Six strategic drivers to develop more responsible dairy farming
The Global Sustainable Upstream Dairy Charter sets ambitious numerical targets in six strategic areas:
- Sustainable farming models
- Animal welfare,
- Dairy cow access to pasture grazing,
- Local and sustainable animal feeding,
- Reducing dairy farming’s environmental footprint,
- Dairy product nutritional quality.
“I believe that the company can play a major role in contributing to the life quality of the people with whom it has built ties,” says Magali Sartre, Bel Group Corporate Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility Director. “This can be accomplished by taking a humanistic and positive approach to our impact along with a strong commitment to preserving the environment. On that last point, the Bel Group decided to work with WWF France starting in 2012, to offer concrete solutions aimed at limiting the environmental impacts of dairy farming. This charter is the fruit of work undertaken jointly by our teams and WWF France teams over several years to encourage responsible dairy farming.”
The charter will be deployed in all 10 of the Group’s dairy supply basins, in cooperation with dairy farmer partners, and will take into account farming practices as they have evolved locally.
“Soy accounts for 60% of the deforestation that results from Europe’s importation of agricultural raw materials,” says Marie Christine Korniloff, Deputy Director for Global Business Relations at WWF France. “Against this backdrop, the WWF must support more sustainable production models, promote soy alternatives, and encourage access to grazing for dairy cows. These themes are fully in sync with the global charter that we have developed with the Bel Group.”
To establish practices that are increasingly innovative and adapted to the Group’s various supply regions, Bel will leverage pilot farms. The goal is threefold:
- Identify already established and innovative approaches to responsible dairy farming among volunteer Bel dairy producers,
- Assess these practices in terms of sustainability, profitability and feasibility,
- Share these practices and deploy them to other dairy farmers.
The charter embodies the Group’s commitment to taking positive action across the entire value chain. Thanks to its “We care in every portion” program for sustainable growth, Bel is rolling out a farm-to-consumer improvement initiative for increasingly responsible brands built on the three pillars of sustainable farming, caring nutrition and a responsibly-managed environmental footprint of its activities.