NORWICH, N.Y. — Chobani, L.L.C. announced a new program aimed at promoting greater transparency across dairy farms.
The company said consumers are questioning everything about the dairy industry, from the treatment of land and animals to the treatment of farm workers. Its new Milk Matters program includes several third-party partnerships focused on ensuring consumers not only know where their dairy is from, but that it is sourced responsibly.
To improve transparency in worker well-being, Chobani is partnering with Fair Trade U.S.A. The collaboration will explore a new certification standard for U.S. dairy that protects dairy workers and provides benefits to farmers and farm workers.
Through Milk Matters, the company is working with the World Wildlife Fund and National Milk Producers Federation’s Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use on dairy farms. These partners will measure the environmental impact of farms within Chobani’s supply chain and identity potential cost savings and efficiency gains for farmers.
The company also plans to address concerns about animal welfare. By December 2019, it said all the farms it sources from will comply with National Milk’s FARM standards for animal care.
Another goal of the Milk Matters program is to invest in local dairy communities. To this end, Chobani is partnering with community foundations in New York and Idaho to invest $2 million in grants to expand entrepreneurship and fuel ideas from local organizations. Additionally, the company is working with Cornell University’s Pro-Dairy program and New York’s Dairy Acceleration Program to help farms with less than 300 cows receive funding for on-farm production techniques and aspects related to daily farming operations.
“Dairy farms are the backbone of the communities we call home, but the current model is broken,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and chief executive officer at Chobani. “Our solution is simple but powerful. We all have a responsibility to support the farmers who make our business and our vision possible.”