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FrieslandCampina Increases Outdoor Grazing Cows in Dairy Farms

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FrieslandCampina Increases Outdoor Grazing Cows in Dairy Farms

FrieslandCampina Increases Outdoor Grazing Cows in Dairy Farms
June 25
09:09 2018

This year an extra 303 member dairy farms of FrieslandCampina, the Netherlands-based international co-operative, have switched to meadow grazing. The percentage of outdoor grazers within FrieslandCampina is expected to grow from 79.4 percent to about 81 percent in 2018. This brings the target for the year 2020 within reach, to have 81.2 percent of dairy farms applying outdoor grazing – the same level as 2012.

As from 2015, the number of farms of member dairy farmers having their cows graze in the meadows has grown every year (2017: 79.4 percent; 2016: 78.2 percent and 2015: 77.9 percent). The final percentage will be determined in December, at the end of the outdoor grazing season.

FrieslandCampina approached members who do not use outdoor grazing for their cows during the past months. Hundreds of them were given tailor-made advice or attended a special outdoor grazing meeting. This resulted in 303 extra member dairy farms choosing to have their cows graze in the meadows from 2018. The effect of the increase of the number of member farmers applying outdoor grazing will be known by the end of the year. The number of members resigning their memberships of FrieslandCampina will be known as well.

Cows in the meadows are a characteristic of the Dutch landscape and make dairy farming visible for the people. In order to keep the cows in the meadows, the Outdoor Grazing Covenant was introduced by the Dutch dairy sector, including FrieslandCampina, in the year 2012. With this covenant the signatories want to offer the cows as much as possible outdoor grazing and bring back the level of outdoor grazing back to that of 2012, which was 81.2%, in the year 2020.

In order to stimulate the outdoor grazing for cows, FrieslandCampina rewards its member dairy farmers for this. The dairy farmers will receive an outdoor grazing premium of 1.50 euro per 100 kg milk when their dairy cows graze in the meadows at least 120 days per year for a minimum of six hours a day. FrieslandCampina has a broad range of dairy products made from meadow milk.

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