Good Business Sense: Part of creating an air-tight business model is ensuring market access. Food companies, following consumer preferences, are making sustainability commitments that encourage those within the supply chain to adhere to certain sustainable production and manufacturing practices.
General Mills, makers of Haagen- Dazs ice cream, Yoplait yogurt and many other dairy-laden products created goals around sustainably sourcing raw materials. In 2013 the company committed to sourcing 100% of its raw fluid milk from sustainable sources by 2020. For General Mills, that means environmental stewardship and reducing greenhouse gases. According to the company website, 38% of raw milk is currently sustainably sourced.
For General Mills, sustainability also makes good business sense. “As a food company, we have a vested interest in making sure Mother Nature continues working well,” says Kevin O’Donnell, responsible sourcing director at General Mills. “But there is also a business imperative for us to have healthy, resilient supply chains.”
While consumers have pushed sustainability efforts, the business aspect of sustainability has created broader adoption of sustainable practices. “For all of ag, but especially dairy, sustainability has been a legacy,” says Chad Frahm, senior vice president at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, a checkoff-funded organization.