Dairy Crest - Responsible Dairy Farming Programme

Jaguar Land Rover Marketplace Sustainability Leadership Award, Winner 2013

Dairy Crest is the first milk provider to provide a more transparent payment method to farmers and as of 2012 the average amount of land on their dairy farms given over to wildlife is 25%.

Business benefits

  • Dairy Crest became the first milk processor to offer a new, more transparent method of paying farmers.
  • 79% of Dairy Crest milk is from farmers who have direct supply contacts with the company. Up from 74% in 2010

Supplier and societal benefits

  • On-farm greenhouse gases can now be measured and reduced with the creation of a carbon toolkit endorsed by the Carbon Trust
  • On-farm water usage can now be accurately measured through the WaterWell programme
  • Wildlife on dairy farms has increased by 19%

Dairy CrestDairy Crest is playing an active role in tackling climate change, looking after our natural resources and helping to ensure a sustainable dairy sector.  

The economic and environmental sustainability of the dairy farmers who supply milk to us is very important. Without them we would not have a business.

- Mark Allen,
Chief Executive, Dairy Crest
It’s working to help farmers maintain and increase biodiversity on their farms, make the best possible use of water and help them reduce their greenhouse gases while helping them reduce their cost base.

An economically-viable dairy sector is also a priority. The company is committed to only buying fresh British milk, funding scholarships, paying farmers a fair market-led price and investing in helping smaller dairy farms become more economically viable.

Dairy Crest has invested in creating a bespoke carbon footprint toolkit for farmers, which was certified by the Carbon Trust (PAS 2050). The toolkit has been rolled out across the company’s dairy farms and it has been adopted by three major retailers (Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S).

Working with Reading University and M&S, Dairy Crest supports research into different types of animal feed in an attempt to reduce the amount of methane cows produce.

Working with Waitrose, the AB Sustain and up to 60 dairy farmers, Dairy Crest has also helped set up and fund an extensive biodiversity programme through which dairy farmers are paid to leave at least 10% of their land free for wildlife to flourish. As of 2012, the average amount of land given over to wildlife is about 25%.

Dr Ralf Speth, CEO Jaguar Land Rover, who presented the award to Dairy Crest, said: “They won this Award because their vision for sustainability is so clearly core to the business strategy and driven right through their senior team. The programme is holistic and looks at all key issues. Judges were inspired by the huge scale and impact of the programme and how intelligently it manages the complete system – from the cow to the customer! The judges saw Dairy Crest as a role model for how businesses should engage their value chain and it was felt that all agricultural businesses can learn from this example as well as retailers.”

Visit Dairy Crest's website.