Bringing Sustainability Back to the Farm
by Amy Bergley, Local First Arizona Sustainability Intern
Danzeisen Dairy has taken a creative and sustainable twist on the Arizona milk industry. The dairy, located only 10 miles from downtown Phoenix, has been a family run farm for over 50 years. This dairy is unique, from their operations to their products. The LFA team recently took a tour of their facility to learn more about what makes it so unique and innovative.
When you buy milk at the store, your options are often limited to what comes in a carton or plastic jug. Not so with Danzeisen Dairy. They are the only local dairy selling their milk in glass bottles. Not only does selling milk in glass bottles bring back nostalgic memories of the milk man, but it has plenty of benefits. Glass bottles don’t flavor the milk like plastic jugs and cartons do, it keeps the milk colder longer and they are reusable.
Most milk that you purchase in a store is co-mingled, meaning it comes from multiple farms, which makes it hard to track what’s inside the carton. When you purchase milk from Danzeisen Dairy, you are buying milk that came from their farm only. They pride themselves not only on a high quality product, but on treating their cows well, from installing misters to keep them cool in the summer to putting pedometers on them that help monitor their health. They also offer a variety of flavored milk including strawberry, orange, chocolate, and coffee cold brew. The flavorings used in these batches are all natural.
Supporting Their Community
Supporting their local community has always come naturally to Danzeisen Dairy. When the open land surrounding their farm started changing into residential sub-divisions, the team at Danzeisen embraced their new neighbors and worked to create a community space. Seeing a need for a place to gather, they created a community room at their headquarters. On Saturdays they bring in local food and show videos on their large projector.
Danzeisen Dairy promotes and supports local businesses whenever they can. Walking into their headquarters, you are greeted by shelves of products made by local businesses and evidence of their Laveen pride. They also lease out any extra office space they have to local businesses. When they were looking for funding to launch their operations, they chose local bank Pinnacle Bank. They also have formed a partnership with the Arizona Cardinals, which gives them marketing value and supports the home town team.
Sustainability has always been part of Danzeisen’s operations. Using glass bottles has huge benefits for the environment as the amount of packaging waste is reduced when glass bottles are reused. This process is successful because of the customer, who pays a bottle deposit fee when purchasing the milk, then returns the empty bottle to the store and gets their deposit refunded. The Danzeisen team cleans and refills the bottles, which keeps waste out of the landfill and reduces the demand for new packaging. On average, one glass bottle can be reused over 18 times.
Water reuse is a key piece of Danzeisen’s sustainability efforts. The room where milk is processed must be fully cleaned multiple times each day. Normally, this would use up a lot of water but the Danzeisen team has a special water filtration system where they can monitor the pH which allows them to re-use the water two – three times. After it can no longer be used for cleaning, the water is used to control dust outside.
As you might imagine a dairy generates a lot of manure. Instead of hauling this manure away, Danzeisen Dairy joined forces with two nearby dairies and send their manure to Diversified Organics LLC where it is composted into rich soil. The compost is used by neighboring farmers and growers, and bagged compost should be available for sale to consumers soon.
Where to Buy it
Danzeisen Dairy milk can be found in grocery stores all over Arizona including local stores such as AJ’s Fine Foods, Bashas’ and Food City. Supporting local food producers like Danzeisen Dairy not only keeps more dollars in our state, it creates jobs and encourages entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. We are proud to have a business with such a positive impact in Arizona, and encourage you to support them so that they can continue to support the community. For more information on the Danzeisen Dairy and where to find their milk, visit their website at www.danzeisendairy.com.