Hochland feeding cows only European fodder

In the future, milk suppliers of the German dairy Hochland will only feed their animals European feed, as agreed by representatives of the milk suppliers, Bayern MEG and Hochland at a joint meeting. The regulation applies to basic feed and concentrated feed.

The milk producers and Hochland are thus jointly opposing the undesirable side-effects of importing animal feed from overseas: on the one hand, valuable natural areas are being lost for the large-scale cultivation of fodder crops, especially soya, in countries like Brazil and Argentina. On the other hand, every kilogram of feed imports nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into Europe. These nutrients are missing in the exporting countries. The originally fertile soils there become desolate, while a nutrient surplus in many European countries leads to increased nitrate levels in the groundwater. This also applies to Germany as one of the world’s largest importers of soybeans and soy meal.

The avoidance of feed from overseas is a further step on the joint path of Hochland and its milk producers towards more sustainability. A clause to this effect has been included in the milk supply contracts and will come into force on 1 July.

The agreement is part of the “Milk for Hochland” quality programme, which Hochland has been implementing together with the farmers for several years. All milk suppliers undertake, among other things, to participate in the nationwide “QM Milk” programme and to produce without genetic engineering.

Most recently, the milk suppliers, together with Hochland, had declared that they would refrain from using non-selective herbicides and fermentation substrates that could contain plastic particles on their meadows and fields.
Hochland is compensating the farmers for the additional effort from the “Milk for Hochland” programme with a surcharge of €0.01 per kilogram on top of the milk pay.

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