Finland: Valio launched milk from free-range cows

In Finland the biggest dairy cooperative Valio has launched milk from free-range cows, which means that the milk comes from cows housed in freestall barns. From mid-September, Valio’s one-litre and 1.75-litre milk, i.e. skim, low-fat, semi-skim and whole milk, will come from free-range cows all around Finland. Milk is Valio’s largest category of consumer products, and that is why they chose just the milk to be their first free-range product. Since the beginning of 2018, Valio has paid a sustainability bonus to the dairy farmers who have committed to higher standards of animal welfare. The bonus is currently two cents per litre of milk. One of the requirements for the sustainability bonus is regular animal healthcare check-ups carried out by a veterinarian. In addition, dairy farms take good care of their animals hooves and provide anaesthesia, pain relief, and sedation during disbudding – the removal of a calf’s growing horns. All the farms that produce free-range milk are within the sustainability bonus programme. Finnish private dairy company Juustoportti launched free-range milk in 2015.

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