Ever wondered where the milk and cream for your Ben & Jerry's ice cream comes from? Well, let us introduce the Caring Dairy programme!
Here at Ben & Jerry's, we're always striving to produce great ice cream in the nicest possible way. With over half of your Ben & Jerry's tub being made up of milk or cream, we take a lot of care in where we source our dairy. Back in the early days, Ben & Jerry bought their milk and cream from local family farmers who they knew both treated their cows well and took into consideration the planet with their farming techniques.
Fast forward to 2016, and we're still bringing the same essence of this early approach to the way we source our dairy. This is just where the Caring Dairy programme comes in.
The Caring Dairy Programme
The Caring Dairy Programme is a unique programme that helps farmers move towards more sustainable practices on their farms, as well as allowing us to monitor the impact of our dairy supply chain. Having been developed with leading academics, animal welfare groups, veterinarians, and farmers, Caring Dairy is a programme we plan to continue to develop in the coming years.
Happy Cows, Happy Farmers, and a Happy Planet
With three main focusses; Happy Cows, Happy Farmers and a Happy Planet, the Caring Dairy programme looks at all aspects of dairy farming. We believe that central to a sustainable dairy system are the following; the consideration of the dairy cow's welfare, the proper farming of land, and the welfare of the farmer and his family. We ensure we track impact in all three of these areas, and that we support farmers to improve their practices. Be it to better retain the soil on their farms, improve the health of their dairy cows, or to increase the amount of time they spend with their families, these are all areas which the Caring Dairy programme seeks to track and improve upon.
How Does It Work?
With our farmers submitting data on a regular basis, we have a number of impact matrixes to track Happy Cows, Happy Farmers, and a Happy Planet. Once analysed, we then create a support programme for the farmers to allow them to move to more sustainable practices on their farms, which are then delivered through regular workshops with experts. Each year, farmers create a programme, and it is in this way that we use the Caring Dairy programme to continuously improve the practices within our dairy supply chain!
A Good Dairy Award
The clever folks over at Compassion in World Farming were so impressed with our programme that they awarded us with a Good Dairy Award back in 2011, which we're proud to say we still hold to this day! If you'd like to find out more about the programme, click here.