What is Material to us?
The largest sustainability-related risk many farmers face today, in a time of volatile milk and feed prices, is to maintain a profitable business.
There are, however, opportunities for our customers to become more cost-efficient and productive and at the same time reduce the footprint of their operations. Animal welfare is an area which provides both opportunities and risks.
Many have identified that the largest environmental impact within the dairy value chain is on the farm.
Whilst identifying which sustainability topics were most important to us, we looked both at our customers' operations as well as our own.
When we do our sustainability analysis, we take into account our Vision, Code of Business Conduct, Environmental Policy, business strategy and sustainability frameworks.
We also consider other stakeholders’ opinions about our and our customers operations and we monitor views continuously through dialogue.We closely follow what scientists, researchers, employees, owners and a number of other groups put forward as important when it comes to dairy farming and to our own operations.
Many have identified that the largest environmental impact within the Dairy Value Chain is on the farm. That is, with our customers’ operations. This means that making improvements here will have the most impact on the environmental sustainability of the whole dairy industry (page 25).
We engage with stakeholders by participating in industry conferences and association meetings, internal and external annual surveys as well as various forms of continuous business intelligence gathering. Our product compliance teams monitor formal product requirements in our markets. To complement what we have already done we are currently engaging directly with a number of stakeholder asking them to aseess with us the importance 17 sustainability topics and a number of related issues.
Material aspect for our customers' operations
We see the following areas as fundamental for our efforts to make sustainable dairy farming possible; animal welfare, environment, social responsibility and not least farm profitability. Within these areas we have identified the following topics to be material:
- Milk quality and food safety
- Conditions for labour and management
- Animal welfare – feeding, calf management
These topics have important consequences for farm profitability as well as resource use and the environmental impact of dairy farming.
Material aspects for our operations
We have identified the following topics to be material in relation to our operations:
- Compliance and impacts of products and services
- Environmental impacts of manufacturing
- Logistical efficiency and environmental impact
- Safe workplace
- Diversity and Equal Opportunity
- Supplier conduct
There are other topics facing dairy farming where we have an indirect involvement. An example is antibiotics use on farms. We work to make the conditions for the animals as good as possible by reducing the risk for disease and as a result the use of antibiotics.