Animal welfare and biodiversity are also important to FrieslandCampina. That is why we aim for cows that live longer and purchase soy that is certified in conformity with the RTRS (Round Table Responsible Soy) or similar criteria.
Improvement of animal health and animal welfare and lengthening the lives of the animals are important aspects of the Foqus planet programme. Healthy, well looked after cows live longer, need less medication and have a more efficient milk production.
Demands for member dairy farmers
Various demands are made on the member dairy farmers concerning animal health and animal welfare. Examples of this are cooperation with a licensed bovine veterinarian, monitoring of the animal welfare status and an animal health check. The member dairy farmers can make use of the following tools to guarantee the health of the animals:
- The Periodic Farm Visit: four regular visits by a veterinarian per year;
- The Continuous Animal Health Monitoring includes monitoring the animal health based on available figures concerning animal health and comparison with the national average. The data include dying of cows, dying of calves, health status for paratuberculosis, BVD and salmonella, new udder infections and cell count;
- Koe-Kompas [cow compass]: a full analysis of the dairy farming sector which gives an overview of the strong points and areas of improvement in the dairy farming sector (feed, water, housing, animal welfare, etc.).
In the framework of the objectives of the Sustainable Dairy Chain, FrieslandCampina stimulates member dairy farmers to aim at lengthening the lives of the cows by six months in 2020 compared to 2011 (5 years, 8 months and 11 days). This will reported about in the Sustainable Dairy Chain Sector Report.
Pasture grazing: cows in meadowsRead more about how FrieslandCampina encourages its member dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to put their cows and young cattle out into the meadows.
Responsible use of antibiotics
Worldwide, antibiotics make a key contribution to countering bacterial infections in both humans and animals. To help prevent antibiotics resistance, the Dutch animal sectors have negotiated agreements with the government relating to the responsible use of antibiotics. In the dairy farming sector, antibiotics may only be applied at the express instruction of a veterinarian and preventive use is prohibited. There has been a steadily declining trend in the use of antibiotics on dairy farms over the past few years. This is the result of the efforts made by FrieslandCampina’s member dairy farmers and due to better cooperation with other parties in the dairy chain, including veterinarians. FrieslandCampina fully endorses the sector agreements made with government. This is reported in the Sustainable Dairy Chain Sector Report.