Lancashire Farm Dairies has become the first UK yogurt manufacturer to use what it’s calling “free range milk” in all its yogurt products.
Unlike 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, the Rochdale-based company 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 animals are 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 a free range policy improve animal welfare, farmers also benefit by saving on feed and bedding, as well as receiving a higher price for their milk.
“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,” said Zouq.
Newly-branded free range Lancashire Farm Dairies yogurt is available now to the wholesale and convenience channels.