Free Range Dairy has three core principles
- A fair price for farmers
- Freedom for cows to graze for six months
- Affordable, healthy milk for consumers
What is also important for Free Range Dairy Network is to match local farmers to local markets and their communities. People have said they want to pay more for their milk to help farmers and if possible buy milk from local farmers that supply to their shops, doorsteps and markets. Not only does this mean a sustainable supply of local fresh milk but importantly it keeps money in the area and helps strengthen the local community.
Research carried out by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) found that more than twice as much money stayed in the local community when people shopped at a farmer’s market as opposed to a supermarket chain. This is because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms, so the money circulates within the area benefiting lots of people. The additional benefit of this is the more jobs created locally the less people have to commute which means less traffic and pollution.
Campaign to Protect Rural England Report found that pound for pound spent in smaller independent ‘local food’ outlets supports three times the number of jobs than outlets of national grocery chains.
We are already seeing the impact changing shopping habits are having on the big retailers. Major retailers have stopped their expansion of huge out of town stores as the weekly shop has become a thing of the past. They are now building smaller in town convenience stores but it’s important to try and shop in independent stores, farm shops and markets to really keep the money circulating in your community. Free Range Dairy Network has been out and about at local food festivals and we have been hearing first hand from people who are interested in where their milk comes from and how much they want to support their local farmers and food producers.
This is why Free Range Dairy Network wants to use our label as a way to inform people about how their milk was produced and as much as possible to link up local farmers with local communities. So you know the money you pay for your milk is helping keep the farmer in business, support independent processors and local milk sellers. It’s also great to think that by buying milk and dairy produce with the Pasture Promise label on it you are playing a big part in helping to strengthen rural economies and communities.
We are currently updating our website to bring all the information together in one place on how to buy Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise milk and produce.