Image from Waitrose
Who could resist milk from a cow with a face like that? Certainly not Waitrose shoppers who will have the confidence of knowing that all the milk they buy is from British cows living on British dairy farms. Waitrose will be the first supermarket to stock their own 100% British dairy products, and customers will be able to trace its provenance from farm to fridge.
This is great news for the cows and the British farmers and the environment. The cows are being raised in the lap of luxury. They are living in light airy barns, with clean beds of straw or a specially designed comfy mattress; nutritional advisors to ensure a healthy diet and pedicures--their hooves are regularly trimmed.
Image from Waitrose
As for the farmers, they are part of the Waitrose Farmers Milk Scheme. This is the tenth anniversary of the partnership with over 60 British dairy farmers, all of whom are paid the fairest price for their product. The farms are in six counties in southern England, mainly Wiltshire, Dorset and Oxfordshire and their own dairy in Hampshire.
As part of the scheme, major investments are made in the dairies as well to ensure the highest conditions. Since the number of UK dairy farms has decreased by half over the last decade, this move will be a big boost for them.
It's good news for the environment too: by supporting local and regional producers in the UK, Waitrose hopes to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
The introduction of the essential Waitrose label dairy products will include a whole range including yoghurts, dairy ice-cream, milk, cream, cheddar and butter.
They are also encouraging farming practices that benefit wildlife through the WildCare scheme. It sets environmental standards to improve animal habitat and increase biodiversity. Participating farmers must dedicate a minimum of 10% of their dairy farm area as wildlife habitat. Wildlife corridors are created through the maintenance of ditches, hedgerows, water sources and edges of fields.