Most folks know that ice cream is made with milk, cream, and lots of other good stuff … depending on the flavor of course! But have you ever wondered what milk is really made of? That might sound like a strange question at first but it turns out that milk is made of many, many good things: healthy land, dedicated farmers, smart energy, and a strong local community to name a few … put ‘em together and you’ve got some happy cows.
Happy Cows + Happy Farmers = Caring Dairy
Since you can’t make great ice cream without great milk, Ben & Jerry’s Caring Dairy™ program works with a dedicated group of family-operated dairy farms in their quest for a healthier connection between the land, the animals, and the people who care for them. And although we’re born and bred in Vermont (and proudly so!) this mission doesn’t end in our back yard. The Caring Dairy™ program includes 83 U.S. farms and 255 Dutch farms in the Netherlands. Multiply that by a whole lot of cows and here’s the important part: Caring Dairy™ farmers in Vermont and the Netherlands produce more than enough of the equivalent global dairy volume that we need to make our ice cream around the world!
How it Works
Happy or not, cows can’t talk or type, so it all starts with the farmers. Through the use of a simple, web-based self assessment and eleven “sustainability indicators,” farmers are able to look at their operation with fresh eyes. And since every dairy farm is one of a kind, just like our flavors, we help each farmer develop a unique action plan to improve his or her practices.
The Milk We’re Made Of
At Ben & Jerry’s, we’re nuts about finding ways to improve how we source every single ingredient. And since we can’t stop dreaming of new flavors, we’re happy to say that this quest will last forever! No matter what flavor you fancy, though, one thing is certain: happy farmers and happy cows are at the heart of every pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Because that’s the milk we’re made of.