In an industry first, Lancashire Farm Dairies has become the first UK yogurt producer to use free range milk in all of its yogurt products, a move that will benefit cows and farmers.
The Rochdale-based company has committed to only using free range milk in every yogurt pot. The decision will guarantee that the cows that product the milk for the company’s range of yogurts, will spend almost half the year grazing in open pastures.
Unlike free range eggs, there are currently no regulations in place to define free range milk so, after careful consideration of the welfare of the cows and weather conditions in the Lancashire area, Lancashire Farm agreed a minimum of 150 days grazing with its farmers. This allows cows the freedom to benefit from roaming the fields, whereas a higher number could mean the herd is outside in harmful cold and wet conditions.
Azhar Zouq, managing director of Lancashire Farm Dairies said: “As free range eggs are now readily available, many consumers think that free range milk and yogurt is the norm, but unfortunately it isn’t across the industry. At Lancashire Farm we see ourselves as innovators and strive to provide the best product for our customers while maintaining the welfare of our farmers and their cows.
“We believe that it only takes one of us to take the first step to make a change, for everyone else to follow suit and set the standard across the industry. Happy cows produce the best tasting milk, so it’s a no-brainer to do everything in our power to achieve this, and our Grazing Guarantee will do exactly that.”
Not only does free range milk improve animal welfare, farmers will also benefit by saving on feed and bedding, as well as receiving a higher price for their milk.
Mr Zouq added: “With 4,000 British dairy farmers going out of business in the last 10 years, we want to support the sector and free range is one way of doing so.”
Newly branded ‘free range’ pots of Lancashire Farm Dairies yogurt are available in stores nationwide including Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda.