Free Range Dairy seeks to secure a fair reward for milk producers who commit to grazing their cows for at least half of the year. People tell us they think farmers deserve more and that they want a clear assurance that cows are given the freedom to graze. So, when you choose free range milk we want you to know you are providing direct support to traditional British dairy farmers who commit to grazing their cows for at least six months each year.
As I explained in a recent post, there are a number of obstacles to getting a segregated supply of free range milk to the market. However, I am pleased to report that we are breaking down the barriers, thanks to the willingness of one or two individuals to sit down and work to overcome those obstacles. Together with a small group of farmers, I recently met with a milk processor and a dairy business selling milk, to openly discuss what each needs to make free range milk a viable proposition. The relationship we are building is founded on transparency and trust and we want to extend this transparency and trust to consumers who choose to buy milk carrying the Pasture Promise label. That’s why we want to return a stated price premium to dairy farmers accredited to Free Range Dairy standards and demonstrate a clear commitment to keeping cows in fields.
The launch of any new product carries some risk for all involved and we are extremely grateful to everyone who is working with us to bring about real change in the British dairy industry. Initially, dedicated transport to collect free range milk from farms and a requirement to segregate milk at the processing plant will add some costs. However, as milk volumes grow, these costs will reduce and we will be able to pass more money back to the producers. We know the life our farm animals are afforded matters – people power has changed the egg market forever, with around 45% of all eggs sold in the UK now coming from free range farms. In the same way, when free range milk becomes available to buy over the next few weeks, you will have the opportunity to safeguard the future of traditional, free range dairy herds.
Over the coming weeks we hope to attract a lot of attention to the regional launch of free range milk and dairy products. We have a great story to tell about adding value at the farm gate and slowing down the exodus of dairy farmers from the industry. Oh (I almost forgot), we will have some very happy cows too! Please keep an eye on the website for more details coming soon.