We’ll work with both certified organic and non-organic farmers. But we won’t be marketing our milk as certified organic.
We are firm believers in organic farming principles and we have farmed to the certified organic standards in the past.
You can be sure that there are no antibiotics or growth hormones in the milk.
Our antibiotic treatment protocols are exactly the same as certified organic farmers.
There are lots of on-farm practices that we think are important, such as our policy of calves staying with their mothers. This policy is not part of the organic standards and as far as we know, no organic farm is adopting a cow & calf policy.
We know you want some form of certainty, that the milk is being produced in a good way. And for many the “certified organic” label is the measure you use.
We know how the sausage is made and we don't think organic certification is the best way of determining good ethical milk.
We hope that over time you will see how we communicate and how open we are with our customers. We’d like to think that we can win over your trust.
We find the attitude and philosophy of the farmer is a better indication of farming practices.
Pasture-based dairy farming is not like cropping where it's common for an entire crop to be sprayed multiple times with different sprays.
Dairy farmers don't spray their pastures. There's just no need to. As such, sprays are only used on a “spot spray” basis. Such as spraying a stubborn gorse bush or a few thistles.
Our view is sprays are a tool that should be used only on a very limited basis.
We don’t think synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is needed as part of a low-intensity pasture-based farming system.
Nitrogen fertiliser is a tool that gives a short-term boost of growth.
We will be enabling a lot of small-scale farmers who are new to farming and will start farming on neglected soils and depleted paddocks.
There are limited occasions where a dollop of nitrogen fertiliser can be beneficial to “kick start” new plants trying to survive in adverse soil conditions. This allows the biodynamics to start working.
Nitrogen fertiliser will hardly ever be used on our farms. But we don’t want to be accused of telling you porkies. So we’re leaving the door open to some nitrogen fertiliser use.
We'd like to gently say, in a nice, caring way, that we don’t think A2 protein cows are actually better for your stomach.
It's been 20 years since the claim was made that A2 protein cows may be better for dairy-intolerant people.
To date, after 20 years of extensive research undertaken around the globe, there is no conclusive evidence to support the claim that A2 milk is better for your stomach.
In fact, A2 Milk Companies' own website states “Published research suggests that a2 Milk® may help avoid stomach discomfort in some people”.
That seems like a very vague statement to us.
You may say “But milk has always upset my stomach and we have been buying A2 milk from a local farmer and I can drink it with no discomfort.”
We agree, our customers have been telling us the same thing since 2014 and we have never been A2.
We think that drinking milk that has been lightly processed is the real reason it doesn’t affect your stomach.
Our theory is that modern standardisation process which deconstructs milk at the molecular level and then puts it back together again is affecting how some people can tolerate milk.
But that is just a hunch.
The short answer is Happy Cow Milk Co promotes a simple low-intensity pasture based farming system.
That means when the right number of cows are grazed on pasture and the farmer doesn’t import lots of feed from off the farm. It's very hard for those cows to adversely affect the environment.
Most environmental issues from cows occur when farmers put too many cows onto land (Which is all too common).
For a more in-depth discussion on this please read this blog post.
First off, there are no unwanted calves. All cows that supply Happy Cow Milk Co have their calves stay with them from birth up to about eight weeks of age.
The calf drinks from it's mother whenever it wants and we take the milk that is left.
When the calf is around eight weeks of age its rumen is fully developed and it is able to eat just grass.
At this point, our calves are separated by putting them in a separate paddock. The cows and calves can still meet at the fence. Over the next five days or so the cows and claves simply stop visiting each other and go their separate ways.
Just as they would naturally.
No crying and no heartache.
Unfortunately our cows don't live for ever and a cow can't retire to the back paddock when she can't be milked anymore.
When cows can't be milked anymore, she will be sent to the meat processing plant.
We know at first glance, this doesn't sound like a great story.
There is quite a lot to discuss with this topic. So we took the time to cover it in more detail in this blog post.
Male calves or females that are not going to become milking cows go to a local beef farm where they are grown to two years of age. Then they “become beef”.
When people make this claim, it’s like a dagger to our hearts.
The term “plant-based” means it was made from a crop. Almost all cropping is intensive monoculture agriculture using lots of sprays and fertiliser and lots of tractors and lots of cultivation, which destroys soil structure and releases carbon into the atmosphere.
There is no comparison between a low-intensity pasture-based dairy farming system (i.e. Happy Cow Milk system) and an intensive cropping system.
The debate is not even plant-based vs dairy. The question is how intensive is the farming system that produced the plant-based milk or the cow's milk.
We are currently selling milk in Auckland and Hamilton.
If you would like Happy Cow Milk in your local store, simply request it from your store manager and we will get to work on getting a milk dispenser into your local shop.
We will be launching Happy Cow Milk in Christchurch by the end of 2023, with Wellington coming in 2024.
Feel free to let us know in advance your favourite shops in Christchurch & Wellington, and we'll get to work to approach the stores in advance for you 🙂