April 20, 2023
The maker of Tillamook cheeses and other dairy products is continuing its quest for greater environmental stewardship, recently announcing a partnership with an Oregon retailer to establish a native riparian forest habitat on coastal farmland.
The Tillamook County Creamery Association and New Seasons Market will each provide $15,000 to plant about five acres of native, woody vegetation on dairy farms within the cooperative in the Tillamook, Ore., area. The companies also announced they’re applying for a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant to fund additional restoration.
“Customers tell us that the brands they shop for, and grocery markets they shop at, should be doing good for the planet,” said Jocelyn Bridson, TCCA’s director of environment and community impact. “At the same time, it is crucial that we support farmers as we ask them to implement environmental solutions. We saw an opportunity to engage everyone in the supply chain – from the farmers to the brand, to the retailer – to improve environmental impacts and outcomes.”
The partnership comes as Tillamook has also updated its stewardship plan with a report on its 2022 activities, which included:
More than a 20% reduction in fleet emissions as the result of converting TCCA’s 16-truck fleet to renewable diesel fuel.
Increased food waste diversion from 15% to 60% of Tillamook’s Boardman cheese-making plant for use in animal feed and compost.
A 9% reduction of overall greenhouse gas emissions compared to a 2020 baseline.
Certified B Corporation
The TCCA in 2020 gained status as a Certified B Corporation, a key certification and third-party endorsement for its work on stewardship. A B Corporation recognizes stewardship in a range of areas, including environment-friendly practices animal welfare and ethical treatment of workers. New Seasons Market also has this certification.
Tillamook took another step in its sustainability journey last year by committing to the dairy industry’s net-zero climate goals by 2050, including achieving greenhouse gas neutrality, optimizing water use efficiency while maintaining recycling, and improving water quality by optimizing use of manure and nutrients.
To spur progress toward the net-zero goal, TCCA set an interim goal of a 30% reduction in certain greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“Since we began our cooperative, our farmers have taken care of the land and have been interested in how their land is stewarded,” Paul Snyder, Tillamook’s executive vice president of stewardship, said last fall.
He noted that Tillamook’s board adopted a stewardship charter in 2017 with a commitment to achieving goals to minimize human impacts on climate change.
“In the wake of our commitment to working on environmental strategies, it became apparent that in order to drive our focus and be transparent, we needed an interim target … that would signal to the board, membership and stakeholders that we take seriously enduring ecosystems,” he told Farm Progress.
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