The U.S. Dairy
Stewardship Commitment

Demonstrating U.S. dairy’s positive impact from farm to table.

our pledge

The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment is U.S. dairy’s social responsibility pledge to consumers, customers and other stakeholders. Companies that adopt the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment meet defined criteria for important areas like animal care, the environment and food safety and report on impact in a transparent and meaningful way.


People depend on nutritious foods to support their health and well-being, and we know it's vital to produce food in a responsible way to address the needs of our communities and the planet. The Stewardship Commitment is a demonstration of U.S. dairy’s longstanding values:

Adopting Companies
Supporting Companies

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adoption CRITERIA

Companies that voluntarily adopt the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment agree to follow a rigorous set of standards that demonstrate positive social, economic and environmental impact and contribute to U.S. dairy’s ability to track, aggregate and report on progress.

Businesses that decide to adopt* agree to:

  1. Active membership in the Dairy Sustainability Alliance® and agreement to its terms of membership.
  2. Enrollment in and good standing with the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Animal Care Program™ and/or sourcing 100% of milk from FARM enrolled farms.
  3. Use of Stewardship Commitment Metrics and accompanying measurement tools such as the FARM Environmental Stewardship Sampling Protocol and U.S. Dairy Traceability Guidelines.
  4. Engagement in Innovation Center volunteer opportunities to discuss and inform future indicators, metrics and reporting needs aimed at telling U.S. dairy’s social responsibility story.
  5. Recognition of U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment adoption in dairy company’s sustainability messaging, customer outreach and on website.
  6. Acknowledgement of U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment adoption and agreement with terms through an annual survey.


People have an interest in who grows their food, where it comes from and how it’s made. They look to the entire food chain for these answers. The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment provides a transparent way to demonstrate responsible production practices and continuous improvement efforts across the full value chain.

  • Builds confidence that dairy farmers, and suppliers employ consistent, credible and globally recognized reporting measures.
  • Advances and demonstrates U.S. dairy’s positive impact across important areas like animal care, food safety and the environment.
  • Validates the combined work of U.S. dairy farmers, cooperatives and companies to nourish communities, continuously improve and be socially responsible.
  • Ensures ongoing collaboration with retailers, nonprofits, academia, government and other key stakeholders through the Dairy Sustainability Alliance® to advance sustainable food systems.

join the ALLIANCE

The Innovation Center’s Dairy Sustainability Alliance® facilitates the collaborative, open and transparent process through which the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment is developed. Comprised of over 100-member organizations and more than 350 professionals, Dairy Sustainability Alliance® members convene to share knowledge and collaborate on issues and opportunities to accelerate progress and contribute to the long-term viability of the industry. Members include cooperatives, dairy farmers, government, industry suppliers, processors, retailers, and civil society.

Download Alliance Overview

downloads & RESOURCES

The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment requires a transparent, collaborative and ongoing effort to work toward the benefit of all. This resource has been developed to support companies and suppliers as they work toward adoption and endorsement of the Stewardship Commitment criteria.

Download Commitment

Additional Resources

The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment
Questions and Answers


The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment
Materiality Assessment


The U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment
Metrics at a Glance


FARM Animal Care Reference Manual


FARM Environmental Stewardship User Guide


Dairy Processor Handbook


U.S. Dairy Traceability Guidelines


2018 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Report


Dairy Nourishes America Toolkit


GHG Inventory Guidance
Scope 1 & 2


Scope 3 GHG Inventory Guidance for U.S. Dairy Cooperatives and Processors


Materiality Guide for U.S. Dairy Companies



To learn how your company can formally adopt the Stewardship Commitment please email:

*The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy follows all applicable antitrust regulations. Each company is encouraged to exercise its own independent business judgment regarding whether or not to participate in this initiative and if so how. None of the suggested activities will take any action toward antitrust prohibited subject matters such as pricing, allocation of customers or markets, boycotts, or refusals to deal or any other matter that could be construed as a combination in restraint of trade.

© 2018 Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. All rights reserved.