Free range milk brand, Enjoy Milk, is hoping to provide a boost for the dairy industry
A new campaign to promote free range milk is hoping to repeat the success of free range eggs.
Enjoy Milk, a new brand using milk from cows which have grazed outside ’whenever possible’ aims not only to boost free range sales but also boost the dairy industry as a whole.
But farmers and industry representatives attending the launch at Becketts Farm, Birmingham this week, questioned how effective the scheme could be without defining what qualified as ’free range’.
Rob Ward, commercial trade communications lead for Enjoy Milk, said consumers would prefer milk from ’outdoor’ cows but were unaware their milk may come from indoor cows due to marketing images of cows in fields.
"It is about free ranging, fair trading 100 per cent British milk," said Mr Ward, highlighting the increases free range egg producers had seen in egg prices as well as sales from a campaign to promote free range.
There were also concerns about a negative impact on the image of non-branded milk.
Mr Ward said it was not about ’knocking indoor cows’ but offering consumers a choice. He said the packaging, which incorporates a black top would help consumers make that choice.
Nick Hiscox, director of the Free Range Milk Marketing Board, said the campaign also aimed to ’change the contract culture’.
"Farmers would receive a fixed price for 12 months," he said.
"After eight months there is a review of the price or they can leave at that point with three months’ notice."
He said they would begin by adding the ’black top’ to existing regional brands.
The milk will be sold at about £1.25 for four pints.
George Ross, farmer at Morthen Milk, has processed and sold milk directly from his Yorkshire dairy farm since last year due to unfair contracts and prices. He will add the black top to his own brand.
"With the black top, the idea is it shows we stand for the same values," he added.
Mr Hiscox said the board was speaking with three processors and there was interest from retailers including Ocado.