As a global leader in dairy processing, milk is our primary ingredient and we care deeply about the way it is produced. For us, high-quality dairy products begin with high-quality milk from healthy and well-cared for animals. It is the reason we support initiatives and programs that promote communication, awareness and training opportunities for dairy production welfare issues.
One such initiative took place between September and November 2017 in three locations in Argentina: Colonia Vignaud, San Guillermo and La Paquita. Together with our primary production teams at Saputo Rafaela and Saputo Tio Pujio as well as APROCAL, a nationally recognized leader in milk quality, we organized several training workshops in dairy cooperatives, agricultural college, and other individual operations.
The workshops leveraged recognized standards to educate dairy farmers on ways to mitigate pain during disbudding. We also highlighted the benefits of implementing these standards not just for animals, but also for the businesses of attendees; for dairy farmers, these standards can lead to positive outcomes such as increased profitability, greater efficiency, and a higher quality end product. We succeeded in recruiting over 400 participants including farm owners, students, operators, and professionals in the field. One workshop in particular was attended exclusively by students from an agro-technical school, where most participants were children of dairy farmers and operators from the surrounding areas. As future dairy producers, these youth are key to the promotion and evolution of good practices in the field.
As a testament to the value derived from the workshops, several dairy farm owners have made requests for new workshops on their farms, so that the same training and education can be provided directly to their operators – thus helping to further promote best practices.
We are proud of the steps we have taken to promote recognized standards of animal care throughout our supply chain, and will continue seeking opportunities to equip our current and next generation suppliers with the knowledge they need to create a healthier future for their animals as well as their dairy farming business.