why does modern dairy cost the earth?
Over the past several years Britain has experienced a dairy crisis. The price of milk has fallen so low that it barely covers production costs for most farmers. This has caused many smaller farms to go out of business. It has also led to an increase in mega-dairies.
These large, factory farms house thousands of cows in industrial-scale sheds. The cows are then milked around the clock, rarely, if ever, getting access to sunshine or fresh pasture. This intensive farming leads to many problems for the animals. Lameness, infections, anxiety and aggression from overcrowding are all common.
Dairy cows are unable to express natural behaviours and newborn calves are taken away from their mothers who are then pushed to their physical limits to produce the most amount of milk possible. As well as animal welfare issues, these types of farms are unsustainable in many other ways. There is a greater risk of disease. The cows experience more health problems and die at a younger age than those on a traditional farm.
There’s also the large contribution to global warming through greenhouse gases, and the damaging waste disposal that can contaminate the environment. It seems there are very few positives to this unnatural form of farming.
the simple (cow) alternative
by processing our milk right here on the farm and supplying direct to you via our milk stations we are able to cut out the market pressures that are placed on us by large scale milk processors and supermarkets and bring you truly fresh milk. every litre we produce is full of compassion, sustainability and simplicity. As a result you are able to get a product that is better for the animals, the environment, the community and ultimately you.
Many dairies achieve a high milk yield by using highly intensive methods to maximise profits. Our methods may not achieve the same high levels of production but we know our way has the animal’s welfare as top priority so we’re quite happy to swap lower milk yields for the well-being of our cows.
Our small herd of cows are all sorts of shades red, brown, fawn, and black and some even look spotty or splodgy. This is because we farm with what is called a Mixed Breed Herd. It is a far more gentle, ethical, and traditional approach to dairying, and it suits our small farm well. Our mix of cow’s results in a herd with a mellow nature. Our cows calve easily and enjoy a long-life span. And most importantly to us the female and male calves are both of value on the farm.
Unlike most dairy herds, we allow all our cows to rear their own calves. Due to our natural system the cows are only milked once a day, and we only take the milk remaining once the calves have had their breakfast.
Due to the size of our herd and our location, our cows enjoy a minimum of 300 days a year to roam free range. A completely grass-fed diet not only keeps our cows happy, but also produces better quality milk for you. Their rich diet produces the best tasting, golden cream topped milk with glorious high protein levels in every bottle.
Cows on pasture can feed themselves and return their waste directly to the soil. hundreds of cows living in relative confinement, on the other hand, need their food and water delivered to them and their tremendous volume of waste must be removed. All these inputs and outputs take a serious toll on the environment.
one of our core beliefs is that farming should work with the environment and not against it. We farm as naturally as possible and keep any animal medicine usage to a minimum and only when absolutely necessary. our grazing techniques help to build soil structure and organic matter, we even have our own bees help to pollinate our meadows. Low food miles and reduced carbon emissions are just a couple of the benefits of not buying in feed for the farm, as some concentrated feeds are made up of cereals imported from all over the world.
with our own wind turbine and solar panels we are able to produce all the electricity we require right here on the farm, in fact we produce enough that we can also export a proportion!
Milk is our first food but, if you go to a supermarket, this is as exciting as it gets. It’s a faceless commodity that shops use as a loss leader to lure customers to their isles. Despite the widespread use of images of cows in fields, labels on milk tell you very little about the farms milk comes from and the life that the cows are afforded. Standardised, homogenised, packed in plastic bottles and transported all over the country, a bottle of milk on a Bristol super market shelf is no different to that of one in Birmingham.
However, milk isn’t just white water, the milk that comes from each individual farm has distinct qualities and taste. unfortunately though, this ‘terroir’ is lost as big dairies pool milk from thousands of different farms, stripping it of its provenance.
With the increasing consumer concern about what’s in their food, what’s been taken out, how it was produced, and where it comes from, Simple Cow is here to give consumers some clarity.
Milk available 24 hours a day, milk that hasn’t been messed with, just simply pasteurised. Milk that’s traceable back to one farm, where cows aren’t intensively raised but instead allowed to graze as nature intended, produced in a sustainable and ethical way.
Milk is simple and pure, and we're keeping it that way