Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF), Belgium, launched five further global indicators for public reporting of the industry’s progress under its 11 sustainability criteria.

Members of the DSF, representing over 31% of global milk production, endorse the 11 Criteria, then prioritize these based on their own region’s challenges, and finally, identify through a robust materiality analysis. Each criteria has its own strategic intent – the dairy sector’s aspirational improvement goal – and sustainability target, and timeline-based initiatives are developed by the membership to work toward these goals at a regional, national and local level.

In addition to the individual member programs, the DSF worked with scientists from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark., members and wider stakeholder groups, including a public consultation to identify high-level Indicator metrics for the criteria—soil (quality and retention, soil nutrients, water), availability and quality, biodiversity and working conditions.

By establishing and tracking the indicator metrics for each criteria, the DSF will report aggregate continuous improvement performance of the global dairy sector.

“Consumers want to know that their food has been produced in a sustainable and responsible way. Reporting on these indicators will allow the dairy sector to monitor and report its performance, as producers of high-quality and sustainable nutrition that deliver the essentials for a better life,” says Donald Moore, chairman of DSF.

Work is now underway to calculate the baseline against, which the annual reporting will be benchmarked. Completion is scheduled for the end of the year.