The cream of the crop of Arla Foods Milk Partnership members have been recognised for producing exceptional milk quality at the annual Arla Foods milk quality awards.
This was no easy feat as National Milk Laboratories (NML) figures demonstrate that milk quality continues to be top of the agenda for AFMP members who have achieved significantly higher hygiene and cell count levels in comparison to average NML clients.
AFMP members The Fletchers at Dam Dale Farm in Buxton, Derbyshire, won first place in the awards citing attention to detail and being methodological in everything they do as the reason behind their success. "Milk quality is paramount to our farming practice and we ensure that we follow strict quality routines to get the most out of our herd and the best milk price possible."
The Fletchers are no strangers to success enjoying a string of successful accolades including the National Milk Records (NMR) lowest cell count award for Derbyshire, winning first prize for the best all round herd by the Derbyshire Holstein Club and recording one of the top 20 highest yielding herds in the country at 11,000 litres per cow per annum.
In order to qualify for the Partnership awards, members must have a geometric mean of somatic cell count below 130,000 and a bactoscan below 30,000 for the entire 2006-2007 milk year together with no incidents of antibiotic failure or added water in their milk. In addition they must adhere to the Assured Dairy Farms Scheme.
Ian Cameron, Arla Foods' farm liaison services manager, said that because the overall milk quality achieved by Partnership members is higher than that of average NML producers the competition for exceptional milk quality is no mean feat: "Our award scheme demonstrates our focus on achieving the best quality milk for our customers and it is a great opportunity to celebrate success with our AFMP members.
"We believe that milk quality is the foundation for a successful supply chain and must start at the farm to ensure that we are processing the best quality milk possible," added Ian.
Arla Foods Milk Partnership award winners are:
- First place: JE & CM Fletcher, Dam Dale Farm, Buxton, Derbyshire
- Second place: D & E Beresford & Son, High Ground Farm, Skipton, North Yorkshire
- Third place: JM & CM Wainwright, Dowlow Farm, near Buxton, Derbyshire
- Fourth place: JD, GA & PE Hague, Pedley House Farm, Mobberley, Knutsford
- Fifth place: Cranes of Stixwould, Halstead Hall Farm, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire
Hygiene and cell count comparisons between NML clients and AFMP members are as follows:
Average NML clientAverage AFMP memberAverage bactoscan
Jan 07-Jan 084431Average cell count
Jan 07-Jan 08224187
The NML figures in the table above relate to all samples tested by NML.
Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.
Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.
Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.