June 1, 2015
We believe that wonderful ice cream can’t be made with just any milk. It’s got to be great milk. And great milk is defined not only by its taste, but also by where it comes from and how it affects the lives of everyone involved in the process of making it. That includes the dairy farmers and, you guessed it, the cows!
Ben & Jerry’s Caring Dairy™ program works with a dedicated group of family-operated dairy farms (over 350 farms in the U.S. and Europe) in their quest for a healthier connection between the land, the animals and the people who care for them.
1. The Land
Imagine sprinkling the nuts on top of a sundae before filling the dish with ice cream – that wouldn’t work very well, would it? Well, to understand the makings of a top-class dairy farm, you've literally got to start from the ground up. Happy cows need healthy land to call home. And that means every Caring Dairy™ farm puts a whole lot of love into soil health, soil loss management, nutrients, pest management, energy usage, biodiversity and a whole heap of other factors to improve the health of the land.
2. The Animals
We really mean it when we say that our milk comes from “happy cows,” so we collaborate with each and every Caring Dairy™ farmer to create a unique plan that meets their cows' needs. Some cow moods are easy to spot (cows can actually jump for joy, really!) but many bovine needs require careful management and a close eye. Whether it’s keeping facilities clean, hand-feeding a calf or observing a cow’s gait (a.k.a. locomotion), cows respond to quality care just like every other creature on Earth.
3. The People
Last but not least, you can’t get happy cows without happy farmers. We help Caring Dairy™ farmers take a fresh look at their farm financials, work-life balance, farm safety, community involvement, and many other factors influencing quality of life on the farm and beyond. As we like to say… Happy Cows, Happy Farmers, Happy Planet … because that’s the milk we’re made of.