# 6, April 2015
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Message from the Chairman

Welcome to the new look newsletter from the Dairy Sustainability Framework. In this issue we talk to members Dairy Farmers of Canada on what sustainability means to their business. We've been travelling again and we're reporting in from China and the US. 

We're calling on all our members to send in their annual reports, so be prepared! And, finally, we're now on Twitter! Read on to find out more.

Donald Moore

Member profile

Continuing our series of profiles of DSF members, we talk to Karen Clark, Assistant Director, Policy and Sustainable Development at Dairy Farmers of Canada.

What does sustainability mean to your business?

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is the voice for all farmers on Canada’s 12,000 dairy farms.  DFC recognizes that every farm is unique, but that farmers have a vision for the long-term, to see their farms thrive for many generations to come.

DFC was keen to undertake an environmental and socio-economic lifecycle analysis in 2012. The LCA highlighted the strong environmental performance of Canadian dairy farms, the commitment of dairy farmers within their communities, and their excellent care of their employees and their animals.  DFC is also pleased to recognize the initiatives and innovation of dairy farmers with the annual Dairy Farm Sustainability Award.  (See a video of our 2014 winner here).

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DSF Membership - Annual Reporting



The Secretariat has been emailing all those members asking for the information they committed to supply when they joined. For the first year, this includes:

  • Establishing appropriate governance for the ‘delivery’ of the DSF within the organization
  • Prioritizing the 11 Criteria & Strategic Intents for the local region
  • Providing basic company and existing scheme information to the DSF including existing sustainability efforts

Emails have also be sent to those members who have not yet completed their Initial Information Form with a deadline of 30th April to send in all the required data. 

2nd Annual Meeting of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership (LEAP)

This was held in Rome on April 23rd and the DSF was represented by Brian Lindsay who ensured the delegates from all sides of the Globe had the opportunity to hear of the good work being undertaken by members of the DSF. It was encouraging to hear the discussions at this meeting that echoed the key principles of of the DSF:

  • Continuous Improvement
  • Local solutions to local challenges
  • Sustainability is a journey and all are starting at different points
  • Regardless of where livestock production is taking place, there is still place for improved sustainability performance
  • You cannot manage what you are not measuring
  • Collaboration is key to success of the sustainability performance of livestock sectors.

At this meeting, the multi-stakeholder Technical Advisory Groups shared with delegates the work they had undertaken over the past year on GHG methodologies.The key goal of the work was to harmonise GHG calculation methodologies for the livestock sectors.

Importantly, as stated by the FAO’s Henning Steinfeld that to address global development issues, livestock must be involved and the focus needs to be on continuous improvement.

It was also rewarding to hear that the Large Ruminants Group had adopted the IDF methodology (for the GHG emissions) that has already been approved by the sector and will be released in May this year.

The DSF wants to draw to the attention of the livestock sector globally two key documents that were released at this meeting for Public Review.  We encourage you to consider both and feed directly back into the FAO with your comments.

Using the link below ther is one document we encourage you to consider:


Environmental Performance of Large Ruminant Supply Chains

In addition to the other documents that you may also find on this site, we also encourage you to consider the document:

Environmental Performance of Animal Feeds Supply Chains

This is an important document as approximately 45% of livestock GHG emissions emanate from feed production and delivery to the animal.

Linked to this document is a calculation tool that has recently been developed and the FAO is also seeking feedback from a content and usability perspective.


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DSF shared with industry leaders

In March, we had the opportunity to share the DSF approach with a wide range of dairy industry leaders at meetings in Shanghai and Chicago. This was an excellent opportunity to challenge the DFS approach through interactive breakout sessions to ensure that the DSF evolves in a manner that both supports the sector in its sustainability journey as well as demonstrates the progress made.

Sharing the DSF model in the different geographies reinforced the power of the flexible approach applied by the Framework as each region had quite unique sustainability challenges and needs. For example, in China, the dairy sector's highest priority is in the Product Safety and Quality criteria and in Japan their criteria, Rural Economies, features highly as succession of new dairy farmers is a major concern. The delivery of local solutions to local challenges, whilst still operating under the global dairy sustainability vision is so much more meaningful to those involved in the ownership and delivery of mitigating initiatives and as a result an increased chance of success.

And finally...

The DSF is now on Twitter! Follow us @GDAA_DSF and join in the conversation using #dairysustainability...

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