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Caring for our communities

We create positive social impact and shared value while making sustainable dairy the norm.

Through our work, we also contribute to social development and count on the commitment of our suppliers and partners every day – from the farmers who supply our milk to our trading partners to the communities where our farms are located. Only by working together will we be able to create long-term added value and successfully develop our business in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

In rural regions, in particular, we directly and indirectly create substantial added value and support our milk suppliers in a variety of ways to produce more sustainably. We also ensure that all of our procurement is conducted in accordance with ethical principles and that human and animal rights are respected throughout our supply chain. Specific initiatives and partnerships, such as with WWF Switzerland, round off our social commitment as a primary provider of safe, high-quality and nutritious dairy products to millions of people. 

Naturally, our vision of sustainable milk production also includes environmental aspects. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from milk production, we have therefore set ourselves the target of reducing emissions from milk production by 25% per kg of milk as part of our environmental field of action.

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Emmi methodology sustainable milk
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Our 2027 target

We will process 100% sustainable milk worldwide 


We strive to stand for products made from sustainable milk – worldwide. To reach this target, all milk suppliers must meet regionally above-average standards by 2027. We evaluate this using a scientifically based list of criteria. In our domestic market of Switzerland, where sustainability has long been an important differentiator compared to milk products from other countries, we are committed to further developing the ‘swissmilk green’ industry standard.

 

> Support for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We are a pioneer of the sustainability standard ‘swissmilk green’. As early as 2016, we set ourselves the goal of only processing sustainably produced cow’s milk in Switzerland. Our efforts contributed to the launch of the joint ‘swissmilk green’ standard by the Swiss dairy industry in September 2019, which incorporated a large number of our considerations. Swiss dairy farmers must meet ten basic and two additional requirements. 

Today, 94% of the approximately 900 million kilograms of milk processed by us in Switzerland every year already meet the standard. Almost all dairy farmer and supplier that we use produce in accordance with the standard, thereby helping to ensure that Swiss dairy products are ahead of the field, particularly in terms of sustainability. At present, we are working with stakeholders in the industry to refine the standard, primarily regarding the climate, biodiversity and animal welfare. In 2022, we also launched the KlimaStaR Milk project to enhance climate protection and resource efficiency in Swiss milk production. Now that the greenhouse gas baseline has risen, reduction measures are currently getting underway, as well as in-depth analyses on food-feed competition.

To further improve animal welfare, environmental protection and prospects for farmers, we are extending our work beyond Switzerland. Based on a list of criteria developed with experts, we assess the initial situation: how sustainably are the milk suppliers in our subsidiaries producing, and how do they compare with the regional average? On this basis, we are setting targets for improvements to be achieved by 2027. For instance, we drew up a sustainability analysis with Quillayes Surlat in 2022 and developed targets for animal welfare, antibiotics and waste in alignment with this.

If there is no quantitative baseline available, companies have qualitative targets. For instance, Emmi Roth (USA) is now including sustainability criteria in its tender for milk cooperatives and Laticínios Porto Alegre (Brazil) is supporting an internal sustainability standard, with around 10% of its milk suppliers producing their milk in-line with this at present. Locally initiated programmes also support prospects for farmers. For example, in Tunisia, where the foundation initiated by Vitalait advises more than 1,800 farmers on a variety of topics, including feeding, keeping cows, careful management of the soil and economical use of water. This commitment is to be expanded further with the support of Swiss official development assistance.

Stories

> Target achievement as of 31.12.2022

 

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Our farmer ambassadors

Trust, being close to the origin and quality awareness characterise the long-lasting partnership with our dairy farmers.

Our projects

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Stories How Emmi Farmer Ambassador Dominique Schmid reconciles agriculture and sustainability

#Sustainability - 19. January 2024 | Dominique Schmid invests a lot of work into his farm with around 80 cows – so much, in fact, that office work sometimes has to wait. Forage production, breeding, fattening calves, owning a farm shop and paying particular attention to the correct use of resources demand quite a lot from the milk producer. Even in winter, there is a lot to do with animal care and breeding.

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Stories “My father always said that because he only had daughters, his business would probably not be continued one day.”

#Sustainability - 16 June 2023 | Ruth Hänni-Imboden is proud of her dairy farm, which boasts 25 cows. Especially because her father, who has now passed away, did not expect one of his daughters to actually decide to continue running the family farm. In this profile, Ruth Hänni-Imboden tells us what it means to take over a farm as a woman, what prejudices still exist today and how her family supports her.

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Stories Emmi farmer ambassador: Sturzenegger family

#Sustainability - 25 August 2023 | René Sturzenegger moved to Filzbach almost 30 years ago to be with Daniela, where she ran the ‘Schluchen’ dairy farm together with her father. The two now run the farm together: ‘The less my father was able to work, the more René took over his work and supported me.’

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Stories Emmi Farmer Ambassadors: Fäh family

#Sustainability - 27 October | After milking, straight onto their skis: this is possible for the Fäh family. Their dairy farm with 24 cows is located in Amden, 1250 metres above sea level, right beside the ski slope.

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Stories Sheep’s milk: both easy-to-digest and sustainable

#Sustainability - 21 April 2023 | Emmi has set itself the target of processing 100 % sustainable milk – including sheep’s milk – in Switzerland and abroad by 2027. Emmi’s subsidiary Molkerei Biedermann is leading by example: read the full story here.

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Stories «There is still this idea in farmers’ minds that women have to perform better than men»

#Sustainability - 14 April 2023 | «Without my husband Lukas, I wouldn’t have had a chance to take over a farm,» explains Ana Burger, the Emmi farmer ambassador, who didn’t grow up on the farm she currently runs.

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Stories "In my eyes, my father’s a hero" — the small farm with a huge sense of togetherness

#Sustainability - 17 February 2023 | The organic farm that Barbara Jau and her father run is small. But there’s still plenty to do – especially in winter: felling trees, lighting the fires, mucking out... That said, this back-breaking work has its good sides, too: "I couldn’t leave here, it’s my home." On the charm of the simple life.

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Stories Hay, grass and basking in the sun: the Siegrist family

#Sustainability - 9 December 2022 | What does IP Suisse mean? And how is grass-fed milk different from conventional milk? Stephan Siegrist explains in this video and tells us about his day-to-day life as a dairy farmer running a family business.

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Stories A farm that nurtures both cows and the environment: Beat Brönnimann

#Sustainability - 11 November 2022 | A diet of fresh grass all year round and a summer spent grazing in the Alps – Beat Brönnimann’s cows have a really comfortable life. He explains how “seasonal calving” works, what “full grazing” means and why it is animal-friendly and sustainable.

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Stories Milk and wine: the Käser family’s recipe for success

#Sustainability - 2 September 2022 | Cows, feed, wine... it’s not just milk that’s produced at the Bächlihof farm in Oberflachs. The Käser family grows most of the food for their animals themselves. The family is also particularly proud of their two and a half hectares of vineyards. “The vineyards here go back to Roman times,” explains Stefan Käser.

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Stories 130 cows, 130 names: the Suter family

#Sustainability - 12 August 2022 | Around 130 cows live on the Suter family farm. Peter Suter knows each one by name. It is clear to him that the cows do just as well on his large farm as on a small one. They have plenty of space and many helping hands to take loving care of them.

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Stories It’s all about a “colorful” mix: the Aebi family

#Sustainability - 1 July 2022 | Blue, red, pink, green – the Aebi family’s wildflower strip, which they sow every year, blooms in every color. Diversity is a top priority for them – not just for their flowers, but also for their cow breeds.

Best dairy moments - today and for generations to come

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Our sustainability model

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ESG expert corner

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Our Initiatives & partnerships

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Our Progress

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