Muller has become the latest milk buyer to encourage farmers to phase out bull calf euthanasia as momentum grows across the industry to bring the practice to an end.
The milk buyer is offering dairy farmer suppliers the opportunity to earn an additional payment worth 1.0 pence per litre in 2020. The Muller Direct¹ Premium 2020, which all Muller Direct farmers can opt in to, will be available to those who commit to continually improve herd health and welfare standards, and end the practice of euthanising healthy bull calves on farm.
The initiative will run from January 1 to December 31, 2020, with the 1.0ppl premium based on full compliance by farmers on all four initiatives. They are:
- The practice of euthanising healthy bull calves on farm must end² by December 2020.
- The Muller Direct Farm Insight Programme³, an on-farm health and welfare assessment which provides benchmarking, advice and potential savings.
- The Muller Direct Antibiotic Programme designed to manage and reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics.
- The National Johne’s Management Plan, which aims to control and eradicate Johne’s, a chronic disease with affects cattle.
The premium will be paid in a lump sum in January 2021 and would be worth £20,000 to a 2 million litre per annum producer.
Rob Hutchison, Milk Supply Director for Muller Milk & Ingredients said: “For the industry to move forward, we must continually evolve to ensure we’re aligned with the needs of our customers and consumers.
“We buy a fifth of all milk produced on Britain’s farms, so we’ve got a real opportunity, and responsibility, to encourage our suppliers to make positive changes.
“Müller Direct farmers are already hugely passionate about the welfare of their herds, but we’re confident that by participating everyone will reap the rewards.
“Apart from the obvious financial gain, farmers will benefit from potential improvements to the health and welfare of their herd, as well as benchmarking and additional expert support.
“We will benefit by being able to evidence aggregated herd health data with customers who don’t currently have a direct relationship with farmers. We’re confident that this package of initiatives will put our business and supply farmers in a strong position.”
- Müller Direct farmers are those farmers who supply conventional or organic milk directly to Müller. It excludes farmers who are in an Aligned Milk Pool.
- Unless supported by an official letter from the farm’s veterinary surgeon
- To qualify, an audit by AB Sustain must take place.