Dannon Announces Breakthrough Sweeping Commitment for Sustainable Agriculture, More Natural Ingredients and Greater Transparency

Innovative Pledge redefines how the company works with dairy farmers
to change its business and farming practices

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The nation’s leading yogurt maker, Dannon, today announced a pledge to
its farmers, retail customers and consumers to further improve
sustainable agriculture practices for its milk supply, to increase
transparency for its portfolio of products and evolve to more natural
and fewer ingredients for flagship brands.

Dannon’s Pledge key components:

  • Dannon commits to offer products coming from a more sustainable
    agriculture by working with its dairy farmer partners and their
    to progressively implement the use of sustainable
    agriculture practices and technology
    that leads to better soil
    health, better water management, an increase in biodiversity, and a
    decrease in carbon emission.
  • Dannon commits to bring all products from three flagship brands
    (Dannon®, Oikos® and Danimals®)
    towards the use of fewer and
    more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and non-GMO
    Importantly, Dannon also commits that for these brands the feed of
    its farmers’ cows will be non-GMO
    , within a transition period of 3
    years. The ambition is to evolve the remaining brands over time.
  • To ensure full transparency for consumers, Dannon also commits to declare
    by December 2017 nationwide on label the presence of GMO ingredients
    in its products
    . In the meantime, if one state implements a GMO
    labeling requirement, since Dannon favors a nationwide labeling
    system, it will label the presence of GMOs nationwide according to the
    state requirements.

The first impact of these changes will be visible starting July 2016,
when the company will move to more natural ingredients which do not
contain genetically modified ingredients for its flagship brands Oikos,
Danimals and Dannon. These brands represent 50 percent of the company’s
current volume. For the company’s foundation ingredient – milk – Dannon
is going one big step further. Starting in 2017 and completing the
transformation by the end of 2018, Dannon will work with its farmer
partners to ensure that the cows that supply Dannon’s milk for these
flagship products will be fed non-GMO feed, a first for a leading
non-organic yogurt maker. To further improve transparency, by December
2017, Dannon’s labels will note the presence of GMO ingredients in all
products in which such ingredients remain. Looking further into the
future, Dannon’s ambition is to also evolve the other brands in its
portfolio, beyond Dannon, Oikos and Danimals, over time.

The changes will enable consumers to make everyday choices for
themselves, their family and children consistent with their wish for
natural and sustainable eating options, choosing which agricultural and
environmental model they favor.

The broad pledge started with the relationships the company has forged
with its dairy farmers. Dannon began to evolve its milk supply model in
2010 to work directly with the farms that provide its milk. “We created
a new way to work with dairy farmers to improve our shared
sustainability priorities,” said Mariano Lozano, President and CEO of
The Dannon Company. “Our ambition is to produce healthy food that is
affordable, creates economic and social value and nurtures natural
ecosystems through sustainable agriculture. Although our journey is
independent from that of our organic sister companies, we have learned a
lot from and are inspired by Stonyfield and Happy Family.”

As expressed in the company’s pledge, Dannon’s priorities for
agriculture focus on soil, water, biodiversity, carbon and energy, and
animal welfare. Dannon has already started work on the first phase of
its commitment by encouraging practices, such as rotating crops,
managing fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide application in the
production of feed for a portion of the cows providing the company’s
milk supply.

“Dannon’s pledge to use more sustainable agricultural practices with
their producer-partners will drive innovation and improvements and
represents a bold and important step toward greater transparency,” said
Dr. Molly Jahn, Agronomy Professor at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison and former Deputy Under Secretary of Research,
Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Dannon’s
leadership in sustainability sets an ambitious benchmark for other dairy

Ken McCarty of McCarty Family Farms, which has been a farmer partner to
Dannon since 2011, added, “We’re proud of the partnership we have with
Dannon. It’s uncommon in the dairy industry to have such a close working
relationship with a milk buyer. Not only does it give us reliability in
the market, it gives us reliability for our families and our community.
And it encourages all of Dannon’s farmer partners to convert to
practices that better serve our natural resources and environment.”

Recognizing the importance of the pledge, Dannon is inviting others to
join them in support of the pledge. To learn more about the pledge,
visit www.DannonPledge.com.

“It’s our mission to bring health through food to as many people as
possible,” said Lozano. “And it’s our passion to help people enjoy the
benefits of yogurt every day in a sustainable way. While this commitment
is ambitious, we believe it’s necessary to continue to serve Americans
using a sustainable and transparent model.”

About The Dannon Company

Headquartered in White Plains, New York, Dannon makes yogurt in Minster,
OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR, and offers more
than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated
and frozen dairy products to serve the diverse needs of its retail and
foodservice customers. Dannon brings health through food to as many
people as possible via its wide offering of delicious and nutritious
fresh and frozen yogurts. Dannon is committed to encouraging Americans
to eat one yogurt every day with a convenient, popular and nutrient
dense food as a simple step that can help Americans achieve healthy
dietary patterns.

Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Danone is the top-selling brand of
yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. For more
information, visit dannon.com.


Erin Dupree, 917-344-4624