This post contains content sponsored by The Dannon Company, Inc. The opinions expressed in my post are my own. For more information on Dannon’s move toward sustainable agriculture, naturality and transparency, and nongmo ingredients visit www.dannonpledge.com and www.dannon.com/ingredients.
We’re a household that looks at every ingredient list, and chances are you may be doing the same thing. More and more it’s important to find out what’s in our food and exactly how it’s been made. While not every major brand is going to jump on the bandwagon and tell us where they get everything and how it’s made, there are a few that are. As consumers become more aware of what we’re eating, we’re demanding transparency, healthier options and more natural foods.
Starting this month, Dannon is making a big change in their labeling, how they make their products and how they interact with their customers. They call this the Dannon Pledge, and it will be enacted on their flagship brands like Dannon, Oikos and Danimals. Why is this important? Because, we as consumers demand it and the brands are starting to listen and respond in kind. And that begins with where they get their ingredients. Since most cow feed in the US is genetically modified today, Dannon is also working with feed suppliers to plant non-GMO feed. This means the cows providing the milk for their yogurt will start with a non-GMO feed source and eventually they can certify that the resulting yogurt is made from non-GMO ingredients. These changes will be made by the end of 2017, and all products within the Dannon family brand will be made with non-GMO ingredients once all of their suppliers make the switch to non-GMO feed sources.
Does that mean Dannon doesn’t like GMOs? Not at all. Dannon believes that currently approved GMOs are safe, but they are responding to US consumer demands and trends. The movements towards non-GMO products means that Dannon will be building stronger relationships with the farmers they work with to help create a more natural product for their customers.
With the changes in the ingredients being rolled out over the year and a half, how will we know if the Dannon products contain GMO or non-GMO ingredients? Even with the changes being rolled out over several months, Dannon will be working on label transparency and including all of the information on their ingredients on their packaging. This is all independent of whatever actions are taken by the federal government, who don’t currently require declarations of GMO ingredients on packaging.
But how can Dannon do this? Since Dannon works directly with farms they know, and use the milk from these farms they know exactly what goes into everything they make. Dannon will be the first leading national yogurt brand to embrace this type of labeling practices and switching the feed of their animals. Besides helping to meet the consumer demands switching to better ingredients and transparency of labeling. Dannon is even getting Validus Certified for the farms they’re working with. Validus Certification “is an independent certification company that works with farmers and food companies to ensure food is produced using socially responsible on-farm production practices. Validus uses proprietary assessments and audits to certify products.” Their goal is that by this month, 90% of their milk supply will come from Validus Certified farms.
The changes Dannon is making is huge for the food industry, and more importantly us. While we wont see an immediate change on all of their products being non-GMO, we can already see a change now. Dannon’s transparency on their labels has already started. You can check their Dannon Pledge website to see which of their products already contain non-GMO ingredients. The site also shows you which products will be making the non-GMO ingredient change by the end of the year.
Knowing what is in our food and where it’s from is important and Dannon is making that easier for us. Yogurt is part of our daily routine in our home, and knowing what is in our meals makes life that much easier for me.