The Guardian newspaper reports that UK supermarket chain Asda is to start selling free range milk from cows that are kept outside for at least six months a year.
The move comes after consumers wanted a fairer price for milk for farmers and a healthier product.
Asda one of the leading supermarket chains in the UK will sell the milk under the banner Pasture promise logo which explains that the animals grazed outside for at least 180 days and nights of the year.
It’s a welcome move from British dairy farmers who have been suffering with low milk prices as their counterparts here in Ireland.
Up to 20% of UK dairy cows are housed indoors at all times while numbers are a lot less here in Ireland.
Indeed much of the milk produced here in Ireland could qualify for this free range brand as the majority of dairy farms are pasture based and cows are only housed in winter times. It may be a marketing ploy from Asda but it might work here in Ireland too?
The guardian adds that there are no laws to cover free range milk regulations and production in the UK unlike its counterpart in the egg and chicken farming which has strict guidelines.
The NFU’s dairy board chairman, Michael Oakes, told the guardian: “It is positive to see a new brand of milk launched. There have been a number of new brands in recent years and it’s good to see more differentiation and consumer choice in the milk aisles.
“Part of the NFU Dairy Board strategy is promoting the best of British at home and abroad and we would urge any new brands to focus on positive, constructive messaging that promotes dairy. No matter what system farmers choose, it’s about happy, healthy cows which are vital to producing high quality dairy products.”
With the right marketing it might just take off in Ireland as we pretty much are already doing all this. Let us know your thoughts leave a comment below.