About Us

Free Range Dairy Network Community Interest Company (CIC) was established in 2014. It grew out of the existing venture started by Neil Darwent, BBC Outstanding Farmer of the Year 2014, in response to the large intensive dairy “get big or get out” messages coming from the industry.

Consolidation in the milk supply chain threatens to squeeze out traditional, pasture-based dairy farmers, as retailers and big dairy business compete to deliver large volumes of cheap milk. Our Network promotes recognition for traditional, family farms, by giving ethical consumers the chance to choose free range milk. We want to provide a voice for the farmers who want to graze their cows and secure grazing rights for cows.

In 2014, Neil Darwent and Carol Lever, established the Network, in an attempt to offer farmers an alternative vision of the future founded on value rather than volume, by promoting a way of farming that:

  • Pays a fair price to farmers
  • Gives cows the freedom to graze for a minimum of six months a year (days and nights)
  • Delivers healthy, affordable milk for consumers

When the Network was established in 2014, there was no free range milk on the market. Today our collaborators are collectively selling nearly 1 million litres a month. We have established a ‘middle tier’ for milk, with very clear provenance and grazing credentials that offers an additional choice to standard or organic milk.

Any profits generated by our company go back into the business to benefit our members and deliver on our social mission.

Social Mission

To promote the value of milk and dairy products from traditional, pasture-based dairy farms, for the benefit of farmers, cows and consumers.

We believe that great tasting, healthy milk plays an important role in our diet and milk from cows that graze is healthier, tastier and more ethical.

By creating a like-minded community, Free Range Dairy Network can help traditional farms stay in business. We facilitate collaboration in the dairy supply chain, to open up new market opportunities for milk and dairy products produced from free range herds.

This is complemented with technical support and knowledge transfer to ensure that farmers continue to become more efficient in utilising grass on their farms and better at caring for their soils.

What is the Pasture Promise logo?

The Pasture Promise logo only is the only label on milk that gives a clear assurance the milk you buy only comes from cows free to graze for a minimum of six months a year (day and night).

Our Producer Standards also prohibit farmers from shooting calves at birth and we work to secure a milk price premium for farmers, in return for their commitment to farming this way.

We work with SAI Global, a recognised certification body, to ensure all farms are independently audited and adhere to Pasture Promise standards.

We are also embarking on a sustainability programme to improve the sustainability on farms, cut carbon footprint and improve biodiversity.

What is our aim?

To achieve recognition for thousands of dairy farmers who allow their herds the freedom to graze and understand the benefits of simple, pasture-based farming. They play an important part in protecting the dairy industry we know and love.

We welcome farmers of both conventional and organic status, regardless of the colour of their cows. We are united by a clear commitment to maximising the use of grass and grazing on our farms and growing sales and availability of free range milk.

Join us and help us to instil real value in our dairy farms.

Neil Darwent


I have been milking dairy cows and managing farm businesses all of my working life. During this time, I witnessed first-hand, the pressure on farmers and their cows to deliver more for less, as milk has become an under-valued, cheap commodity.

Carol Lever


When I started Free Range Dairy Network back in 2014, I wasn’t a dairy farmer or had even milked a cow. I had been a campaign manager at an animal welfare charity, working on a campaign to combat the rise in intensive dairy farming in the UK.

We know that not all milk is the same. The Pasture Promise logo enables conscientious consumers the chance to enjoy great tasting milk and make a difference for farmers and cows.

Joins Us

You can join us as a farmer member or a supporter.
We invite both those who produce milk and buy milk to work together so we can secure the freedom for cows to graze in fields and make milk great again.