It seems unfathomable that any group, company, corporation or government would take the stance that we don’t have the right to know something as personal and as basic as where our food comes from and the method by which it came to us. Yet in today’s marketplace this is actually a fight we moms have had to take on. It has become a struggle for consumers to be able to ascertain if their food has been genetically modified. Most of the world requires GMO labeling to give people the right to know what they buy. Since food is one of those basic needs we have as human beings there should be no mystery surrounding it. Transparency seems like a reasonable request right?
There are many who do not want GMO labeling and transparency. In fact we keep hearing about legislation that which will make it harder for consumers to get the transparent labeling they deserve.
The good news though is that consumers are getting savvy. They are demanding truth in labeling and transparency about ingredients and practices. This trend has gained more and more steam. The result is that brands have started to take notice and realize they need rethink their current practices.Smart companies are realing they don’t want to be on the wrong side of this issue.
One such company that deserves kudos for pioneering the way and for moving towards transparency when legislation is finding they don’t have to, is Dannon. It’s a move toward doing the right thing for the consumer. Dannon is moving some of their best selling brands toward non-GMO ingredients and going beyond that to develop a supply of non GMO feed for their cows. Dannon is the first national yogurt company to do that.
Not only are they moving towards non GMO products they are being transparent with their labeling. By the end of 2017, Dannon will clearly label its products that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Dannon moves toward non-GMO ingredients
To provide consumers a choice of more natural products, Dannon is pledging to evolve all products from three of their most popular brands – Dannon, Oikos and Danimals – toward the use of non-GMO. This is actually a rather large step in the right direction because these three flagship products represent approximately 50% of Dannon sales. They are taking half their business and changing it for the benefit of consumers right to know!
Because most feed used to feed dairy cows in the US is genetically modified today, they are working with feed suppliers and farm partners to start planting non GMO feed as soon as possible to fulfill future needs. Once these changes are implemented, the products from these three brand families will contain milk from cows fed only nonGMO feed. By the end of 2017 all products within the Dannon brand family will be made with nonGMO ingredients and they will have completed the full conversion of cow feed for these products.
This truly amazing when you consider that Dannon’s perspective on GMOs is that those currently approved are safe. Regardless of their stance though they know full well that there is a growing consumer preference and demand for non GMO ingredients in the US and they can leverage the strong relationships they have with their farmer partners to move faster to provide products that address this consumer demand. This is a big win for the company as they rise to a marketplace challenge to meet consumer demand and this is a big win for the consumer because our voices have been heard and a large company like Dannon is answering.
Dannons Leads the Way With Label Transparency
To further provide transparency about all their products, they have committed to declare the presence of GMO ingredients in their products, on their labels, by December 2017, independent of whatever actions are taken by the federal government. They will become the first of the leading national yogurt makers to embrace this practice.
They are also quite far along in implementing animal welfare practices at their farmer partners’ operations via the Validus Certification system. They are confident that by July 2016, more than 90% of their direct milk supply will come from farms that are Validus Certified.
Why This Development is So Important
As a consumer I want to know what is in my food and the food I feed my family. I want to know where it came from and how it was raised or grown. I want the decision to consume genetically modified foods to be MY choice and not that of government or a corporation who feels that choice should be theirs. Any company who decides to be bring the decision to me and be transparent when they don’t legally have to be…deserves my support. They are making the ethical choice in an ethically ambiguous marketplace.
This post is written in association with 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 nongmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients.
Sunday, July 10th, 2016