33 min

Sharing The Dairy Sustainability Story With Consumers Caring for Animals & Creating Trust

    • Management

Consumers are interested in the sustainability of their food products and the impact food production is having on the environment. While many misconceptions exist about the sustainability of animal agriculture, data and science bring clarity to the sustainability story, helping stakeholders from farm to fork understand the progress made so far and focus on continuous improvement.
“It is a really interesting time because we're seeing the sustainability concerns, not just coming into play as a desire for more information, but actually as a driver of decision making….Consumers are more and more identifying sustainability as a broader set of terms, including responsible farming, land management, water use, animal welfare and even areas like antibiotic use and labor relations. So it is a category that's going to become broader and broader and require the marketplace to be very nimble in addressing this as it evolves.” - Andy Harig

Merck Animal Health is committed to the well-being of our communities, our employees, and our customers. In this episode, Jane Dukes, Senior Manager with the https://www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/about-us/veterinary-and-consumer-affairs (Merck Animal Health Veterinary Consumer Affairs Team), speaks with https://taravanderdussen.com (Tara Vander Dussen), Environmental Scientist, Dairy farmer and co-founder of https://elevateag.com (Elevate Ag), https://nationaldairyfarm.com/staff/jamie-jonker/ (Jamie Jonker), Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Sustainability and Scientific Affairs for https://www.nmpf.org (National Milk Producers Federation), and https://www.fmi.org/blog/view/gr-staff/2016/07/06/andrew-harig (Andy Harig), VP of the https://www.fmi.org (Food Marketing Institute)

“It's important I think for our customers and consumers to understand that dairy farmers, like Tara, day in and day out, do their very best on their individual farms….they work with their animals, their land, their family, and their employees on the sustainability trajectory that is best for their individual business. Each dairy farm looks a little different and so their sustainability journey's gonna be a little bit different, but every dairy farm has that sustainability journey and the National Dairy Farm Program provides a way to capture metrics that can be added to (their) important stories.” -Jamie Jonker


We are finding that not only are consumers seeking sustainability in their food items but fortunately they are also open to trust the sustainable labels they see on their food packaging and the stories they hear about producers. Jamie shares that “consumers are not wanting perfection but wanting improvement.” Sharing the story of producers, how they have improved their efforts and what changes they are planning for the future are what consumers are seeking.

“I think that sometimes we get caught up in the latest trends in advancements, and we forget to share with consumers what we have been doing. I think we have to do a better job of taking consumers along on this journey….We have a track record of improving. We know we can do better. We know that we have done better in the past so we've set big goals for the future and we know we can get there.” - Tara Vander Dussen


This Week’s Podcast:
Meet https://taravanderdussen.com (Tara Vander Dussen), Environmental Scientist, Dairy farmer and co-founder of https://elevateag.com (Elevate Ag), https://nationaldairyfarm.com/staff/jamie-jonker/ (Jamie Jonker), Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Sustainability and Scientific Affairs for https://www.nmpf.org (National Milk Producers Federation), and https://www.fmi.org/blog/view/gr-staff/2016/07/06/andrew-harig (Andy Harig), VP of the https://www.fmi.org (Food Marketing Institute)
Explore the latest consumer insights on sustainability and consumer demands
Discover existing data and science that helps tell the on-farm sustainability story, and how it’s helping...

Consumers are interested in the sustainability of their food products and the impact food production is having on the environment. While many misconceptions exist about the sustainability of animal agriculture, data and science bring clarity to the sustainability story, helping stakeholders from farm to fork understand the progress made so far and focus on continuous improvement.
“It is a really interesting time because we're seeing the sustainability concerns, not just coming into play as a desire for more information, but actually as a driver of decision making….Consumers are more and more identifying sustainability as a broader set of terms, including responsible farming, land management, water use, animal welfare and even areas like antibiotic use and labor relations. So it is a category that's going to become broader and broader and require the marketplace to be very nimble in addressing this as it evolves.” - Andy Harig

Merck Animal Health is committed to the well-being of our communities, our employees, and our customers. In this episode, Jane Dukes, Senior Manager with the https://www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/about-us/veterinary-and-consumer-affairs (Merck Animal Health Veterinary Consumer Affairs Team), speaks with https://taravanderdussen.com (Tara Vander Dussen), Environmental Scientist, Dairy farmer and co-founder of https://elevateag.com (Elevate Ag), https://nationaldairyfarm.com/staff/jamie-jonker/ (Jamie Jonker), Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Sustainability and Scientific Affairs for https://www.nmpf.org (National Milk Producers Federation), and https://www.fmi.org/blog/view/gr-staff/2016/07/06/andrew-harig (Andy Harig), VP of the https://www.fmi.org (Food Marketing Institute)

“It's important I think for our customers and consumers to understand that dairy farmers, like Tara, day in and day out, do their very best on their individual farms….they work with their animals, their land, their family, and their employees on the sustainability trajectory that is best for their individual business. Each dairy farm looks a little different and so their sustainability journey's gonna be a little bit different, but every dairy farm has that sustainability journey and the National Dairy Farm Program provides a way to capture metrics that can be added to (their) important stories.” -Jamie Jonker


We are finding that not only are consumers seeking sustainability in their food items but fortunately they are also open to trust the sustainable labels they see on their food packaging and the stories they hear about producers. Jamie shares that “consumers are not wanting perfection but wanting improvement.” Sharing the story of producers, how they have improved their efforts and what changes they are planning for the future are what consumers are seeking.

“I think that sometimes we get caught up in the latest trends in advancements, and we forget to share with consumers what we have been doing. I think we have to do a better job of taking consumers along on this journey….We have a track record of improving. We know we can do better. We know that we have done better in the past so we've set big goals for the future and we know we can get there.” - Tara Vander Dussen


This Week’s Podcast:
Meet https://taravanderdussen.com (Tara Vander Dussen), Environmental Scientist, Dairy farmer and co-founder of https://elevateag.com (Elevate Ag), https://nationaldairyfarm.com/staff/jamie-jonker/ (Jamie Jonker), Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Sustainability and Scientific Affairs for https://www.nmpf.org (National Milk Producers Federation), and https://www.fmi.org/blog/view/gr-staff/2016/07/06/andrew-harig (Andy Harig), VP of the https://www.fmi.org (Food Marketing Institute)
Explore the latest consumer insights on sustainability and consumer demands
Discover existing data and science that helps tell the on-farm sustainability story, and how it’s helping...

33 min