2022 Annual Members Meeting – Around the Dairy Sustainability World in 180 minutes

Over 100 delegates from right across the dairy value chain in 23 different countries met online for the 2022 DSF Members meeting on 3rd November. Chaired by Krysta Harden, President and CEO of the US Dairy Export Council, the theme of the three-hour meeting was Around the Dairy Sustainability World in 180 Minutes and featured specific sustainability actions in 10 geographies, from 12 DSF Members.

The three DSF "ambassadors": Zoe Kavanagh, Richard Walton & Kendra Campbell

The case studies were introduced by three “ambassadors” who provided an ‘elevator pitch’ for each of the activities profiled under one of the three sustainability pillars: Richard Walton of Meiji Co. Ltd (Economic), Kendra Campbell of Dairy Australia (Social) and Zoe Kavanagh of the National Dairy Council Ireland (Environment). Delegates were then able to join breakout sessions of their choice, to probe the case study ’owners’ in more detail on specifics.

In the Economic pillar breakout, the case studies ranged from large farms in Australia and South Africa, to smallholders in Algeria and Kenya, from multi-national dairy organizations to smaller national dairy companies. Actions ranged from farmer training to supplying infrastructure (building milk collection centres with milking stations for pastoralists) and from raising farmers’ income to reducing climate impact. While the breakout participants came from many different countries, it was clear there were many similar challenges. Discussions in this economic breakout often breached into the social and environmental pillars, clearly demonstrating that efforts on economic performance can provide larger impacts beyond the economic pillar where the effort is focused.

DSF Members meeting - Environment Breakout Group

In the Environment pillar breakout, attendees enjoyed exploring the wide-ranging examples of impactful actions from around the world, including Australia, the UK, Canada to Chile and France to New Zealand. The breakout discussions focused on Carbon footprinting tools and approaches to resolving on farm waste plastic challenges, and sustainable packaging.

The Social pillar breakout, explored an Australian project which focussed on improving cow health & welfare, moving to Kenya with a focus on improving staff working conditions in the milk factory. And finally in Nigeria where targeted collaborative efforts had resulted in improvements to cow and human health and welfare and farmer livelihoods.

It was clear through all three breakout sessions that activities under the three pillars were never stand- alone, recognizing the interrelationships between the sustainability pillar Criteria.

Members also heard from DSF’s Director Brian Lindsay, who outlined the 2021 progress reporting results (the DSF is now reporting from over 31% of global milk production) and other DSF developments from the 2021 year.

GDP’s Communications Director, Kevin Burkham provided an update on progress with the global Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative which now represents approximately 40% of global milk production. Finally, DSF Chairman Donald Moore, provided a review of the first 10 years of the DSF and highlighted the DSF Governors’ thinking for the DSF over the next decade, widening its reach, strengthening its capacity and improving its recognition with all stakeholders.

DSF Implementing and Aggregating Members who missed the meeting can view the recordings of the meeting on the DSF Extranet in English, Spanish and Japanese. The three breakout session recordings are also available in English.