Milk is sourced directly from within the local community from dairy farms within a 30 mile radius of the production facility in Shaftesbury. These farms are regularly inspected as part of the Red Tractor Farm Assured Scheme and are required to comply with this standard. In addition BV Dairy’s own Farm Liaison Team work closely with our Farmers in applying modern best-practice principles and helping them maintain herds of healthy, happy cows supplying high quality, rich, tasty and nutritious milk. When collected from the farm all milk joins a schedule of testing not only to maintain quality but also to form the basis of an agreed payment scheme for the farmer. In addition BV Dairy host regular forums attended by the their farmers and other invited dairy professionals where issues can be discussed and ideas exchanged to help ensure a continuing good working partnership.
Our typical dairy farm supplier has a long heritage of dairy farming and a long relationship with the Dairy. They vary in size from smaller, family farms with around 80 cows up to larger concerns with 400 cows. The systems used is dependent on the individual farm but ALL cows will go out on grass for a period of the year and spend their winter in a cubicle house or barn.
The breed of cow is also varied with some farms having pedigree Holstein Friesians and others having crossbred stock – such as Jersey crossed with Friesian. There are also Guernseys, Brown Swiss and Montbeliarde.
A nutritious diet is essential and in summer months this is mainly grass. In the winter when grass does not grow well cattle are fed mainly silage (preserved grass or maize) with a mixture of cereals and protein feeds to ensure that they maintain their health.
BV Dairy support varied calving patterns as this helps achieve a consistent volume of milk arriving at the Dairy. Calving timetables are varied and are tailored by the farmer to suit his farm, workforce and the space and land available – indeed there could even be other farming enterprises such as arable, beef cattle or sheep to consider. Some farms have the facilities to calve ‘year round’ whilst others calve in ‘blocks’, spring or autumn or sometimes both!!
BV Dairy is committed to its farmers whatever size their farm and our aim is to help them support healthy, happy cows.
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