Our Story

The intensification of dairy farming has been a concern of ours for many years, so we’ve been working hard to come up with a different solution. Our big idea? A new method of dairy farming that keeps the calves with their mothers to suckle. Our ethical dairy model is based around treating the animals, the land, our environment and the people who work here with respect and kindness.

Background

In traditional dairy farms calves are removed from their mothers within a few hours of their birth - the stress this places on the cow is clear. So we wanted to find a way to keep calves with the cows and still have a financially viable farm. Put simply, we don’t want to have to choose between doing what’s right and staying in business.

As an organic dairy farm for more than twenty years our cows have already benefitted from some of the highest welfare standards in the UK, but we knew we could do even better. We built a new dairy, specially designed to house calves with their mothers, and we trialled the full cow with calf system for the first time in 2012. It taught us a lot, but financially cost us an awful lot.

However, the impact it made on cow contentment was staggering. All the animals were noticably calmer and far more confident.  After two to three months the calves became like teenagers, they loved playing with their pals and really only came back to mum when they wanted food!

We are determined to make our radical new model of dairy farming work, and by purchasing cheese from The Ethical Dairy you are helping to support it.

The calves became like teenagers loved playing with their pals
Our new approach increases biodiversity
Producing milk which makes our delicious cheese.

The Ethical Journey So Far

Since October 2016 our calves have stayed with their mothers for 5 to 6 months. We still milk them in that period, but only once a day.

We are still at the early stages of The Ethical Dairy project, but our new approach to dairy farming has already led to huge reductions in the use of antibiotics, increases in biodiversity and healthier, happier cows. Compared to an average dairy farm, already The Ethical Dairy has: 

  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than half
  • Reduced energy use by more than half
  • Cut antibiotic use by 90%
  • Cut agro-chemical use by 90%
  • Doubled the productive life of cows
  • Increased our farm biodiversity five-fold
  • Increased the net amount of food in our food system by 80%
  • Exceeded the highest standards of animal welfare

We hope you enjoy our cheese and we thank you for your support of The Ethical Dairy.

Join Our Revolution

Healthier, happier cows and calves are the goal of our radical new dairy system, alongside of course producing milk with which to make our delicious cheese. If you’re interested in helping us prove that commercial dairy farming can be ethical, sustainable and compassionate, then please sign up for our supporters newsletter below.

We email our members a few times each year to ask for your opinion on new ideas and to share our news.