Social Responsibility

Based on the socio-economic life cycle assessment published in 2012, Canadian dairy farmers produce safe, nutritious foods in an economically, socially, and environmentally friendly way.

Target

Achievement

Dairy Farmers of Canada continues to approach sustainability in a systemic and holistic way that encompasses animals, farms, environment, economic and human resources

  • Research priorities and farmer investments are frequently reviewed to this end DairyFarms +, our online sustainability tool for farmers is being tested this spring and will be ready for use by farmers by mid-2016. Farmers will be able to track their contribution to social sustainability

Dairy Farmers of Canada benchmarks the Canadian dairy farm sector environmental impact

  • The environmental life cycle analysis of the Canadian dairy farming sector was completed in 2012, according to the LCA protocol established by the International Dairy Federation  

Dairy Farmers of Canada benchmarks the Canadian dairy farm sector socio-economic impact

  • The socio-economic life cycle analysis of the Canadian dairy farming sector, based on UNEP/SETAC’s Guidelines, was completed in 2012

We measure the labour practices of dairy farms

  • 60% of dairy farms provide working conditions that go beyond labour standards
  • Dairy farms present a high risk of farm accidents

Dairy farmers give back to their community

  • Dairy farmers are present on economic, social, and political levels
  • 87% of dairy farmers are actively engaged in their community. They volunteer as firefighters, in schools, sport associations, agricultural groups, municipalities, churches and more
  • 2.5 million litres of milk are given to food banks across the country in a year
  • Dairy farmers support women in sports, and invite others to join the  Fuelling Women Champions movement
  • Dairy farmers are proud to celebrate and recognize the talent of Canadian cheesemakers with the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix every two years

The dairy industry continues to diversify to respond to demand, including niche markets

  • Canadian organic milk, Omega-3 milk and grass-fed dairy products are offered to consumers
  • There is an increased number of on-farm dairy processors distributing their products mainly to local markets
  • Canadian consumers have access to over 650 types of Canadian cheeses made from cow milk, and over 1,000 cheeses, when we include sheep, goat and mixed milk

The dairy industry continues to sustain the Canadian economy

  • The production and processing sectors of the dairy industry provide 215,000 full-time equivalent jobs across Canada (2013 data)
    • Dairy farmers generate spin off jobs throughout the agri-food value chain, and social fabric of rural communities.
  • Dairy farmers are efficient and employ expert services
    • 75% of farms (and 71% of cows) receive regular visits of a dairy herd improvement specialist
  • The dairy industry generates $19 billion a year to Canada’s GDP
Last updated: 15/04/2016

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