Mega dairies and mistakes – lets learn from the USA

In an article in the Independent (Nov 23rd 2015), about the rise of mega dairies advocates of industrial scale dairy farming suggested that the development of such facilities is essential to make milk production economically viable. However, this is something Free Range Dairy would challenge, as would Prof John E Ikerd quoted in the same article…. Read more »

A big world on a small planet

“We need to update our worldview: we are no longer a small world on a big planet. We are now a big world on a small planet.” I thought that sentence by Johan Rockström a professor in environmental science at Stockholm University and executive director of Stockholm Resilience Centre really captures the problems we are… Read more »

Suckler beef – nurtured by nature

  I was so pleased to read about Deputy NFU President, Minette Batters, promoting beef from suckler herds at the South West Beef event this week. It is music to my ears to hear someone else talking about defining the value in a traditional British farming system. Especially when that someone is a representative of the… Read more »

Cup North 2015

Last weekend I drove up to Manchester to attend Cup North at the Victoria Warehouse. It was a fascinating event bringing together coffee roasters, baristas, coffee machine suppliers and coffee connoisseurs from all over the country. There were films about the origins of coffee, ‘cupping’ competitions and barista demonstrations, all engulfed in a heady aroma… Read more »

Cup North gets the Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise

Cup North, a major coffee festival outside of London will be the first coffee festival to use Free Range Milk across the event. The milk bearing the Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise label will be supplied by Stephenson’s Food & Dairy from Morecambe in Lancashire. Manchester is seeing a huge rise in coffee culture and… Read more »

Autumn Gold or Summer Silk – it’s not just milk

The clocks went back last weekend and British summertime has officially come to an end. The arrival of autumn in all of its resplendent colours marks another change in the seasons and nowhere is this more evident than on our farms and in our countryside. Yet industrial food and farming increasingly finds new ways to… Read more »

Is intensification a key threat to biodiversity?

I was very grateful to be given the opportunity recently to give a presentation about intensive farming and Free Range Dairy in Pembrokeshire, a very beautiful part of Wales. On their doorstep is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only coastal national park of its kind in the United Kingdom and one of three national… Read more »

The difference Fairtrade makes, and how you can be a part of it

By Emma Van Der Merwe, Media and PR Manager for Fairtrade Foundation. In response to the on-going dairy farmers’ protests, Fairtrade Foundation’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Barbara Crowther, recently wrote a blog post on the Fairtrade Foundation’s website, entitled “Is it time for Fairtrade milk (again)?” Here’s an excerpt: “Shoppers in Asda in Stafford must have got a shock when they… Read more »

Working to make a difference in dairy

It was great to have the chance to explain more about the work Free Range Dairy is doing on BBC Farming Today (it starts about 10:34 into the programme) this morning. We are a Community Interest Company and we believe that keeping cows in fields is in the interests of a broad community – farmers, consumers and,… Read more »

Collaborating to deliver a sustainable choice

  Everything we have achieved to date at Free Range Dairy has been delivered through communication and collaboration with others who share similar values. That’s not just about the farmers we work with, it’s also about the people who buy and consume our milk too. Recently we have enjoyed the privilege of sharing our ideas… Read more »

Speaking as one

I have talked to so many people about the concept of Free Range Milk over the years and those conversations began with the farmers that produce the milk. But, explaining that not all milk is the same and what free range means for cows has required much wider engagement. So, today, our work is largely… Read more »

What next for dairy farmers …

After weeks of coverage in the media things have gone quiet for dairy farmers. It doesn’t mean the problem has been resolved just that other stories have moved to eclipse the current crisis. Free Range Dairy is still getting calls from desperate farmers looking for a home for their milk. Out of these some are… Read more »

Why we need you now

Free Range Dairy already has members who represent a diverse range of milk producers of different size and scale. Some are on enviable contracts with major retailers, some are co-op members and some really don’t know where their milk ends up. But, they all have one thing in common – they all want consumers to… Read more »

Making milk something worth paying for

The dairy crisis is still very much in the news. However, I can’t help but feel that the British public are likely to soon turn their attention to more pressing matters than the price of milk, as even those involved in the industry struggle to understand what’s really going on. Last week we suddenly saw… Read more »

Make the Pasture Promise

Free Range Dairy is launching an action today to gather support for pasture based dairy farmers in the UK, especially our more traditional pasture based dairy farmers. We have been running a Pasture Promise pledge for farmers for many years but now we want everyone to show their support for clearer labelling on their milk,… Read more »

Will protest deliver what farmers need?

Disruptive protests by French farmers, who have blocked roads, dumped manure in front of public buildings and let pigs loose in supermarkets in response to low prices for milk and meat, have been well documented in the British press. Whilst, perhaps due to a lack of disruption on the highways and not a whiff of… Read more »

Celebrate! It’s Cow Appreciation Day

Free Range Dairy is celebrating Cow Appreciation Day, to say thank you to all the cows that provide us with fresh, nutritious milk that is used by almost every household in Britain. Today there are around 1.8 million dairy cows on British farms and we hope you will join us in showing your appreciation for all… Read more »

UK’s first free range milk launched today

Out of the dairy crisis comes a good news story for farmers, cows and consumers. The Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise label will make it easier for consumers to make an informed choice when buying their daily pint of milk and support farmers by paying a fair price for keeping their cows in fields. Persistent… Read more »

The Rise of the Ethical Consumer

Today is a special day for Free Range Dairy Network as we officially launch the Pasture Promise label. People might try to dismiss Free Range Dairy as small fry or a niche but by doing so they are missing an important point. People are making ethical food buying decisions everyday based on a variety of… Read more »

Support your local dairy farmers

Free Range Dairy has three core principles A fair price for farmers Freedom for cows to graze for six months Affordable, healthy milk for consumers What is also important for Free Range Dairy Network is to match local farmers to local markets and their communities. People have said they want to pay more for their… Read more »




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