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A monthly newsletter brought to you by Free Range Dairy Network
Volume 2, Issue 5
January 2017

Editor’s Comment


Free Range Dairy | Pasture Promise LogoIt’s been an exciting month. We hinted at the great coverage we had coming up with Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty promoting Pasture Promise free range milk and it didn’t disappoint. We had so many enquires coming to the website it crashed and Twitter went wild. This is what it must have felt like when Glastonbury tickets went on sale!

There wasn’t a newsletter in December due to illness. Luckily, we’re now almost back to full speed.

We had lots of enquiries about Pasture Promise free range milk and where to buy it and with help from our Webmaster we’re constantly updating our map on our website.

Others are already trying to capitalise on our hard work and the recognition we’ve achieved, labelling their milk as free range milk without clear standards. For Free Range Dairy Network transparency and trust in our label is of the highest importance. We want people to have confidence in the Pasture Promise logo and confidence that the milk has come from cows that graze 180 days and nights per year. It’s the Pasture that makes it taste so great and fills it full of calcium, minerals, vitamins and omegas 3 and 6.

We’re collaborating with Jones Bros Dairy and Bee Midtown, a fantastic new initiative that is working to help reduce traffic pollution in London as one of its goals.

As well as supporting the first Sustainable Restaurant Association Coffee Campaign which launches February 1st.

Other exciting news – we’re holding our first Free Range Dairy Network Conference March 7th. We hope to see you there and if you have any questions let us know at info@freerangedairy.org.


Best Wishes,

Carol Lever
Director
Free Range Dairy Network CIC



You can follow us on
@freerangedairy  @freerangedairy  freerangedairy_cic
 

In this Issue


1. Friday Night Feast

2. Standards and misleading comments

3. Bee Midtown

4. SRA Coffee Campaign – 1st Feb

 

Friday Night Feast

Free Range Dairy | Filming Friday Night FeastWow! What a great opportunity for Free Range Dairy Network to get our message across about Pasture Promise free range milk. The cows looked all glossy and happy outside on pasture, Rachel and Stephen the Free Range Dairy farmers had a chance to talk about something positive for the dairy industry after years of crisis. Henry and Stephen from Jones Bros Dairy as well as fellow Director Neil were featured in the programme. Read more about Neil’s experience of the filming here.

Jamie Oliver then put out a tweet to say
Free Range Dairy | Jamie Tweet


Free Range Dairy | Neil Tweet
Free Range Dairy | Jamie & Jimmy Tweets

Free Range Dairy | Filming Friday Night FeastAs well as support from Deborah Meaden, Liz Earle and others who have supported us from the beginning and are pleased to see it really taking off.

We’re working hard now to make sure we keep up with enquiries and make sure all orders can be filled.

 

Standards and misleading comments


Free Range Dairy | Grazing CowsDue to all the interest in what we do and the Pasture Promise logo, it’s a good time to give you a brief reminder of who we are and what the Pasture Promise logo represents.
  • First, we’re a Community Interest Company with any profits having to go back into achieving our social mission.
  • The Pasture Promise logo is there to define the farming system behind free range milk. It’s very important that consumers have a clear understanding of what the logo stands for and have the assurance that there is real integrity behind it.
  • We want recognition for the way we farm and we can’t achieve that if we can’t demonstrate that behind the logo there are clear standards in place.
  • The records that farmers are required to keep for the Free Range Dairy Network are not too onerous, as a lot of what is required is in the form of policies relating to cow management, which need to be reviewed and submitted annually.
  • Day to day farmers must keep accurate grazing records to show which fields the cows graze each day. But this also encourage them to look at their pasture management and utilise natural resources and feedback from farmers indicates that it does.
  • If cows need to come in during the grazing season due to bad weather, then farmers bring them in. They let Free Range Dairy Network know the reason so there are accurate records and again it’s all part of the Pasture Promise logo having integrity.
  • We consult our farmers about the development of the standards and consider the practical application of these standards on the farm.
  • Farmers are actively involved in the promotion of their Pasture Promise free range milk and their farms, as part of the scheme that has given them a real sense of ownership of their milk and we want to be able to explain to buyers why we do what we do. Having a clear set of standards makes it much easier for them to understand how we farm and the benefits it delivers to the cows, the environment and the people who drink Pasture Promise free range milk.
  • Producing free range milk under the Pasture Promise logo does not mean farmers have to radically alter their farming system. It just means that farmers think more about how they farm and farmers have fed back this is a very positive thing as it encourages them to improve grassland management. Farmers are encouraged to plan ahead and review the previous grazing season to look at what they can do better next time around.
I hope that helps makes things a bit clearer about why we believe free range milk should come from cows that graze at least half of the year outside and you can also check out our standards page on the website.
 

Bee Midtown

Free Range Dairy | Bee on cloverLondon in the last few days has once again been put on high alert over air pollution. Even healthy people are being advised not to take strenuous exercise outdoors. Targets put in place for the year have already been broken too many times in the first month of 2017.

We need new approaches to fight air pollution in London and our cities caused by traffic and Bee Midtown has come up with a great scheme to reduce carbon footprint and air pollution. They have introduced ‘smart deliveries’ to streamline the amount of vans coming into the Midtown area to drop off similar goods. Bee Midtown is the name given to London’s Midtown's Business Improvement District (BID) which includes Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles.

Jones Bros Dairy, who we work with have won the contract to deliver milk and daily essentials into the area and it was Pasture Promise free range milk what helped seal the deal.

As Bee Midtown have said
Help your employees breathe easier. By partnering with Jones Bros, we will consolidate the number of deliveries coming and going through Midtown. That means less lorries, less congestion and less pollution. And as a business, you'll also save money and time by using fewer suppliers. Now, breathe.

There are four key areas  and Bee Midtown is funded by Transport for London to hugely simplify traffic and deliveries into the area. It’s a really innovative way to reduce congestion and air pollution in London and I’m sure other areas will be looking at similar initiatives. 
 

Sustainable Restaurant Association Coffee Campaign

From February 1st, the Sustainable Restaurant Association will be running their first coffee campaign.  They have a range of events running through the month including a Fairtrade and SRA webinar with Leonard Kachebonaho.

Free Range Dairy Network will also have a blog on their website as milk plays such an important part in the coffee story. A 6oz cappuccino will consist of 1oz of espresso and 5oz of milk plus some froth. Whether it’s High St or Artisan coffee houses we should all be asking – where does my milk come from?

Ongoing pressure to produce more for less on farms, means we are witnessing a rise in intensive dairy farms that are far removed from the public perception of cows lazily grazing in fields. Furthermore, the consolidation of milk processing into the hands of one or two big players is stripping milk of its provenance and taste and denying consumers the chance to enjoy great tasting free range milk and support smaller farms.

The Pasture Promise logo stands for winning a fair deal for farmers and cows. Providing a clear assurance that cows enjoy the freedom to graze in fields for at least 6 months of the year, support small, family farms and offer consumers a more informed choice. The Free Range Dairy Network works in collaboration with farmers and independent dairy businesses around the country to create a badly needed opportunity to add value to milk at the farm gate.

Whereas coffee has seen its value surge, often called black gold, milk has seen its value plummet. Not because milk has suddenly become less expensive to produce but because our family farms are expected to shoulder the cost. This is one of the main reasons over 4,000 dairy farmers have gone out of business in the last 10 years. Unless we want milk from large intensive farms, run like factories to streamline costs and logistics, then the coffee industry in the UK needs to be prepared to pay a fair price for their milk. 
 

If you have any stories to contribute then please contact Free Range Dairy at info@freerangedairy.org.
 
Copyright © 2017 Free Range Dairy, All rights reserved.




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