In a victory for the green economy, consumer choice, and sustainable agriculture, DanoneWave (better known by its subsidiary, Dannon) introduced its first Non-GMO Project verified yogurt products in September. This announcement comes in response to consumer pressure for non-GMO options and as a part of DanoneWave’s Dannon Pledge, a multi-year commitment to forwarding sustainable agriculture and transparency. The products that will wear the Non-GMO Project certification seals include single-serve, multi-packs, and 32-oz containers of Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Vanilla, and Peach whole milk yogurts; quarts of full fat, lowfat, and nonfat Plain yogurt; and multipacks of Danimals smoothies in Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Kiwi, Cotton Candy, Raspberry, and Orange Cream – eventually, DanoneWave plans to label all their products from the Dannon, Oikos, and Danimals families as Non-GMO Project verified.
The Dannon Pledge, announced in April of last year, promised “to declare by December 2017, nationwide, on label[ing] the presence of GMO ingredients in [Dannon] products, regardless of whatever actions are taken by the federal government.” As the top-selling brand of yogurts worldwide, Dannon is leading its industry in the U.S. by raising the standard for ingredient labeling. Currently, the U.S. lags behind other countries such as China, Australia, and the E.U., who already require GMO labeling.
Throughout this transition, DanoneWave has worked closely with the Non-GMO Project to ensure its products meet the highest standards in non-GMO verification. The benefit corporation had to ensure its products were made with milk from cows fed non-GMO feed; thus, DanoneWave partnered with dairy farmers to develop the necessary feed, utilizing an estimated 80,000 acres of U.S. farmland to develop the supply. Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions is collaborating with DanoneWave to cultivate their new supply of non-GMO feed.
The Non-GMO Project verification seal is the most meaningful seal, as reported from Consumer Reports, for its consistency, freedom from conflict of interest, and its broad public and industry input during label development. Businesses that earn the Non-GMO Project seal benefit by offering their customers more options, developing customer trust through brand recognition and third-party verification, as well as contributing to the growth of the green economy.