The first products bearing a new pasture-fed dairy logo have gone on sale.
Sussex-based artisan cheesemaker The Traditional Cheese Dairy has started putting the Pasture Promise logo on five of its cow’s milk cheeses in the past month. Its also flagging up its grass-fed credentials on its delivery vans (pictured).
Neil Darwent, the dairy farmer who created Pasture Promise, said other small producers were gearing up to roll out the logo in the coming weeks and months.
These included doorstep delivery milkmen in Yorkshire who hoped to use it to differentiate their milk and better compete with the mults.
The next phase would focus on getting larger processors - and ultimately the supermarkets - to use the logo on their milk, Darwent added.
“The next step for us is to go down the mainstream route and say to people ‘what stops you from joining?’”
To this end, he said he was currently re-evaluating the standards to see if tweaks might encourage wider adoption.
The scheme requires cows to be grazed for 180 days a year, for example, but Darwent said it was possible producers who were “transitioning” to Pasture Promise could be allowed slightly fewer grazing days for a period of time.
Many British family dairy farms already complied with the spirit of the scheme and would be eligible without having to make major changes to the way they operated, he added. The logo would simply be a tool for them to highlight their existing good grazing practices.
“This scheme was never about the niche - it’s about creating mass change and adding real value to the milk from average British dairy farms,” Darwent said.
He added that he hoped growing consumer demand would encourage retailers to commit to grass-fed policies.