Press Release
Danone North America Demonstrates Long-Lasting Commitment to Farmer Partners at Annual Dairy Forum

Sixth annual dairy forum brings together farmer partners and recognizes seven award winners for their contributions in improving agricultural systems for future generations

Danone North America, the country’s leader in the production of dairy and plant-based food & beverages, is proud to recognize the exceptional work of its farmer partners in an award ceremony held during Danone North America’s sixth annual Dairy Forum in San Diego, Calif. This year’s forum takes place Feb. 3-5 and focuses on farming resilience in today’s world and for future generations.

At the award ceremony, Danone North America recognizes select partners for their outstanding work in four key areas: quality, social, economics and nature. The company will also honor farmer partners for their collaboration / relationship, innovation, and a new award for “top line winner of the year.”

The recipients of the awards include:

  • Quality: David R. Yoder

  • Social: MVP – McCarty VanTilburg Partnership

  • Economics: Reyskens Dairy

  • Nature: Fair Hill Farm

  • Collaboration / Relationship: Innovative Food Solutions

  • Innovation: EcoPractices®

  • Top Line: Zimba Dairy

The Dairy Forum brings together more than 100 farmer partners from Danone North America’s network of dairy farmer partners and vendors from across the U.S., with experience in a range of agricultural systems, including organic and conventional agriculture, as well as non-GMO and grass-fed practices. Since 2014, Danone North America has organized the yearly forum with dairy partners and business leaders.

“We are committed to helping our farmer partners strengthen their financial and environmental stability and resiliency, so that we can help to keep farmers farming in the U.S. for many more generations to come,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America. “At this meeting, we are pleased to recognize seven farmer partners, and their families, for their outstanding performance over the last year. Congratulations to all our winners!”

This year’s forum kicks off with a live and unfiltered question and answer session with Lozano, during which he provides attendees with an update surrounding the company’s business plans on the heels of Danone’s 100-year anniversary. Following the business update, attendees can participate in learning sessions on topics important to current and future farmers, including sustainable agriculture, milk quality, farm policy and advocacy, economics and animal welfare.

The agenda also features three keynotes from Dr. Andre Eggen, senior market development manager of agrigenomics at Illumina, Dr. Andrea Fidgett, director of nutritional services at San Diego Zoo Global, and Dr. Karen Christensen, senior director of animal welfare at Tyson Foods. Topics will include a talk on the future of agrigenomics, innovation and sustainability in zoo nutrition and finding success in animal agriculture, respectively.

Focused on enabling the food revolution through regenerative agriculture, the final day of the forum will feature guest speaker Robyn O’Brien, vice president of rePlant Capital, and will be followed by a lively discussion on the importance of embracing change to empower the next generation of farmers. The forum will conclude with a panel presentation featuring farmers, growers and other partners with expertise in different regions across the country.

“We are proud to partner directly with more than 700 family farms, and this annual meeting is another way in which we invest in our farmer relationships over the long term,” added Lozano. “The Dairy Forum gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices around the high-quality milk that our farmers produce, and that we use to make beloved dairy products for many of Danone North America’s brands, including Activia®, DanActive®, Danimals®, Dannon®, Horizon® Organic, Light & Fit®, Oikos®, Two Good™, Wallaby® Organic and YoCrunch®.”

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