Dairy

Behind every pint of milk you buy from us is a farm that looks after its cows well and has been paid a premium price.

We work with almost 200 dairy farmers across the country who produce great quality milk.

Animal welfare is a big concern for both you and us. That's why we carry out regular checks on top of Red Tractor standards. We insist that farmers give their cows access to grazing pastures, where possible and in season.

Farmers benefit from being paid a guaranteed premium price for every litre they produce. This is regularly reviewed. They also have their say in our Farming Group and meet throughout the year to share knowledge.

You get to enjoy high-quality, 100% British fresh milk from farm to store in just 24-hours. We also have great sourcing credentials across all own-brand dairy products where 100% British milk is used for yoghurts, block butter, cream and cheddar cheese.

Meet the Producer - Grant & Richard

We head to Dumfries in Scotland to meet Grant and Richard, two dairy farmers who are part of the Co-op’s Farming Pioneer Programme.

Richard and Grant Walker are two brothers from Dumfries who are part of our Co-op Dairy Farming Group. The two young farmers have a strong partnership which combines passion, determination, strategic thinking with a considered and progressive mind-set to always go one step further for their farming business and the wider community. The farm has over 500 Pedigree Holstein cows which are milked 3 times a day, and the brothers have great attention to detail and really focus on their cow’s comfort.

Richard and Grant are real advocates for young people in agriculture and go great lengths to encourage the next generation to see farming as an exciting career. The pair actively encourage young people in the local area to work with them part-time in the school holidays or weekends. Furthermore, they are engaged with their local secondary school’s Rural Skills Programme; The Queensberry Initiative. This programme allows children who have an interest in the countryside to spend curricular time on their farm.

"There are a lot of negative things written about agriculture, and the perception is that it’s an old-fashioned, hard-working job. But farming’s actually fun and rewarding, and offers a huge amount of job satisfaction. It’ll always need young people to keep it going. We just need to get that message out there.

The boys are additionally involved with the Co-op through the new Co-op Farming Pioneers Programme. Richard is part of the first group of 20 young farmers, and Grant is in the second group which started in 2017. The Co-op Farming Pioneers is a new, in-depth, free training programme aimed at young people aged between 21 and 35 who currently work in a farming business supplying the Co-op. They both get actively involved in the meetings and take the opportunity to meet other young farmers across other sectors.

Grant is also on the Co-op Dairy Group (CDG) Committee- as the young farmer representative. He therefore joins 5 other CDG regional chairs who meet 4 times a year with Muller and Co-op to make key decisions on behalf of the entire group of 200 farmers. In their spare time the boys are both active rugby players and are involved in the local young farmers club.

Both Richard and Grant are bursting with passion and have such a positive outlook on the dairy farming industry. They have ensured that their skills and interests complement each other to incorporate attention to detail, passion and ambition to drive their business forward in volatile times.

  • Our fresh milk is 100% British and we work with a dedicated group of just under 200 dairy farmers across England, Scotland and Wales. All of our own-brand liquid milk, cream, yogurts, block butter and Cheddar cheese is made from 100% British milk too.

  • All our dairy farmers are accredited to a national farm assurance scheme, such as Red Tractor, which ensures good standards of animal welfare. These schemes cover aspects such as the housing of animals and stocking densities, feed and water, health and veterinary controls, breeding, traceability and transportation. Farms also work with an independent third party to measure their performance and drive long-term improvement. We also visit these farms throughout the year.

    Find out more about animal welfare

  • We work closely with our dairy supply chain to review pricing on a regular basis, using a ‘basket price’ method. This takes into account factors such as cost of production to offer a fair and representative view of the market.

  • We are committed to the integration of our dairy and beef supply chain. The Co-op Calf Scheme is a unique integrated beef production scheme that connects our Dairy Group farmers with beef producers in order to ensure that calves produced at the dairy farms are retained within The Co-op supply chain. The scheme provides an outlet for all calves from dairy farms, including pure-bred dairy bull calves: Purebred dairy bulls have historically been considered a waste product of the dairy industry, as they are unable to produce milk and unsuitable for commercial beef production. Calves born on Co-op dairy farms that are unfit for milk production, are cared for on dedicated rearing farms to ensure that they reach peak condition within a protected environment.