Free Range milk will, for the first time, be served in some of London’s top hotels, restaurants and caterers from today. Consumers, cows and farmers will all benefit from a new initiative that is the result of a partnership between dairy wholesaler Foodspeed, Free Range Dairy CIC and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).
The three organisations have come together to act in response to growing concerns from chefs and the wider hospitality industry about animal welfare and the need for more transparent sourcing practices. Bobby Bawa, Managing Director of Foodspeed, believes that the Pasture Promise label can offer his clientele an affordable, ethical and sustainable quality milk brand with clearly defined values.
Free Range Dairy CIC, set up by Directors Carol Lever and Neil Darwent, BBC Outstanding Farmer of the Year 2014, works in collaboration with farmers, processors and milk sellers to produce and sell Free Range milk produced under the Pasture Promise label. This is the only label to guarantee that the cows graze for six months of the year outside on pasture and that pays a bonus to British farmers running sustainable dairy farms – providing much needed help for traditional pasture based dairy farmers feeling the squeeze due to the continuing dairy crisis in the UK.
Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: “Most people would assume that the milk they drink comes from cows that graze out in the field. But an increasing volume of milk comes from cows kept intensively indoors. Free Range milk is helping to reconnect people with where their food and drink comes from, while also providing a better deal for farmers, chefs, consumers and, importantly, the cows. Sourcing Free Range milk clearly demonstrates a commitment to these principles and we would encourage all restaurants to think about where their milk comes from.”
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