Arla Foods is committed to processing only the highest quality milk and Arla’s supplying farmers ensure that they farm to the highest animal welfare standards to provide the best quality milk possible.
Arla has a global farm assurance standard, called Arlagården, which is currently operated in Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium. In the UK, Arla farmers supply milk under the national Red Tractor Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme which provides legislation relating to quality, traceability, hygiene and animal welfare.
The Red Tractor Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme allows British dairy farmers to demonstrate that their standards of husbandry and welfare meet nationally agreed levels of best agricultural practice.
Arla Foods works closely with Acoura, which has team of AFS accredited auditors which inspect the farms of Arla farmers on a regular basis to ensure that they are fully compliant with the requirements of the scheme.
Farms are assessed on a number of criteria at their farm, which include
- Hygiene and food safety
- Plant and equipment
- Feedstuffs and water
- Stocksmanship and training
- Contingency procedures
An integral part of the scheme is a herd health plan, which is a detailed plan of preventative healthcare and protocols as well as a recording system to monitor herd health and welfare. The herd health plan is also reviewed annually in conjunction with vets.
This includes protocols for routine footcare, examination and trimming, and actions to be taken for the treatment of lame cows. A mastitis action plan is also required and used to prevent and control mastitis of the herd, including methods for detection and treatment, protocols for clinical cases and procedures for drying off.
During 2015, Arlagården will be rolled out in the UK to both Arla Milk Link and Arla Milk Cooperative farmers.
Arlagården currently operates in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium and was developed with, and for, Arla’s farmer owners. It has an emphasis on milk composition, food safety, animal welfare and the environment. It is especially important in export markets, including China, where Arla can guarantee a consistent standard of milk production from its owners.
The roll out will ensure that all of Arla’s farmer owners are working towards the same standards, however, the programme will complement the existing Red Tractor Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme in the UK and work is currently on going to see how the two schemes can work together for AML and AMCo farmers.