After milking, our cows’ milk needs to be cooled down from 37oC to no more than 4oC to maintain its peak freshness. Knowing how much time and energy this would take, our farmers began using pre-coolers to start cooling milk even before it flows into the storage tank. This means our cooling units can work less hard and therefore use less energy. Besides saving energy, we also give back to the environment by making green energy: using solar panels to harness power from the sun; windmills to turn wind energy into electricity; and even producing natural biogas from machines that can digest our cows’ manure!
Other than our cows, we respect the fact that smaller creatures and plants also make their homes on our farms. These living beings deserve to thrive and be protected in their environment. So we do our best not to disturb their natural habitats, such as delaying grass-cutting on some parts of our pastures to keep the homes of meadow birds intact. This also ensures our cows and their future offspring have plenty of food to graze on.
Everyone knows that food grown for ourselves is always best, because we grow our crops to ensure they are packed full of nutrition. This is precisely what we do for our cows, growing most of their food like rye and maize on the farm, adding them to their customised feed to help them produce the most naturally nutritious milk. By growing what our cows need to eat on our farms, it also reduces our need to buy and transport feed, cutting waste and CO2 emissions for a healthier environment.
Beyond creating a more sustainable environment, keeping our cows happy is equally essential. Our cows get regular visits from their vet to keep them healthy. They are also free to wander and graze leisurely across 5,000 m2 of land for over six hours daily. That’s plenty of time and space to stretch their legs fully!
In the Netherlands, farmers are partnering companies to improve the farming environment. This includes designing feeding systems and machines that are mindful of the plants and other animals living on our farms. The government even chips in at times to help bring ideas to life. Our cooperative model also enables farmers to share and exchange expertise on sustainable practices, pushing our farming methods to greener standards.
No matter how small or big, every effort we make today will go a long way to create a more sustainable tomorrow for everyone. By giving our land and cows the care they need to flourish, we will naturally enjoy the best nutrition nature has to offer.