Turnout time

Here we are in the depths of winter at a time when days are short and nights are long. The grass is hardly growing right now and much of what there is lies under water. So it’s hard to think about the time when spring will come and we will be turning our cows out…

The Dairy Fund

  Have you heard about the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Dairy Fund? In July 2012, the Prime Minister announced that £5m would be made available to the dairy sector under the RDPE to help dairy producers increase their competitiveness and achieve added value to boost their market returns. The aims of the fund…

Another feel good movie

Not to be outdone by the Danes (Arla), Dutch dairy company Friesland Campina have released a video about milk. It has a very modern feel and shows cows quietly grazing under the stars as urban society rushes to and fro. The film again demonstrates the power of images of cows grazing grass. I know Friesland…

Eating responsibly

I have just had the unenviable task of putting down (shooting) a six month old calf on the farm. The animal in question has been suffering from a respiratory infection for a number of weeks and was obviously in great discomfort, despite our attempts to nurse it back to health. This is a task which…

Free range in Scotland

Tomorrow I am heading north to Scotland to talk to farmers about Free Range Dairy. Despite the perceived challenges to grazing cows in the northern reaches of the UK, there has been quite a lot of interest in my initiative from ‘north of the border’. I have always maintained that a farmer who grazes his…

European Antibiotics Awareness Day

Resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to modern health experts say. The Health Protection Agency warns that some bugs such as E Coli and Gonorrhoea have developed resistant strains, following the unnecessary use of antibiotics to tackle mild infections. This Sunday (November 18th) is European Antibiotics Awareness Day, which hopes to raise…

Pasture Promise online

You can now make the Pasture Promise online. Just follow the link on the home page or click here. All you need to do is provide your name, address and contact details. We are getting more farmers signing up every day and we are well on the way to establishing a network of like minded…

Put grass in your glass!

  I hear that Mary Berry, writer of cookery books and Great British Bake Off judge, has a new series on BBC2 called The Great British Food Revival and one episode is all about ice cream. Mary has labeled many ice creams as being almost 99 percent “synthetic junk”. Apparently it only has to contain…

Closer to Nature

Have you seen any good films lately? Well, if you haven’t, may I recommend a real ‘feel good’ movie from Arla Foods? Closer to Nature isn’t packed with high octane action for the adrenalin junkies, but it does contain some wonderful scenery and, for those of you who are animation fans, look out for the…

Fair enough?

Back in December 2011, I put a post on the Free Range Dairy website about the continuing growth of ethical food brands during the economic downturn. This was linked to a report in The Independent, which stated that Fairtrade food sales rose by 36 percent in 2009-10. Much of the recent campaign by UK milk…

From Belief to Brand

  Things feel like they are really moving on with Free Range Dairy. The feedback on defining standards for production has been excellent and we now moving forward from a simple belief in the value of pasture-based milk production, to making that milk available to UK consumers. I make no apologies for declaring that Free…

The range of free range

One thing that is becoming very apparent from the feedback I have had regarding the definition of Free Range Dairy herds, is that achieving 180 days at grass has been very difficult (if not impossible) on a number of farms this year – particularly in the north of England and in Scotland. A farmer from…

Becoming Free Range

Thanks to all those who came along to the recent farmer meetings and others who have emailed me with suggestions on how we take Free Range Dairy forward. It is evident that there is considerable interest in milk and dairy products from pasture-based herds, both from consumers and farmers. So, now it’s time to let…