The Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF) said it launched five further global indicators for public reporting of the industry’s progress under its 11 sustainability criteria. Members of the DSF, representing more than 31% of global milk production, endorse the 11 criteria and prioritize them based on their own region’s challenges, identified through a robust materiality analysis.

Each criterion 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. Annual reporting of progress is a commitment of membership, DSF stated.

In addition to the individual member programs, DSF said it worked with scientists from the University of Arkansas, members and wider stakeholder groups (including a public consultation) to identify high-level indicator metrics for the criteria: Soil – Quality & Retention, Soil Nutrients, Water – Availability & Quality, Biodiversity and Working Conditions. These new metrics join those for Animal Care and GHG Emissions, launched in 2016.

By establishing and tracking the indicator metrics for each criterion, DSF will be able to 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,” said Donald Moore, chairman of DSF. “Reporting on these indicators will allow the dairy sector to monitor and report its performance as producers of high-quality and sustainable nutrition that delivers the essentials for a better life.”

Work is now underway, for completion by the end of the year, to calculate the baseline against which the annual reporting will be benchmarked. In addition, four remaining indicators (Product Safety & Quality, Market Development, Rural Economies and Waste) will be developed through a multi-stakeholder approach, starting in January 2018, DSF said.