On September 1, 2017, the next phase of Canadian dairy's sustainability initiative officially began.
Dairy farmers are now required to keep additional records about the care and traceability of their animals on the farm, as part of the proAction initiative.
"We have long been sustainable in our farming practices and are very passionate about what we do," said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC). "Our respect for resources, animals and the environment are the reasons the sector is sustainable today. We intend to move forward, building on our strengths, to be sustainable tomorrow."
The proAction initiative documents credible metrics and independently validates each farm to prove to customers that farmers do things right. Holstein Canada has already conducted cattle assessments on over 20% of farms, one of the steps of the new Animal Care module, which is based on the requirements of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. By September 2019, all farms will have undergone this official independent assessment, a validation and have record-keeping, on top of good management practices they already employ.
"As dairy farmers, we are very proud to collectively demonstrate responsible stewardship of our animals and land, sustainably producing milk and meat that are high quality, safe, and nutritious," commented David Wiens, DFC vice-president and chair of the proAction committee.
DFC says the ability to trace their animals and whereabouts is key to maintaining the confidence of Canadians in the dairy sector.