Five dairy farmers go it alone, launch in Coles

A group of Victorian farmers have today launched a new milk brand, capitalising on research which shows that additive-free food is becoming a key selling point.

The milk is to be sold under the brand name Green Pastures, and while it is not certified organic, the brand says it is committed to ‘green farming’.

“We’ve discovered that what the cows eat really matters,” Reggie Davis, a Green Pastures founding farmer said. “We’ve gone back to grass roots and started with the source – the soil.”

Waste produced on the Green Pastures dairy farms is recycled to create natural, organic compost for fertilising, replacing chemical synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides, and returning the soil to its natural state.

The five farms involved in producing the milk have all committed to reducing the chemicals they use on their properties – one has done so by more than 81 per cent, including reducing the use of insecticides by 100%. Another has reduced chemical/synthetic fertilisers used on the farm by some 600 tonnes per year.

Coles have taken on board the milk brand across several states. General Manager of Responsible Sourcing, Jackie Healing, said the supermarket is supportive of farmers who take ownership of their product all the way from their farm to the supermarket shelf.

Healing said customers are increasingly keen to know how their food is produced and to know that it is nutritious and produced in an environmentally-friendly way.

That notion is supported by new data compiled by ResearchNow, which found that Australians are becoming more interested in how their food is grown, whether it is chemically altered, and the sustainability of its production.

The survey of 1,018 consumers around Australia found:

  • 89% worry about what ingredients are in foods
  • 83% worry about where fresh produce comes from, how it’s farmed and chemicals in the food chain.
  • 66% are worried about the chemicals and additives in milk and further 70% are concerned about dairy products in general.

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