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Müller incentivises further herd health and welfare improvements

Press release   •   Dec 03, 2019 10:17 GMT

Müller Direct[1] farmers are being offered the opportunity to earn an additional payment worth 1.0 pence per litre in 2020.

The Müller Direct Premium 2020, which all Müller 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 Müller Direct Premium 2020, will run from January 1st to December 31st, 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 end[2] by December 2020.
  • The Müller Direct Farm Insight Programme[3], an on-farm health and welfare assessment which provides benchmarking, advice and potential savings.
  • The Müller 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 Müller 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.”

The dairy company has already launched a number of initiatives to increase farmer resilience, confidence and to help reduce their exposure to market volatility. They include the introduction of a fixed price contract option and opportunities for farmers to access dairy futures markets.

[1] 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.

[2] Unless supported by an official letter from the farm’s veterinary surgeon

[3] To qualify, an audit by AB Sustain must take place.

Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller which employs 24,000 people throughout Europe. In the UK, Müller develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of branded and private label dairy products made with milk from more than 1,600 British farmers.

The Müller brand is ranked at No.9 in The Grocer’s Top 100 list of Britain’s Biggest Brands, and is also the 8th most chosen brand in the UK, picked from shelves more than 217 million times each year. Müller UK & Ireland comprises three business units:

Müller Milk & Ingredients is Britain’s largest producer of branded and private label fresh milk, cream, butter and ingredients products, with a network of dairies and depots servicing customers throughout the country.

Müller Yogurt & Desserts is the UK’s leading yogurt manufacturer responsible for major brands like Müllerlight, Müller Corner and Müller Rice. It produces chilled desserts under licence from Mondelez International and supplies the UK private label yogurt market from a dedicated, state of the art yogurt facility.

Milk & More delivers daily essentials to more than 500,000 homes in England, via a network of 53 local fulfilment centres. The milkman is arguably the original home delivery service and Milk & More is ensuring that this great British tradition continues to flourish.

Müller is an Official Supporter of British Athletics and Athletics Ireland. With branding and activation rights for five events in 2019, Müller aims to empower consumers to make active and healthy lifestyle choices.

For further information, see Müller Now, our first ever industry report.