11 October 2010 | Lindsay Clark
Dairy Crest is working with suppliers to create a system that helps it better respond to consumer concerns regarding animal welfare and the environment.
The system, which will pool supplier data, is also designed to drive efficiency across the supply chain, said the company, whose brands include Country Life butter.
This will be in addition to the industry-wide Red Tractor farm assurance scheme, which guarantees suppliers meet high standards of food safety and hygiene, animal welfare and environmental protection.
A pilot programme has demonstrated that the necessary farming practices are in place on many farms supplying Dairy Crest, the firm said.
“New standards will give many suppliers recognition for the high standards they already achieve,” a statement from Dairy Crest said.
Mark Taylor, group milk procurement director, said the new programme would help to strengthen links between consumers and suppliers.
He said: “Our vision is that consumers can have absolute confidence that if they visit a Country Life farm they would see what they expect to see - and that a farmer should find the standards practically achievable, without the addition of unnecessary cost or complexity.
“I am confident that many of our suppliers are already achieving these standards.”
He said the new system would build on the firm’s White Gold service, which subsidises Dairy Crest suppliers – a key driver in helping achieve consistently higher standards while increasing farm efficiency.
Dairy Crest is one of the UK’s largest purchasers of fresh milk, buying approximately 2.4 billion litres every year.