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A monthly newsletter brought to you by Free Range Dairy Network
Volume 1, Issue 12
July 2016

Editor’s Comment


Can you believe that since the last newsletter we’ve had a referendum and decided to leave Europe, a new Prime Minister, a new cabinet and a leadership challenge in the Labour Party?

Part of the change to cabinet means that we now have Andrea Leadsom as the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  I’m not sure what the Minister will bring to her new role but it’s quite different from her previous post as Minister of State or Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

This could be a great opportunity for Free Range Dairy Network and our farmers to show that it is possible to produce milk and dairy products in a way that works in harmony with the environment and not against it. We can give customers what they want which is milk produced from cows that graze for a minimum per year of a 180 days and nights and a fair reward for farmers. But we also have to be alert to big business that could use this time of uncertainty to push intensification of the dairy industry, alongside pigs and poultry, to the top of the farming agenda.

We waste so much food, which is often produced in a way that also wastes natural resources. We need food production to minimise the negative impact on our biodiversity and environment which are vital to the wellbeing and protection of soil, water, air and the nutrients in our food.
It’s worrying that at a time when we are growing in population size and consuming more than the planet can support long term the new government has decided to cut the department for Climate Change. This has come at a time when Government advisers had warned of the need to take urgent action to prepare the UK for floods, droughts, heatwaves and food shortages caused by climate change.

A study shows that at present we have 100 harvests left in our soil, with soil in allotments healthier than the soil that’s farmed intensively. When we held our farm events recently what struck me when I was out in the fields with the cows was that it wasn’t quiet and silent. All around I could hear insects and birds accompanied by the occasional Moo! The fields where cows are grazing are full of life and it was great to see and hear that.

What I’m learning from working on Free Range Dairy Network with the farmers and cows is that nothing works in isolation. Every action has a reaction and we want to make every reaction to the actions of Pasture Promise free range milk as positive as possible. That’s why next week we will be running our first pasture workshop with our farmers and in time we will be adding soil and water management as well.


Best Wishes,

Carol Lever
Director
Free Range Dairy Network CIC



You can follow us on
@freerangedairy  freerangedairy_cic
 

In this Issue


1. Free Range Dairy Farmers Events

2. Free Range Dairy Map

3. Countryfile Live
 

Free Range Dairy Farmers Events


We have now held two Free Range Dairy Farmers Events and it’s been great to get people down on the farm to meet with our farmers and cows.

It’s great to talk to people about Free Range Dairy Network through this newsletter, social media and in meetings but nothing beats taking people who want to stock and support Pasture Promise free range milk onto a farm.

Seeing how happy and healthy the cows look, seeing the passion of the people involved as well as a great lunch by Jenni Hobbs the farmer (and her free range cakes) makes it really click with people and from it we’re getting more and more customers.

We’re really pleased that we are now taking the Free Range Dairy Farm Event to one of our farms in Yorkshire and that we will once again be running the event with World Animal Protection and the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
 

Free Range Dairy Map


We’re adding so many new places which are stocking or using Pasture Promise free range milk to the map that we’re having to update it to cope with the new entrants.

One new addition with be the latest Budgens store. Sales have gone so well at the first local Budgens at Moreton in Marsh that they’ve now added Winchcombe and we hope more to come.

Please bear with us is you’re looking where to buy and support Pasture Promise free range milk as we make the changes and we hope to have the new one up and running soon.
 

Countryfile Live


Any fan of Countryfile I’m sure will already have bought their tickets and are counting down the days (just like the clock on the Countryfile website) to what will be I’m sure will be a great event. In fact it’s the first one they’ve ever run!

Countryfile Live is being held at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire from 4-7 August and alongside all the attractions on offer will be Free Range Dairy Network in collaboration with Cotteswold Dairy. Neil Darwent, our very own BBC Outstanding Farmer of the Year 2014 and a regular on Countryfile will be at the event to answer questions about Pasture Promise free range milk.

We’ll have a grow your own grass from seeds pots, a chance to try free range milk, milkshakes and strawberries and free range cream as well as make your own free range butter. Any bakers out there here’s your chance to make your own free range cakes!

If you’re there be sure to come and look for us in the Ice Cream Parlour field as part of the food and drink areas.
 
If you have any stories to contribute then please contact Free Range Dairy at info@freerangedairy.org.
 
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