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.

For too long I worked in an industry that had become completely output driven. I realised just how little people really knew about the farms their milk came from and the true value of the cows in our fields. I began to look at how I could reconnect farmers and consumers and give farmers a chance to win the value in milk that was rightly theirs.

I set up Free Range Dairy, through which I invited farmers to join me and win recognition for their commitment to giving their cows the freedom to graze in fields. I registered the Pasture Promise logo as a trademark in September 2013, to identify milk that only came from cows grazed in fields for a minimum of six months a year. In July 2014, my Free Range Dairy initiative was formally registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), under the name of the Free Range Dairy Network. I am now a joint Director of the CIC.

In May 2014 I was honoured to be awarded the BBC Outstanding Farmer of the Year award, in recognition for my efforts to build a brighter future for British dairy farmers. Three years later, I also received the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Farming’ at the Western Daily Press Food & Farming Awards. I am proud of the fact that we are now making a real difference for farmers who want to continue running a traditional, pasture-based system. I believe we can make milk great again and deliver a fair deal for farmers and cows.


Neil has now left Free Range Dairy Network, contact Carol Lever 0790 4265639 for further information.

By offering local, free range milk, we can help local businesses to win contracts and demonstrate that they are helping to 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.