Last week Chobani announced a new certification program called Milk Matters that it says will help the dairy industry, which is struggling due to low milk prices.
Dairies that want to participate in the voluntary program would need to comply with Milk Matters' standards on environmental protection, animal welfare and farmworker well-being. Also as part of the program, Chobani has reinstated its commitment to sourcing dairy locally, primarily from its two hubs in Idaho and New York.
Nate Shepley Streed, who directs sustainability for Chobani says on a lot of measures, the dairy farms that the yogurt company sources from already do well.
“Really, it’s about celebrating all the good things farmers already do,” he says.
The company will pay participating farms 2-4% more for their milk if they meet the outlined criteria.
Streed says Chobani is still working with groups like Fair Trade USA in an "exploratory phase" to help draw up the standards. And, he says, he hopes other companies will encourage more farmers to join the program, too.
“Milk Matters is our playbook, but a fair trade certification for dairy, we want it to be open to everyone," Streed says.
While the program will be voluntary, the company hopes all of its supply chain will be certified through Milk Matters by 2025.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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