Landliebe, FrieslandCampina’s premium brand in Germany, is the first to introduce a broad range of basic milk products with the tag line ‘no genetic engineering’ in Germany. This means that in addition to fresh and UHT milk, Landliebe products such as natural yoghurt, cream and low fat cheese (cottage cheese) will also bear the stamp ‘no genetic engineering’ from 1 July 2010. The transition date for cream butter and yoghurt butter is 1 August 2010. This marks the second phase of the scheduled transition of Landliebe’s complete basic range. As early as October 2008, Landliebe was the first in Germany to offer fresh and UHT milk brands free of GMO1.
Thanks to the introduction of Landliebe fresh milk free of genetic engineering in 2008, Landliebe saw its turnover rise by more than 10 per cent last year. This is an indication that there is a demand among German consumers for natural, safe and tasty dairy products.
As appears from current research, an overwhelming majority of the consumers in Germany reject the application of genetic engineering in foodstuffs2. No less than 78 per cent advocate a positive positioning of milk, meat and eggs by means of the ‘no genetic engineering’3 stamp. ‘Naturalness, sustainability, security and quality are the values Landliebe has been communicating for years as the most well loved brand for dairy products in supermarket cooling sections4. So it’s also our duty to endorse this confidence and to meet consumers’ demands for natural, honest products free of genetic engineering. This switch again proves that we realise our plans in a sustainable and consistent manner’, says Michael Feller, managing director of FrieslandCampina Germany.
Traditional feed concept
It was only with the introduction of Landliebe’s traditional feed concept two years ago that the transition really became possible. In addition to concentrated feed, the feed Landliebe farmers give their cows consists of grass, rapeseed, lupine, peas, pigeon peas and grain that come from Germany or neighbouring countries within the EU. These indigenous crops are guaranteed to be free of genetic modification (‘no genetic engineering’). On principle, soy is not given to animals. In the context of the current innovations, it has now been demonstrated and verified that apart from milk, Landliebe’s basic milk products such as natural yoghurt cream, cottage cheese and also cream butter and yoghurt butter are now produced without the aid of genetic engineering.
The process of switching Landliebe’s basic assortment appeared to be logistically and organisationally complicated as well as very time-consuming. It took almost two years to guarantee a separate routing in all steps in the chain, which now applies to all components such as cultures or milk powder. Moreover, reliable suppliers had to be found within that time who could offer all ingredients for the basic products free of genetic engineering or whose ingredients are fully produced in-house. Landliebe also succeeded in convincing its farmers of the advantages of the traditional feed concept; an important condition to obtain the total quantity of milk free of genetic engineering for the numerous products manufactured by Landliebe. There are now some 1,000 Landliebe farmers in the areas around Cologne and Heilbronn. In addition to Landliebe fresh and UHT milk, Landliebe cream is now also being produced in Cologne.
1 GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms
2 Emnid, 2009
3 forsa, 2009
4 Brigitte communication analysis, May 2010