Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Diamond Wedding Party, Free Range Milk

The Farmer & I have just returned from a weekend away attending a family gathering in Brecon to celebrate my parent's Diamond wedding anniversary. This is the marvellous cake decorated by our very clever daughter-in-law. It was a lovely event attended by all the family bar one grandson who had gone to work in Germany two days previously and old family friends. It is not often that we manage to congregate en famille and there was much catching-up by the cousins, some of whom had not met for several years and they were all able to exchange travel stories as most of them have been of on adventures in amazing places. For us it was the first overnight trip away from the farm for over a year and as a treat we stayed at the Castle Hotel in Brecon, where the lunch party was being held. It was all very pleasant and relaxing and we have now arrived back home straight into the usual routine and getting ready for lambing.

In recent weeks there has been mention in the press of a so-called 'new' initiative in the marketing of milk, 'free range' milk. This has caused raised eyebrows in the organic sector as we have been producing 'free range' milk for well over 20 years. Organic dairy cows are out in fields grazing for on average 7 months of the year, sometimes more if the weather is suitable. The diet of organic dairy cows is a minimum of 60% forage such as grass and is free from artificial fertilisers,chemicals and GMOs. Organic remains the gold standard for animal welfare and the freedom to roam.
As organic farmers we have an annual audit of our production standards which are legally binding and enforced by the certification bodies such as the Soil Association (www.soilassociation.co.uk) We sell our milk to the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-Operative Ltd (www.omsco.co.uk)who have been leaders in the marketing of organic dairy produce for over 20 years and can say with confidence that consumers have had the choice of buying free-range, pasture fed milk for all that time. It is not something new.
Here are some of our lovely organic cows grazing on our lush organic pasture!

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