DMK 2020: Milk

Milk is a valuable raw material and the foundation of our company. DMK Group would like to deliver a high share of value added to its customers, so it is only natural that we set the quality and safety bar as high as possible. We give particular priority to designing our supply chain for other raw materials such as cocoa, palm oil and vanilla. DMK 2020 addresses material topics concerning milk as a product which are not directly related to agriculture.

Overview of DMK 2020 >


The high quality of its products is a priority for DMK Group. It includes the entire production process from the dairy farmer to deliveries to customers in one integrated quality management system. Compliance is based on the implementation of internationally recognised standards (e.g. IFS, BRC, DIN EN ISO 22000) and is reviewed external regularly. All our milk producers subject themselves every two years to a combined audit of the quality management system "QM-Milch" and Milkmaster. This is done by an external, independent and accredited certification company.

Customers expect the highest standards in food safety. Product safety standards and corresponding labels are demanded and implemented at DMK for all raw materials used and all finished products. This is ensured by the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) control system, a preventive management system for assessing the hazards and risks of processes and products. It checks the possible health and safety impact of all products in every step and indicates improvement potential. HACCP is applied throughout a product's entire life cycle. DMK also conducts IFS (International Food Standard) audits at all sites.


Field of action: value added

The foundation for responsibility in the value chain: lies in increasing the involvement of DMK suppliers in compliance with social and ecological standards. The DMK Code of Conduct is a component part of the company's purchasing terms and therefore forms the basis of collaboration with all suppliers. The Code of Conduct contains social and ecological aspects with which DMK suppliers undertake to comply when they sign the purchasing terms. A whistle-blower system is accessible to business partners and suppliers.

One focal area by 2020 is to link sustainability more closely with value creation. DMK established the basis for this in 2017 in the strategy review. All six business units now work with clear value creation targets. Associated with this is the goal of implementing sustainability concepts for 25 percent of the product range by 2020, which embraces a variety of aspects of sustainability from Meadow Milk and organic and non-GMO milk to regional concepts, for example. 

Field of action: Packaging

Packagings make a major contribution to maintaining the quality and safety of our sensitive products. At the same time, packagings are a significant aspect of the products' sustainability in the perception of consumers and retailers. The goal is to avoid unnecessary food and packaging waste through innovative, environmentally friendly and packaging concepts in line with current trends and to increase the recyclability of the packaging materials. Sustainability Management is working closely with the Packaging Development department on this issue. The goal is to improve sustainability in packaging materials in three projects by the year 2020. 



On the way to 100 percent sustainable cocoa, palm oil and wood
The Dairy PEF-Project

DMK has been working on sourcing key basic raw materials from sustainable farming since the publication of the DMK 2020 Strategy in 2013. The focus in past years has been on cocoa, palm oil and wood. Wood is used in composites, in transport packagings or as wooden sticks for ice lollies. DMK processes the other basic raw materials in making desserts and ice cream.

DMK has been a member of UTZ and RSPO, the internationally recognised standards for more sustainable farming, since 2014. DMK used cocoa of which 93 percent is UTZ certified and palm oil of which 93 percent is RSPO certified at all its sites and at wholly owned subsidiaries in 2017. The transition of wood to the FSC or PEFC standards, which ensure sustainable forestry is also progressing. Around 74 percent of all possible material had been switched to FSC, including almost 90 percent of the secondary packaging.

The European Commission intends to create a uniform base for benchmarking the environmental performance of products and companies in its Single Market for Green Products Initiative. The measurement of the environmental footprint of companies and products is to be standardised on the European market, thereby facilitating the international comparability of products' environmental performance. 

DMK GROUP, in collaboration with other companies, has imlemented the Dairy PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) pilot project specifically for the dairy industry. The company completed an eco-balance for the “MILRAM Benjamin” Gouda in 2016. This analysis revealed that raw milk production has the biggest influence on the eco-balance across all environmental impact categories. In the context of this project, DMK tested various possibilities for communication with consumers with a total of 1,000 people in September 2016.

The DMK Group's engagement was highly regarded by the EU, as demonstrated by a quotation from one project manager:

"In the European Dairy PEF Project, a standard method for calculating the environmental footprint in the dairy sector was developed. The DMK GROUP played a crucial role in this. The project could not have succeeded otherwise.“

Hélène Simonin, Director Food, Environment & Health, European Dairy Association (EDA)