The world is becoming more aware of environmentally sustainable practices and the impact that people and industry have on natural resources. There is a strong move towards supporting transparent and sustainable brands, with scrutiny focused on both product and packaging.
FIRST CHOICE® is one of the most environmentally friendly brands on the market today. The milk of all dairy products, manufactured by Woodlands Dairy, is sourced from free ranging pasture-fed cows (who are also fed supplementary feeds to balance their rations) in the Eastern Cape.
As companies are increasingly being held accountable for the impact of their operations on the environment, Woodlands Dairy’s commitment relates not just to ensuring the safety and quality of their food products, it includes minimizing the impact on the environment. At Woodlands Dairy, the ongoing focus is on the environment, tackling their environmental footprint right through the life cycle of business from “cow to consumer”.
Sustainable dairy farming is important to Woodlands Dairy, since it is at the farms are where the milk production process begins.
To this end, Woodlands Dairy has implemented the Woodlands Dairy Sustainability Project (WDSP) encompassing a partnership with Trace & Save, an independent agricultural sustainability company, and the Woodlands Dairy Milk Standard. The two legs cover monitoring and improvement of soil, water usage, air and nutrient flows with a resultant Carbon footprint determination; as well as milk quality, staff wellbeing and animal wellbeing on the farms. In addition, the programme covers factory monitoring and reduction of emissions, energy usage, water usage and annual determination of a factory Carbon footprint. An annual survey of staff to determine the level of staff engagement with management is also conducted as part of the holistic Woodlands Dairy Sustainability Program.
Woodlands Dairy recently hosted the WDSP Environmental Stewardship Symposium at Mentors Country Estate, Jeffrey’s Bay on 11 August 2016.
Invited were all Woodlands Dairy producer farmers, representatives of the Eastern Cape Department of Water and Sanitation, Stellenbosch University, the Milk Producer’s Organisation (MPO) as well as representatives of the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. A significant internationally recognized invitee was the Word Wild Fund for Nature SA (WWF), represented by Sue Viljoen, who is the Water Stewardship Project Manager for South Africa, based in KZN.