Sustainability is gaining more and more importance in the production, processing and marketing of food, at national and international level. This also applies to the German dairy industry and its international competitiveness.
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a specific requirement for the production, processing and marketing of food. Internationally and nationally, consumers, society, food retailers and food companies want to know from the German dairy industry: how sustainable is your milk produced? However, the integration of dairy farms in (dairy processor-specific) sustainability concepts poses particular challenges: on the one hand, a large number of dairy farms, some with very different production conditions, must be taken into account. On the other hand, a very broad range of sustainability aspects covering the fields of economy, ecology, social issues and animal welfare have to be recorded on dairy farm level.
Against this background an initial concept for a so-called “Dairy Sustainability Tool” was developed by the Thünen Institute of Farm Economics together with the QM Milch e. V., the project office Land und Markt and different actors in the dairy industry, building on two previous sustainability projects in Lower-Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The tool consists of a questionnaire for measuring 84 sustainability criteria, factsheets with explanations (background and status-quo) of every sustainability criteria and their respective ratings, a web-based questionnaire and a database. The “Dairy Sustainability Tool” serves as a basic tool for an initial illustration of sustainability aspects on dairy farm level. It can be seen as a starting point to create awareness for a more sustainable development among a large number of dairy farms and as an instrument for a continuous learning and development process.
The overall objective of the project was to put the “Dairy Sustainability Tool” in practice on a large scale for the first time, to check its feasibility and recognition at all stages of the value chain, and furthermore to develop the tool based on the knowledge gained. As a result there should be an outwardly transparent industry solution for the sustainable development of dairy production in Germany, which is suitable for a wider successful dissemination.
The project was carried out in cooperation with QM-Milch e. V. and the project office Land und Markt. The Landeskontrollverband North Rhine-Westphalia (database) was also involved. 34 dairy processors varying in size and orientation and one milk producer organisation were participating in the pilot project.
Project activities included:
The data were collected by means of a written (online-based) questionnaire. The evaluation of the data for the dairy processors was mainly descriptive. Multivariate statistical methods were also used for the in-depth scientific analyses. We also applied qualitative methods (group discussions, expert discussions) as part of the evaluation and stakeholder analysis.
4.2017 - 8.2020
Project funding number: 2819108316
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: finished
Results 11 - 20 of 20
Results 11 - 20 of 20