It seems we’ve reached the tipping point in the food labeling movement and Dannon is one of the leaders. Although mandatory labeling has yet to be required, major food companies are taking this step on their own. We’ve seen Mars, Kelloggs, and General Mills all decide to label the GMOs in their food in the interest of transparency. Now the cow is tipping too, with one of America’s leading conventional dairy companies pledging to make some major changes.
Dannon has committed to take their own steps towards transparency, as well as improving it’s sustainable agriculture practices and ingredients.
What does this pledge look like? In a press release issued today the yogurt maker outlined the key components of their pledge.
- Dannon commits to offer products coming from a more sustainable agriculture by working with its dairy farmer partners and their suppliers to progressively implement the use of sustainable agriculture practices and technology that leads to better soil health, better water management, an increase in biodiversity, and a decrease in carbon emission.
- Dannon commits to bring all products from three flagship brands (Dannon®, Oikos® and Danimals®) towards the use of fewer and more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and non-GMO. Importantly, Dannon also commits that for these brands the feed of its farmers’ cows will be non-GMO, within a transition period of 3 years. The ambition is to evolve the remaining brands over time.
- To ensure full transparency for consumers, Dannon also commits to declare by December 2017 nationwide on label the presence of GMO ingredients in its products. In the meantime, if one state implements a GMO labeling requirement, since Dannon favors a nationwide labeling system, it will label the presence of GMOs nationwide according to the state requirements.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Danone, a parent company of Dannon. Bookieboo LLC works with a number of natural and organic brands that meet our strict criteria. This blog contains contend sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my blog are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward the use of non-gmo ingredients, visit www.dannon.com/ingredients.
The press release goes on to note key dates for the company, showing their commitment is time bound and not just for show. Here’s the timeline for when you can expect to see these changes come to fruition.
Dannon will ensure 90 percent of the milk they use will comes from farms that are certified for animal welfare. Animal welfare certification standards require proper training for farm staff in animal care and handling. They also require the animals have proper shade and comfort during heat, and a clean and dry environment for birthing.
The company moves towards more natural ingredients which do not contain genetically modified ingredients for its flagship brands Oikos, Danimals and Dannon, which make up more than half of the company’s volume. They also strive to evolve the other brands in the company over time. The company has already begun rotating crops, managing fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide application in the production of feed for a portion of the cows which supply the company’s milk.
Beginning in 2017, the company will partner with it’s farmers to ensure their cows are only fed non-GMO feed. This is a HUGE step for a conventional dairy company to make. Dannon is the first non-organic dairy company to make this commitment. Why does does this matter? By feeding the cows non-GMO feed it eliminates GMO contamination in the milk. You’ve heard the saying you are what you eat, and a non-GMO fed cow makes milk free from GMOs.
Dannon’s labels will indicate the presence of GMO ingredients wherever they may remain in their products, giving the consumer what they’ve been asking for. The right to know what’s in their food.
End of 2018
Third-party certification of the products from the flagship brands, Dannon, Oikos, and Danimals is set to be achieved in 2018.
Why the Change for Dannon?
Consumers have certainly been asking for a change. The company is aware that transparency and labeling helps consumers choose products that align with their values, when it comes to food. Those who favor natural and sustainable products can chose Dannon with confidence. Sister companies, such as Stonyfield and Happy Family may have gone the organic route instead of conventional, but they have still been an inspiration to Dannon in moving towards naturality and sustainability.
It’s our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, and it’s our passion to help people enjoy the benefits of yogurt every day in a sustainable way. While this commitment is ambitious, we believe it’s necessary to continue to serve Americans using a sustainable and transparent model. -Mariano Lozano, President and CEO of The Dannon Company.
Show Your Support
Dannon is inviting others to join them in support of the Pledge. To learn more about the pledge, visit www.DannonPledge.com.