Dannon announced May 22 that McCarty Family Farms, one of the dairy farms that provides milk used to make the Dannon portfolio of brands and products, has become the first dairy to successfully complete all four audit areas of Validus certification: animal welfare, environmental, on-farm security and worker care. McCarty Family Farms is a fourth-generation producer that operates dairy farms in western Kansas and Nebraska.
“We are proud of this accomplishment and of the teams that worked long and hard to achieve all four certifications,” said Ken McCarty, co-owner of McCarty Family Farms. “We believe this brings value to the Dannon products that are made with our milk. We truly believe that, together, we can change the world for the better and this is a step towards that.”
Validus is an independent certification company that works with farmers and food companies to ensure that food is produced using socially responsible, on-farm production practices. Validus uses proprietary assessments and audits to certify products. In each of the four areas, farmers must meet strict guidelines set for that certification, which is given only after extensive on-site audits. More information about Validus certification is available here.
“We are committed to supporting the sustainability, independence and growth of the dairy farmers that supply the milk used in our products,” said Marc De Schutter, head of procurement for DanoneWave, the newly formed company that combined Danone’s dairy business in North America with WhiteWave Foods. “For the past five years, we have worked to build new ways of working with dairy farmers who provide the milk for the Dannon family of brands.”
As part of the Dannon Pledge, which was announced one year ago, farmers working with Dannon are required to obtain independent validation of on-farm animal welfare practices via Validus. More than 90% of Dannon’s farmer partners have already undergone their first review with Validus.