Dairy company FrieslandCampina and a group of member dairy farmers will start producing milk with animal feed that complies with the German VLOG standard (Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik). The milk will be used for the production of cheese for the German market. FrieslandCampina will start bringing in member dairy farmers who want to participate in this pilot.
With the production of cheese in conformity with the VLOG standard, FrieslandCampina capitalises on the growing demand of German supermarkets for foodstuffs produced without any use of genetic engineering in the production chain.
VLOG (Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik) is a German association responsible for the certification and issuing of the ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ label. The VLOG association was founded in 2010 and it is recognised by the German government. A number of FrieslandCampina dairy farmers in Germany is already producing milk in conformity with the ‘Ohne Gentechnik’ label for Landliebe products.
Member dairy farmers can participate
FrieslandCampina offers a few hundred member dairy farmers in the vicinity of the cheese plants in Born and Workum the opportunity to participate in the pilot. These dairy farmers may give their cows only feed that meets the VLOG criteria. Here it is of major importance that no use is made of feed produced with or from genetically modified organisms, like much soy meal coming from the United States of America. Locally grown roughage, such as grass and maize, which is by far the most important feed for cows, does meet the VLOG criteria. Before the milk may be used in products featuring the VLOG label, the cows must have been fed in conformity with the VLOG criteria for three months.
As a result of the higher feed costs at the farm and higher logistic and production costs, the price of cheese with the VLOG label is higher than that of regular cheese. Participating dairy farmers will receive an extra payment of about 1.00 euro per 100 kg milk on top of the FrieslandCampina guaranteed price for farm milk to compensate the higher feed costs. The FrieslandCampina cheese plants in Born and Workum (the Netherlands) will be prepared for separate processing of the different milk flows.
FrieslandCampina remains open for genetic modification
FrieslandCampina remains open for research, innovations, basic materials and products in which, in a responsible way, use is made of genetic modification that has been proven to be safe and as such has been approved by the responsible authorities. This can make a contribution to securing sustainable global food production. By the way, FrieslandCampina does not sell any products that should have been labelled as genetically modified.
The common concentrates for cows meet all legal requirements of the European Union. The member dairy farmers of FrieslandCampina have used only soy originating from sustainable sources and certified in accordance with the criteria of the Round Table Responsible Soy or equal in the concentrates since 2015.