The Cows

We believe freedom to graze should be a right for dairy cows.

Herd Life

Life has changed dramatically for dairy cows over the past 50 years. Our thirst for cheap milk means we are putting farmers and cows under increasing pressure to produce more for less. Yet we waste up 490 million pints each year in the UK.

More and more cows are being herded into fewer, bigger farms, where they are pushed to produce higher yields of milk. It is not uncommon to find dairy farms running herds of up to 1,000 cows today, with an increasing number now confined indoors all year round.

Our free range dairy farmers typically run herds of 80-200 cows comprised of several generations of cow families. Unlike cows harnessed to intensive milk production, life for free range dairy cows changes with the seasons. They enjoy the freedom of the fields for at least six months of the year, day and night and are only housed when the grass stops growing in winter and fields become too wet and muddy to graze.

Grazing is Amazing

Every spring we witness the joy cows feel when they are turned out to pasture for the first time. The freedom to graze for a minimum of six months a year (our Pasture Promise) means free range milk is closer to nature.

We believe grazing is a fundamental expression of natural behaviour for dairy cows and yet there are no laws to secure this basic freedom. Grazing also plays a role in maintaining valuable ecosystems, keeping grass and vegetation under control to promote biodiversity, whilst retuning nutrients to the soil from their manure.

A dairy cow can eat as much as 100kg of fresh grass a day and it is packed with energy and protein. Free range milk really is the original plant-based drink.

All Lives Matter

Our Network was established to ensure all animals on dairy farms enjoy a full and healthy life. For example, under our Pasture Promise standards, farmers are prohibited from shooting calves at birth, unless it is necessary to alleviate pain and suffering.

The way calves and young cattle are reared varies. Most wean calves from their mothers at 48 hours of age, but some stay together longer. Young calves soon establish strong bonds with others, whilst cows quickly adapt back to the familiar routines of milking and grazing with their herd mates.

Sometimes young calves struggle to cope with changing weather conditions and so we permit farmers to keep some animals, under the age of 12 months, indoors during the summer months. Similarly, in extreme weather conditions, we permit farmers to temporarily house cows, until things improve.


Why choose Pasture Promise free range milk?

Pasture Promise free range milk gives traditional family dairy farms a badly needed identity in the marketplace and gives you the chance to make a more informed choice about the kind of farms your milk comes from. By making the Pasture Promise you can help us to win a fair deal for farmers and cows.

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    Free Range

    The Pasture Promise logo means a minimum of 6 months at grass.

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    Great Taste

    Wonderful, fresh milk that tastes like ‘proper’ milk should.

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    High Standards

    The milk is produced to our strict free range standards and is collected, processed and bottled separately.

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    Supporting British Farmers

    Delivering family farms a fair reward for keeping cows in fields.

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.