HOW WE DELIVER ON OUR GOALS
On farms, the key to ensuring longevity and continuous improvement and growth lies in practicing sustainable efforts, and constantly researching and re-evaluating best practices that will benefit the environment and the world. One example of these practices is the use of renewable energy methods such as methane digesters that convert animal manure to energy, wind turbines and solar power.
On the road
DFA is responsible for the transportation of more than 3,000 truckloads of milk daily. In an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, haulers in Texas have begun using compressed natural gas, which reduces fuel costs and emits fewer emissions into the environment. In Colorado, DFA is investing in liquid natural gas (LNG) hauling trucks, which are more beneficial for higher weight payloads.
In our plants, efforts are underway to cut down on the amount of resources consumed during the manufacturing process. Some examples include:
- DFA’s Fallon, Nev., plant, which can manufacture up to 250,000 pounds of whole milk powder a day, is focused on strict energy and water conservation efforts throughout the manufacturing process.
- Craigs Station Creamery is a joint venture of eight family-run farms and DFA, that is built on a dairy and powered by energy generated through the farm’s methane digester.
- In October 2015, construction began for the creation of a new state-of-the-art dairy processing plant in Garden City, Kan. A development agreement created by DFA and the city notes that for the plant’s first
20 years of operation, the city will pre-purchase treated wastewater that will be used to irrigate city parks and other areas, which will help the city’s own water conservation efforts.
- DFA’s facility in Middlebury Center, Pa., received a $75,000 Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority grant for energy-saving upgrades, and installed a new burner and heat exchanger on its boiler, which has the ability to capture latent heat from the exhaust stack, reclaiming and recycling the wasted energy by redirecting it to heat water used to create steam.
In DFA facilities, a mindset of continuous improvement is standard. Through ongoing training, conferences and webinars, and plant-specific programs, employees are constantly looking at ways to improve the processes and procedures used to manufacture dairy products.
This mindset is also encouraged on members’ farms through ongoing Gold Standard Dairy assessments
and communication from the Cooperative.
In our processing facilities, a focus on teamwork and collaborative sharing has led to a culture of success that sustains momentum and inspires new ideas. Management and maintenance teams within each plant meet regularly to discuss and share investigations related to improvements that could help operate more efficiently. Those results and discussions are then communicated out to other plants that may be able to implement similar processes.
Our brands are committed to being environmentally conscious, from the trucks used to get raw ingredients to the plant to the packaging used to deliver the final product. Just a few examples of these practices include:
In 2006, Oakhurst Dairy in Portland, Maine, became the first dairy in the industry to convert its delivery fleet to biodiesel fuel.
Water and energy conservation
Throughout our network of plants across the country, conservation programs are saving millions of gallons of water and conserving energy through equipment upgrades and improved efficiency.
Oakhurst Dairy’s headquarters in Portland, Maine, is home to the largest commercial solar thermal system in New England, and DFA’s Craigs Station Creamery in Pavilion, N.Y., is powered utilizing energy generated by a methane digester located on one of the DFA member farms who partners with DFA in the facility.