Consumer expectations of the food industry are changing with an increasing focus on the environmental impact of food production.
Recent research from a cross-RDC Community Trust Project showed environmental responsibility was identified as one of the top three drivers of consumer trust in agriculture.
Dairy Australia's research shows that despite consumers having a growing level of trust in the dairy industry since 2018 - at 74 per cent in 2020 - only 56pc of consumers agree that dairy foods are produced in a manner that does not harm the environment.
The Australian dairy industry has an important story to tell when it comes to the environment.
As detailed in the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework we remain committed to reducing our environmental impact, along with our other sustainability commitments around providing the best care for animals, improving the health and nutrition of people and enhancing the welfare of workers, including farmers.
In 2019, Dairy Australia launched the Dairy Matters campaign to share our commitments and provide consumers with transparent and credible information about our product and industry practices. Through a 'Dairy Manifesto', farmers shared what matters to the Australian dairy industry; the health of our animals, protecting our land, and producing high quality products that contribute to a healthy Australia.
The next phase of the Dairy Matters Campaign is building on the manifesto with a greater emphasis on the environment.
Research was undertaken to identify and prioritise the topics and messages that best connect with consumers and drive trust with regards to the environment.
Out of this research, four priority focus areas emerged:
- Environmental packaging
- Water conservation
- Reduction of emissions
The first phase of activity for this campaign was launched in November 2020 focusing on communicating our environmental commitments and goals, along with specific and tangible demonstration of action through farmer and processor case-studies.
These will be communicated through credible media partners as well as public relations to drive media coverage and social content to amplify the messages.
Through Dairy Australia's Farmer Ambassador Program, farmers will be given opportunities to tell their story in the channels that matter to consumers.
One of these farmers is Brodie Game from Bemboka near Bega in NSW, who said this is was a chance to get the facts out there.
"With the support of the Dairy Australia team, we can build trust in the community that we are doing the right thing and they can feel good about buying the products we produce," she said.
"If you've got a story about the environmental initiatives on your farm, don't be shy in coming forward and talking to Dairy Australia - they're eager to hear from you."
The campaign will run until February 2021.
For more information please visit dairy.com.au/environment.
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