Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we care about our ice cream from cow to cone. And that means looking after the wellbeing of our dairy farmers, farmworkers, cows, and the environment. After all, you can’t make ice cream without dairy, and you can’t make Ben & Jerry’s without going the extra mile.
Through our Caring Dairy program, we partner with farmers primarily in our home state of Vermont, as well as the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK, to support them in improving their farming practices. Our goal? Thriving farmers and farmworkers, healthy cows, and doing right by the environment.
Supporting farmers is central to the Caring Dairy mission. We’re proud to be the very first dairy buyer to adopt the Milk with Dignity program, an independent farmworker-led human rights standard for working conditions on dairy farms, on farms in the Northeast US. And for farmers’ participation in the Caring Dairy program and Milk with Dignity program, we pay them additional money, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
We’re piloting a dairy standard with Global Animal Partnership (GAP), who assess every farm’s cows to make sure they’re healthy and well cared for. Every farm in the US Caring Dairy program must meet independent, industry-leading, third-party standards to ensure the wellbeing of their herd.
Taking care of the environment is another important part of the Caring Dairy program. The program helps farmers implement regenerative agricultural practices — an approach to farming that builds healthy ecosystems. In fact, we were one of the first dairy programs to incorporate sustainability into our standards and we are going even further now by promoting regenerative agriculture. Here in the US, we work with agricultural scientists at the University of Vermont and other local universities, along with our Caring Dairy farmers to make measurable progress in building soil health, which is critical for water quality and biodiversity.