314 member dairy farmers of FrieslandCampina chose for putting their cows out into the meadows by switching to outdoor grazing this year. This appears from the registrations for the outdoor grazing season 2017. Last season, almost 78.2 percent of the member dairy farmers had their cows graze in the meadows.
Frans Keurentjes, Chairman of Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A.: ‘This is a positive development. We are really happy with these new “outdoor grazers”. The visibility of the cows contributes to social acceptance and the image of dairy farming. Therefore we make an effort to guide dairy farmers as well as possible in their switch to outdoor grazing. We do this by providing tailor-made advice and special outdoor grazing clinics. Apart from this, the dairy farmers will receive a premium of 1.5 cents per kg meadow milk.’
FrieslandCampina stimulates outdoor grazing
By stimulating outdoor grazing, FrieslandCampina wants to reach its objective, being retention of the level of 2012 (81% of the dairy farms in the Netherlands apply some form of outdoor grazing) in the year 2020. FrieslandCampina approached members who do not yet put out their cows into the meadows yet during the past months. Some of them were given tailor-made advice. Additionally, special outdoor grazing clinics were organised. This resulted in 314 members choosing for having their cows graze in the meadows as from 2017. The effect of the increase of the number of members applying outdoor grazing on the eventual outdoor grazing percentage will be known by the end of the year. By then the number of members stopping or the number of members resigning their memberships of FrieslandCampina will be known as well.
About outdoor grazing
A grazing cow is part of the traditional Dutch landscape and enjoys high appreciation from society. FrieslandCampina stimulates member dairy farmers to have their cows and young cattle graze in the meadows. In order to promote outdoor grazing, FrieslandCampina rewards its member dairy farmers who have their dairy cows graze in the meadows at least 120 days per year for a minimum of six hours per day. These member dairy farmers receive an outdoor grazing premium of 1.50 euro per 100 kg milk.