Arla Foods has launched ‘Arla UK 360’, a new standard in UK dairy farming, which aims to benefit retailers, farmers and customers.
The programme covers the six areas: animal health and welfare, people development, environment and natural resources, community engagement and economic resilience and reinvestment, and research and development.
Graham Wilkinson, head of agriculture at Arla Foods UK and strategic lead for the Arla UK 360 programme, said: “This programme is a vision of how we help drive sustainable businesses for UK dairy farmers. It isn’t just about producing high quality dairy products. It continues the journey of our owners in driving a sustainable business, as stewards of the countryside and a critical part of UK food production. Crucial to its success is the support of retailers and foodservice businesses, as only then can the vision become a reality on farms across the UK.”
Arla Foods said it currently works with retailers across the UK to develop standards, but Arla UK 360 will unify this support so that more consistent industry-wide change can be achieved.
Wilkinson said: “Arla farmer owners have a long-standing history of receiving support from UK retailers, however, with a new Agriculture Bill on the horizon, our owners want to drive sustainable change.”
Aldi is the first UK grocery retailer to sign up to the programme and its support will provide a premium to a selected group of Arla’s owners to deliver the standards on farm. The retailer will work with its group of British Arla farmer owners through the Aldi Dairy Farm Partnership to share knowledge through the supply chain and explore and tackle waste on farm, initially searching for ways to reuse or recycle on farm plastic through the supply chain.
Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility at Aldi UK, said: “We have an excellent working relationship with Arla and are pleased to support this scheme through our new Aldi Dairy Farm Partnership.
“We will be working with our dedicated Arla farmers to continue to enhance animal welfare and farm management through the 360 programme. This builds on our longstanding commitment to support British farmers and suppliers.”
The programme was developed following a six-month trial with 79 Arla farmer owners. Additional areas that the programme will seek to address with the support of retailers and foodservice companies include breeding calves with purpose, cow behavioural studies, waste reduction and reuse along with data driven leadership.