Market launch in northern Germany: Animal Welfare Milk
Premium animal husbandry, premium milk quality
Since the beginning of December, the Witzwort-based cooperative dairy NordseeMilch eG has been carrying a new product in its range: animal welfare milk. This milk category is certified according to the guidelines of the German Animal Welfare Association and thereby achieves the highest award level in animal husbandry and milk quality.
It replaces the dairy's well-known pasture milk, but imposes stricter animal welfare requirements on the 35 farms in the region from which the raw milk comes. Tierwohl dairy cows are kept on pasture for six hours a day, at least 120 days a year, and have year-round access to an outdoor area. The barns, where the animals can move freely, offer plenty of space, softly bedded lying areas and massage brushes for individual coat care. There are also requirements for feeding: genetically modified feed or feed containing soy from overseas is prohibited. Each of the participating farmers also undertakes to attend regular training courses and is inspected at least twice a year by an independent certification body.
Consumers who are interested in animal welfare benefit from the cows' satisfaction, because the milk, which is available with 1.5 and 3.5% fat content in practical gable-top cartons with screw caps, is of excellent quality. The milk-producing farmers are also happy to commit to the Tierwohl milk, since the dairy pays 4 cents more per liter than milk from conventional farming. Thus, the new Tierwohl milk not only sends a signal of respect for the cows, but also for the performance of the farmers.
Innovative activities for animal welfare and soil quality have a long tradition at NordseeMilch. Back in 2012, the dairy launched an organic milk, although demand was virtually non-existent at the time. But clever marketing and a change in consumer awareness led to success. In the meantime, 120,000 liters of organic milk are delivered and processed at the dairy every day - a volume that is beginning to exceed the farm's capacity. For this reason, on December 4, Daniel Günter, Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, presented Dieter Petersen, Chairman of the Board of Meierei, with a grant of 6.5 million euros from the state for the construction of a new production hall. Thus, the cooperative dairy can continue to invest in the future and promote animal-friendly agriculture.
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