Dutch dairy co-op to pay farmers a premium for hitting sustainability standards

FrieslandCampina’s new Top Dairy range will reward farmers who meet targets on biodiversity, animal welfare and carbon emissions

Dutch dairy co-op FrieslandCampina has announced a new line, Top Dairy, which will pay farmers a premium for milk reaching certified standards of sustainability and animal welfare.

The move is the latest step in the co-op’s Nourishing by Nature strategy and includes commitments on biodiversity and reducing climate emissions.

FrieslandCampina – Europe’s largest dairy co-op – is now discussing the project with its members before deciding on the exact nature of the standards, which are expected to come into effect on 1 January 2019.

Chief executive Hein Schumacher said: “By accelerating our sustainability efforts we set the bar higher for dairy in general … With this we strengthen our purpose of nourishing by nature … better nutrition for our consumers and a good living for our dairy farmers. This is what it’s all about, now and in the future.”

Growth of the milk supply volume is possible within the scope of a pre-agreed growth arrangement, which aims to set an expected dairy market growth percentage, the co-op adds.

Frans Keurentjes, chairman of Zuivelcoöperatie, the co-op that owns FrieslandCampina, said: “Sustainable milk will pay off, we are convinced of that.

“Being one of the leading dairy co-operatives in the world, we ask our members to show strong commitment to meeting the demand for more sustainable and special milk flows.

“In addition to the higher payment for sustainability, we are aiming at well-balanced and market-driven growth. This will help us create a co-operative in which a next generation of farmers is guaranteed a future.”

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