One or two people have asked me how I plan to get milk from Free Range Dairy farms collected, processed and distributed. But, it is important to understand that, in the first instance, Free Range Dairy is a movement rather than a brand. I want farmers to join this movement because they believe that pasture-based milk production is the way ahead for themselves and their cows, rather than simply ticking a few boxes to try and earn an extra penny a litre.
I have resisted calls to set standards for free range milk production at this early stage as I want to do this in consultation with other producers, to ensure we deliver clear messages about how we manage our cows. Those of us involved in milking and managing dairy cows can pretty much tell whether someone is committed to grazing their cows the minute we walk onto a farm. However, we will need to work towards establishing the key parameters for free range milk production over the next few months.
I hope that those completing the survey now will take part in the meetings planned for early 2012, to agree the standards to which Free Range Dairy farmers should adhere. Further down the line, we will need to talk to others about the collection and processing of our milk. But, let’s make sure we are clear about what it is we are offering before we engage in wider circles.
Your views really matter here. So, please complete the survey and get in touch with any questions or ideas you may have regarding the future of Free Range Dairy – it’s your movement and your future be involved form the start.