Dairy Environmental Policy Question 4

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Question

Does at least 50% of the dairy come from cows that are exclusively fed with organic food?

  • Dutch version: Komt ten minste 50% van de zuivel van koeien die uitsluitend worden gevoed met biologisch voedsel?
  • German version: Stammen zumindestens 50% der verarbeiteten Milch von Kühen, die ausschließlich mit Biofutter gefüttert werden?

References and Guidelines

A cow eats between 60-100 kg food per day. The food mainly exists out of grass, but also includes roughage and power feed. Organic cows eat 100% organic food; the food is not treated with chemical fertilizers and is not genetically modified, therefore a minimum of 60% of the organic food has to be roughage (e.g. gras, clover and hay). Organic cows eat less corn and soy. Organic calves do not get powdered milk, but real milk from its mother. [1].

This guideline is set by EKO [2]. When a product is labelled with the EKO sign, it indicates that the product has organic origin. The standards of EKO are made up by and protected by the European Commission. According to EKO, cows have to be exclusively fed with organic food in order to be certified organic.

Demeter certification always includes at least the EKO standards, and is therefore acknowledged for this question as well.

Please note that some brands do not have an official certification for their products, but do have a concrete policy that includes this standard. When this standard is applied to at least 50% of the brand's products, this is sufficient for a 'Yes' as well.


Best Practice: Vecozuivel has 100% organic milk, which indicates that 100% (so at least 50%) of their cows are exclusively fed with organic food.

Answering guidelines

Answer Yes:

  • The [brand/company] produces at least 50% of its dairy that comes from cows that are exclusively fed with organic food.

Answer No:

  • The [brand/company] does not produces at least 50% of its dairy that comes from cows that are exclusively fed with organic food.
  • The [brand/company] does produces at least 50% of its dairy that comes from cows that are fed with <100% organic food.

Answer ?:

  • The [brand/company] does not specify whether at least 50% of the dairy come from cows that are exclusively fed with organic food.
  • The [brand/company] does not specify what type of food at least 50% of the dairy cows are fed with.