Dairy Environmental Policy Question 6

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Question

Does at least 50% of the dairy come from cows that graze on farmlands that are only treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides?

  • Dutch version: Komt ten minste 50% van de zuivel van koeien die in de wei grazen wat alleen behandeld is met biologische meststoffen en biologische pesticiden?
  • German version: Stammen zumindestens 50% der verarbeiteten Milch von Kühen, die auf Weiden grasten, welche nur mit organischen Düngern und organischen Pestiziden behandelt wurden?

References and Guidelines

A cow eats between 60-100 kg food per day. Cows are used to eating grass, therefore a minimum of 60% of the organic food has to be roughage (e.g. gras, clover and hay). In the summer the cows will be grazing outside and in the winter organic cows will mainly eat roughage that is mowed in the summer and stored /dried throughout the year. This roughage can not be treated with chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. It can be treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides (such as the cows manure). It will decrease the chance of the chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides to enter the human body through the consumption of milk and secondly there will be a bigger diversity of grass,clovers, etc. in the grasslands. [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 can only be treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides 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 the dairy come from cows that graze on farmlands that are only treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides

Answering guidelines

Answer Yes:

  • The [brand/company] produces at least 50% of its dairy that comes from cows that graze on farmlands that are only treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides.

Answer No:

  • The [brand/company] does not produces at least 50% of its dairy that comes from cows that graze on farmlands that are only treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides.

Answer ?:

  • The [brand/company] does not specify what % of cows graze on farmlands that are only treated with organic fertilizers and organic pesticides.
  • The [brand/company] does not specify what type of fertilizers and pesticides are used on the farmlands.