Ben & Jerry’s is on a mission to make great ice cream that respects the farmer and their farmworkers, the planet and the cow. When over half of a container of Ben & Jerry’s is made up of dairy cream and milk, it is no surprise that we only want to use the best dairy for our ice cream.
Caring Dairy provides our farmers a program for evaluating, implementing and continuously improving sustainable agricultural practices on their farms. Our belief is that the future of dairy farming is to build soil health that includes increased cover crops, alternative tilling practices, rotational crops and grazing techniques. We also believe that high quality animal care is fundamental to the success of a farm, a well-cared for cow will produce a higher quality milk. And of course the importance of labor that supports the entire farm, from the farmer to the farmworker.
The new Caring Dairy program is a reflection of our belief that the farmers who make up global Caring Dairy community are leaders in the dairy industry and recognize the opportunity that the program provides. We are also pleased that we are able to compensate farmers for their hard work and efforts to make changes on their farms.
The Caring Dairy program is based on three annual requirements:
- Complete the Caring Dairy Assessment of 12 Indicator sections.
- Attend three workshops.
- Implement two process improvement plans.
To participate in Caring Dairy, farmers must meet the Basic Requirements of the program by Jan. 1, 2017. There are also opportunities to move beyond the Basic level of participation by achieving either Silver or Gold level performance. Each tier is compensated differently given the increased level of requirements.
We believe that the Caring Dairy program is a leading global program that addresses sustainable dairy farming at the grass roots that supports farming into the future.