Canadian dairy farmers are world leaders in producing quality milk. Farmers have long been diligent caretakers of their animals, and they know that healthy, well-cared for animals enjoy a longer life and yield more high-quality milk. For this reason, farm leaders initiated the development of the proAction program to ensure that every Canadian dairy farm had the same quality assurance standard. The proAction initiative documents the farmer’s proactive commitment to high standards and attention to detail.
proAction is a rigorous and credible program that allows farmers to continue to achieve the worldleading standards on food safety, animal care, and traceability. Not only are Canadian dairy farmers committed, with proAction, they also prove they do the right thing every day through procedures, record-keeping, and good management practices. In the past two years, an outstanding 99% of dairy farms have maintained their registration on proAction.
With validations having now covered three modules (food safety, animal care, and traceability), Dairy Farmers of Canada is pleased to share some of the highlights from this first progress report for proAction:
Third- Party Recognition
proAction is recognized by third parties such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for its meticulous and consistent record management and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) for its animal care component. This recognition means that proAction is relevant and meaningful for Canadians.
Spotlight on Animal Care
The Animal Care module serves as an evaluation tool to verify that farms meet or exceed the requirements of the code of practice. The results from the first year of on-farm validations show a high level of compliance with animal care requirements, reassuring our customers about farm practices, including the end of tail-docking and the level of care for animals on Canadian farms.
Continuous Learning and Improvement
Trained independent professionals audit each farm in person at least once every two years, ensuring that farms demonstrate they meet standards every day. Thanks to the measures of proAction, experts will always be able to monitor the progress of the industry over time and continue to implement innovative mechanisms to improve on-farm practices.
The outcomes of the proAction report not only provide sound empirical evidence and research-based approaches that show the effectiveness of the program, but also demonstrate that farmers are committed to improving their farm practices and achieving overall excellence.
Canadian dairy farms continue to increase their efficiency and improve their farm practices, resulting in a lower environmental footprint for a glass of milk. From 2011 to 2016, 7% fewer GHG emissions, 6% less water used, 11% less land used.
In the years to come, DFC will continue to measure and report on the work of Canadian dairy farmers as they implement farm practices that have a proven track record for efficiency and sustainability, and continue to produce the highest quality milk with healthy, well-cared for cows. Through credible metrics and independent validation, proAction shows Canadians how dairy farmers lead the way to meet clearly-defined, world-leading standards to produce safe, high-quality milk. This commitment is part of our pledge to always raise the bar within our industry and deliver quality milk to consumers.
To read the report and to learn more about the proAction program, please visit www.dairyfarmers.ca/proaction