to meet its goal by 2025, Chobani instilled six critical pillars into the program, including worker well-being, environmental stewardship, animal care, local sourcing, investment in dairy communities, and freedom and flexibility for dairy farms. Each pillar outlines how Chobani and its partners are working to transform the food system to the betterment of the planet, people, and global communities.
For more information on Chobani's Milk Matters program, click here. And to stay up-to-date on how specialty foods companies furthering the progress of our industry, keep reading Deli Market News.