Source: Arla Foods UK

Arla CARE is rolling out this month on branded Arla milks such as Cravendale, and is being supported by a £3m marketing push

Arla Foods UK has followed its announcement of a €500m dairy farmer eco-rewards scheme earlier this month with the launch of a new higher-welfare and sustainability standard for its branded milk products.

As the new consumer-facing marque of the existing Arla UK 360 farm assurance scheme, Arla CARE (which stands for co-operative, animal welfare, renewable energy and ecosystem) will be an “industry-leading” requirement for all of its farmer owners producing milk for the Cravendale, BOB and Big Milk brands, the supplier said.

All Arla farmers that are part of the programme will be required to meet the existing 12 standards which make up the Arla UK 360 programme – covering criteria around improving animal health and welfare outcomes, biodiversity and wider sustainability – in addition to fulfilling a new requirement for grazing their animals when weather conditions allow, “providing it does not compromise the health or welfare of the animals”, the dairy co-op added.

Milk from Arla CARE farms will be segregated at its Stourton and Aylesbury dairies, where the Cravendale, BOB and Big Milk brands are produced.

Arla said the new standard, which will also see milk carry a new on-pack logo signposting the scheme, would roll out in all major retailers this month. It is being supported by a major £3m marketing campaign, which launched this week, and includes TV advertising, out of home, digital activations and PR.

The campaign heroed the scheme’s ‘Free to Graze’ claim and showcased Arla’s farmers and cows in the advert singing along to a remix of the classic dance hit ‘Everybody’s Free’.

Arla creates €500m dairy farmer eco-rewards scheme

The launch of the new standard comes as Arla research of 2,000 shoppers last year revealed that 87% of dairy consumers cared about animal welfare, with 78% saying they were concerned about the environmental impact of their food.

It follows the announcement of a €500m incentive scheme for Arla’s European farmers earlier this month, which could see them paid up to four eurocents for fulfilling a raft of sustainability-linked criteria. This comes as part of a push to accelerate action towards reaching its climate targets, which requires a 30% reduction of Scope 3 emissions by 2030 as well as a 63% reduction across Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“We know provenance is becoming increasingly important for consumers when making their food choices,” said Arla director of agriculture Paul Savage.

“By introducing some of our highest welfare standards onto our branded milk ranges, we can provide shoppers with the knowledge that it’s been produced with welfare and nature at the heart,” he added.

“Our farmers have been committed to accelerating their sustainability journey for a number of years and it’s that commitment and hard work that means we can bring these higher standards to our added value milk that has care in every step.”