Dairy Processing and Equipment / Equipment / Operations
Smart trucking

Foremost Farms USA stays competitive with sustainable shipping practices

A company executive says 'we needed to curtail our diesel usage but then came the million-dollar question—how?'

By Alex Macdonald, Foremost Farms USA

Foremost Farms USA SmartWayAs a dairy cooperative owned by nearly 2,000 dairy producers in the Upper Midwest, Foremost Farms USA understands that great partnerships make great cheese along with other wholesome, value-added dairy products.

Like successful companies everywhere, Foremost Farms is focused on delivering top quality goods while operating lean and mean. So we look for opportunities to improve efficiency, profitability, market share and performance. What might be less apparent is that being “green” can result in not just more sustainable practices, but a more sustainable bank account.

At Foremost Farms, we’ve extended our partnership model to collaborate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its SmartWay Transport Partnership. This partnership helps us identify ways to be socially responsible and sustainable while benefitting our bottom line.

Together, our dairy producers pool their resources to make investments in the cooperative’s manufacturing and marketing capabilities that will pay off in better products, satisfied customers and solid returns through the equity they build through their membership.

We operate 14 processing plants that take in milk to produce cheese and further process the whey, which is a by-product of cheesemaking. We also deliver milk to bottling facilities to create other dairy products. In addition, we ship from farm to plant 300 loads of milk a day or about 360 million pounds every month from our producer farms to our manufacturing facilities.

With the amount of shipping our company does, minimizing fuel usage became a priority. It became clear that we needed to make some changes.

We began researching innovative ways to use less fuel. What practices could we implement that might help us save? What fuel saving technologies would be most beneficial? How could we become more sustainable without it adversely impacting our bottom line?

We began reviewing our overall energy usage and fuel consumption and quickly noticed how much our freight costs were affected by the rising cost of fuel.

Clearly we needed to curtail our diesel usage, which would not only help us cut costs, but also provide a bonus of being more sustainable. But then came the million-dollar question—how could we do that?

Why Partner with SmartWay?
In our research, we discovered EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. SmartWay offers smart strategies that help companies reduce and benchmark fuel consumption. With this program, EPA collaborates with the transportation supply chain industry to voluntarily improve fuel efficiency and also reduce the environmental impacts from freight transport.

SmartWay offers partners such as Foremost Farms easy tools to benchmark, monitor, and track performance on freight, and in particular, the miles and therefore the carbon footprint that results from fuel usage in our transportation network. The tools we have access to as a SmartWay partner also help us review how well our cost-cutting and sustainability efforts are working. As a benefit of the partnership, EPA offers reports that we can generate as part of our social responsibility metrics we report out to the industry.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Dairy Foods Magazine. 
You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, Ohio

Velvet Ice Cream built its reputation on making premium products that adhere to the standard of identity for ice cream. Its lines consist of premium, all natural, churned (low-fat), no sugar added, novelties, sherbet (in cups and in push-up tubes) and a controlled ice cream brand for grocery store customers.


This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

11/18/14 2:00 pm EST

Harness Your Product Inspection Program to Save Money, Ensure Quality and Drive Efficiencies

Consolidation in the dairy industry is raising the bar on innovation and driving efficiencies to ensure competitiveness. One area often overlooked is the role that the right product inspection program can play in supporting the organization’s overall business goals and protecting brand reputation. Drawing on best practices in metal detection, X-ray inspection and checkweighing, this session will cover criteria to help determine the right technologies to employ for a given product and packaging type for high-value, perishable dairy products.

Dairy Foods Magazine

dairy foods october

2014 October

A look inside 100-year-old Velvet Ice Cream; Plus we look at four cheese processors with award-winning artisan and farmstead cheeses.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Cheese Flavors

What’s your favorite flavor to eat in cheese?
View Results Poll Archive


Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube logo 40px 2-12-13  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13google plus

Dairy Foods Buyers Guide

cover df july 2013Resource for buyers in the dairy processing industry to find information on the leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Find Ingredients, Equipment, Distribution, R&D and More.

Start Your Search Today.