This post contains content sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency and non-GMO ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients.
I love that more and more companies are starting to listen to their consumers and respond to our requests for more transparency and more sustainable products. If you’re like me, you want to know what’s in the food you consume and feed to your family– including whether or not the product contains GMO ingredients. Full disclosure of ingredients will help consumers make more educated choices about the food they purchase and will result in products (like Dannon yogurt!) that contain more natural, non-GMO ingredients.
Dannon recently announced that in response to consumers requesting labeling that is clear and straightforward regarding ingredients, it’s made the Dannon Pledge— aimed at producing yogurt that is made from non-GMO ingredients and making sure that labels are transparent (disclosing any GMO ingredients) by the end of 2017.
Moving Toward Non-GMO ingredients
In response to consumer demand, the company will begin moving towards the use of non-GMO ingredients in Dannon, Oikos and Danimals product lines. Those three lines provide over 50% of Dannon’s sales, so it’s a HUGE step forward!
It’s a fact that most cow feed is sourced from GMO crops, so Dannon is currently working with its feed partners to obtain non-GMO feed and planting non-GMO crops to help fulfill the need. By the end of 2017, all three of the above product lines will be made from non-GMO ingredients (that are more natural and non-synthetic) and with dairy from cows consuming non-GMO feed. Yogurt with fewer and more natural ingredients is exactly what its customers have been asking for!
While the company itself believes that currently approved GMO ingredients are safe, it is responding to more urgent calls from its consumers for non-GMO ingredients. They are hoping that their strong relationships with farmers will help them to make this change faster and let its customers know that they are being heard.
In addition to moving towards non-GMO ingredients and non-GMO feed, Dannon will disclose GMO ingredients on all of its product labels by the end of December 2017. This move will be made regardless of whether or not there is government intervention.
Because Dannon sources all of its dairy from farmers it knows, the company is confident that it will achieve the above objectives by the end of 2017. It’s already been moving forward in the implementation of animal welfare practices using the Validus Certification System. The Validus system consists of interviews with farm owners/managers, on site visits and various assessments of the following:
- Animal handling practices
- Body condition
- Feed and water access and quality
- Herd health
- Animal hygiene
- Special needs management
- Parlor management
- Animal behavior
- Management and employee training
As a Stonyfield blogger, I’m so excited that Dannon (its parent company) is making these huge steps to respond to our requests and give us the more natural and non-GMO products we want for ourselves and our families. My hope is that by Dannon making these changes, other major companies will follow suit.