Working on sustainability with supplying dairy farmers

One of the most challenging parts of sustainable dairy production is to motivate farmers to work on a sustainable dairy chain. Based on our experience gained in the past 10 years, we have developed an ACTION methodology to support farmers on their way to continuous improvement in sustainability. The approach is based on the eight-step change approach of Dr John Kotter and the RESET approach of Wageningen University.

Influence the farmer’s mindset

The farmer’s mindset comprises a variety of social psychology conceptions, such as personality, attitude, beliefs, values, intentions, skills, knowledge, perceived norms and perceived self-efficacy. All these factors, and probably more, together make up the ‘human factor’ which, for the sake of convenience, is referred to as ‘mindset’. It is highly important to note that all farmers are different. They have various learning styles and prefer customised communication. Therefore a combination of actions and communication strategies is needed to reach and change as many farmers as possible because a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not apply for effective communication.