Despite the widespread use of images of cows in fields, labels on milk tell you very little about the farms your milk comes from and the life that the cows are afforded. Traditional British dairy farms are disappearing from the landscape at an alarming rate, to be replaced by larger, more intensive operations where cows are sometimes confined indoors all year round.
We have consulted with farmers to produce a simple set of standards that are achievable on farms, to give cows the kind of life you would want them to have. The Free Range Dairy Network CIC licenses the Pasture Promise logo to dairy companies and farmers to provide you with a simple assurance that the milk comes from cows that enjoy the freedom to graze in fields for at least six months of the year. You can find more details of the standards we set for producers here.
The cows are not fed a 100% grass diet but, like organic farms, there is a requirement for a minimum of 60% of the diet to be made up of forage (on a dry matter basis). During the summer months the cows graze lush green grass and in winter the diet is founded on grass conserved as silage and hay. There is increasing evidence to show that milk from grass is lower in saturated fat and higher in healthy fats like Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Omega-3.
Unlike the big dairies and supermarkets that mix milk from different kinds of farms, the small dairy companies we work with collect milk from approved Free Range Dairy herds using dedicated tankers and keep it segregated from other milk at the dairy. By choosing milk bearing the Pasture Promise label you can help us to keep cows in fields where they belong and reward farmers for producing healthy, nutritious milk that delivers real value for you and your family.
There is increasing evidence that milk from grass is lower in saturated fats, higher in CLA & Omega-3.