Dairy farmers can do their part to NOT draw attention to a recent news story from the United Kingdom where activists poured out gallons of milk in supermarkets, designed to draw negative attention to dairy and its perceived environmental impact. ADA North East offers recommendations on how to respond if you see this action locally.

Over the weekend, our media monitoring picked up a news story originating from the United Kingdom showing an animal activist group pouring out gallons of milk in supermarkets. The intent was to draw negative attention to dairy and its perceived environmental impact.

While their actions were limited to locations in the U.K., the attention the “milk pours” have been receiving could increase the chance of local groups picking up on the trend (whether actual activists or people seeking social media notoriety).

If you see this type of action locally, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Immediately notify store management. Retailers have plans in place to manage disruptions like this, which may include in-store security measures or contacting local police.
  • For your own safety (and the safety of others) do not interrupt, interfere or engage the protesters. Most likely they will be recording video and capturing people arguing with them would make for “good content” for their social channels.
  • Please contact Beth Meyer, director of consumer confidence at ADA North East at 315.491.3892 or bmeyer@milk4u.org, as soon as possible. It’s important that we can track local activations so we can coordinate and share information with our sources.

As always, we encourage you to not share these reports on social media. While it’s tempting to call out the wastefulness of this action, sharing these stories brings more attention to them and can encourage copycats.

Since the activists’ claim focuses on the environmental impact of dairy, use this opportunity to talk about the job you and fellow farmers do every day to help reduce dairy’s carbon footprint and provide a sustainable, nutritious product to your community and beyond. Here at ADA North East, we partner with environmental groups to better communicate this work to that community. Nationally, through Dairy Management Inc., the dairy industry has set aggressive environmental stewardship goals to advance dairy’s role in building a sustainable future, including its ambitions to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality, optimize water usage and improve water quality by 2050. These goals will help dairy build upon and quantify industry progress towards its vision to be an environmental solution.

Please refer to our recent National Farmers Day social media toolkit for some ready-to-share social media options for telling a positive dairy story.