On Friday, September 1, 2017, the next phase of Canadian dairy’s sustainability initiative, officially began.
Dairy farmers are required to keep additional records about the care and traceability of their animals on the farm, as part of the proAction® initiative.
Canadian dairy farmers have traditionally employed sustainable practices on their farm and therefore have a great sustainability story to tell. Stakeholders and partners, such as processors, retailers, NGOs, and researchers, have noticed the continuous improvement made to raise standards in the Canadian dairy industry. To be able to share our story with credibility, it is increasingly important to measure and demonstrate our world-class standards in producing high quality milk in a sustainable way, in line with Canadian values. In 2013, we expanded our sustainability initiative, which we call proAction, building on the successful Canadian track record for milk quality and food safety, and we are gradually adding the verification of various sustainability metrics over the years.
The initiative documents credible metrics and independently validates each farm to prove to customers that farmers do things right. For example, Holstein Canada has already conducted cattle assessments on over 20% of farms, one of the steps of the new Animal Care module, which is based on the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. By September 2019, all farms will have undergone this official independent assessment, a validation and have record-keeping, on top of good management practices they already employ. These additional steps confirm that farmers measure their progress to continue to farm sustainably.
The ability to trace our animals and their whereabouts is key to maintaining the confidence of Canadians in our sector. In Canada, all cattle have been systematically ear-tagged since the federal regulations came into force in 2001 and 99 percent of dairy farms have a premises identification number.
“We have long been sustainable in our farming practices and are very passionate about what we do. Our respect for resources, animals and the environment are the reasons the sector is sustainable today. We intend to move forward, building on our strengths, to be sustainable tomorrow.” – Pierre Lampron, DFC president
“As dairy farmers, we are very proud to collectively demonstrate responsible stewardship of our animals and land, sustainably producing milk and meat that are high quality, safe, and nutritious. Treating our animals well, and providing excellent care is one of the highest priorities of the Canadian dairy sector.” – David Wiens, DFC vice-president and chair of the proAction committee
About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada’s farmers living on over 10,950 dairy farms. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy farmers and promote dairy products and their health benefits.
Dairy Farmers of Canada