16 January 2019 | Online since 2003

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17 May 2018 09:38:42 |Cattle,Dairy,News

Pasture-Fed group seeks dairy farmers to join milk certification

Crossbred ‘Pasture for Life’ dairy cows are fed no grain or concentrate feeds

Crossbred ‘Pasture for Life’ dairy cows are fed no grain or concentrate feeds

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association is encouraging farmers to join its organisation as it starts certifying dairy farms producing milk from cows raised exclusively on pasture.
The PFLA has been certifying 100% grass-fed beef and sheep farmers, which allows them to use the ‘Pasture for Life’ logo in their marketing, for the past two years.
But now they are currently in talks with 26 dairy farmers about becoming certified, in the organisation's first step in milk certification.
It now hopes to encourage the development of new routes to market for farmers to service growing consumer interest.
The PFLA champions pastoral farming, providing a distinct identity for systems where animals eat only grass and forage crops their entire life.
According to the organisation, food produced this way is tastier and healthier than meat from animals fed grain.

Pilot project
The PFLA ran a pilot project in 2017 with eight farms, which included three micro-dairies (29 cows or fewer), two medium-scale farms (30 to 149 cows) and three large-scale farms (350 cows each).
The results showed that costs of production were lower than conventionally farmed dairy herds, with no feed costs and often lower infrastructure and labour costs.
While less milk was produced, ranging from 2,433 to 4,500 litres a year on average per cow, the higher quality usually achieved a higher price – ranging from 40p/litre when sold wholesale for cheese to £3/litre for direct retail.
“Certifying dairy farmers who are producing milk of very high nutritional quality from just pasture, is the obvious next step for us,” says Russ Carrington, general manager for the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association.
“While we recognise that producing milk just from grass is not easy, there are several herds, led by brave, knowledgeable and entrepreneurial individuals, that are already doing this.
“We feel it is the right time to acknowledge their achievements, and to provide clear recognition for consumers seeking to buy Pasture for Life certified milk and dairy products.”


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