Milk with Dignity Standards Council
294 North Winooski Avenue
The Milk with Dignity Program, founded and created by farmworkers of Migrant Justice, brings together farmworkers, farmers, consumers, and corporate buyers to secure dignified wages and humane labor and housing conditions in the dairy industry in the Northeastern United States. The principal goal of the Milk with Dignity (MD) Program is to foster a sustainable Northeast dairy industry that advances the human rights of farmworkers, the long-term interests of farmers, and the ethical supply chain concerns of retail food companies and consumers.
The Milk with Dignity Standards Council (MDSC) is a unique organization emerging from Migrant Justice's successful Milk with Dignity campaign to secure the human rights of dairy workers and improve the conditions under which they labor. The MDSC, based in Burlington Vermont, was established by Migrant Justice to address the Program’s need for an entity with the requisite experience and capacity to monitor and enforce its standards under the farmworker-defined Code of Conduct (Code). The Code represents Vermont dairy worker’s definition of the human right to work with dignity. The MDSC is solely dedicated to its responsibilities in the Program.
The MDSC is responsible for conducting audits to verify compliance with the Code of Conduct. The MDSC also conducts audits of Participating Buyers (“PB”) to verify compliance with their obligation to pay the Milk with Dignity Premium, which supports farmers to comply with the program’s requirements including better wages for farmworkers.
The MDSC is located in Burlington, Vermont and will have statewide responsibility with the possibility of expansion. It will field and resolve worker complaints and help develop corrective action plans as necessary. It will also affirmatively monitor compliance with the price premium provisions of the MD Program and with the Code of Conduct.