By Jed Davis
Director of Sustainability, Cabot Creamery Cooperative
This summer my family and I saw the documents that have helped define the United States of America and make it what it is today. During a visit to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., we viewed the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. What’s truly amazing about these seminal documents is how well they have stood the test of time.
As the dairy industry continues on its path toward a more sustainable future, we are re-committing ourselves to healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet. And like our founding fathers, we understand the importance of a touchstone document that puts our values into words and helps guide our journey.
Back in 2008, we did just that. Several hundred dairy industry representatives and stakeholders came together to define our vision and guiding principles for the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Commitment. As the calendar turned to 2012, we felt it was time to revisit and refresh that document to ensure it is meeting the needs of the industry and our valued stakeholders.
We approached this thoughtfully and carefully, involving a multi-functional team including dairy farmers, dairy processors, and many other stakeholders from across the dairy value chain. We sat around the table together, defining and prioritizing. We presented our thoughts to the Sustainability Council and in the end, we agreed and committed to these words:
The U.S. Dairy Industry supports socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound dairy food systems that promote the current and future
health and well-being of:
While this serves as a compass for our journey, and we hope it stands the test of time, it’s important to say that it doesn’t get us to the destination. Especially in today’s challenging economic times, we need everybody – farmers, researchers, retailers, and everyone in between – to work together to achieve real, tangible, and worthy results.
I’m proud to be a part of the process. If you want to join the movement, learn more at www.USDairy.com/Sustainability.