Dannon press briefing (L to R): Gary Hirshberg (Chairman, Just Label It), Megan Westgate (Executive Director, Non-GMO Project), Alisa Gravitz (President and CEO, Green America), Mariano Lozano (CEO, Dannon)
By Joyce de Brevannes, Marketing and Communications Director
In a move towards full transparency, Danone President Mariano Lozano announced that their flagship brands – Oikos, Dannon and Danimals – will be Non-GMO Project Verified. These three brands represent 50% of the company’s volume.
In addition, Dannon pledged that the livestock feed used by their dairy partners also will be non-GMO. The impact of this commitment cannot be underestimated. Mr. Lozano said 80,000 acres of farmland will be devoted to the effort, as well as 45,000 cows. According to the Non-GMO Report, they will begin to convert to non-GMO in 2017, with a completion goal by the end of 2018.
Currently, approximately 90% of livestock feed produced in the U.S. is derived from genetically modified corn, soy and alfalfa. In a further pledge towards transparency, any products that are not Verified, will clearly label the presence of GMOs by December 2017.
On July 14th, 2016, Mr. Lozano was joined by Gary Hirshberg (Just Label It), Alisa Gravitz (Green America), and Megan Westgate (Non-GMO Project) to announce this historic collaboration. You can see our Executive Director’s comments, as well as view the press conference in its entirety.
Commitments like this from major companies demonstrate the power of consumer demand. Mr. Lozano told Forbes via email, “We believe it’s the right thing to do because consumer preferences are continuing to evolve and we put consumers at the center of every decision we make.”
The Non-GMO Project has already experienced an uptick in dairy inquiries. We welcome the opportunity to work with brands of all sizes to further expand awareness around GMOs with suppliers, brands, retailers and shoppers.
It is the goal of the Non-GMO Project to continue our leadership role with all stakeholder groups as together, we make true and lasting strides towards a non-GMO future.