Consumers consider environmental impact of food before buying

Written by Iain Hoey

A recent YouGov consumer omnibus survey conducted on behalf of First Milk found almost one-third (29%) considered the environmental impact of food before making a purchase.

The survey, conducted in late March 2021, revealed that a third (33%) of UK adults believe that farming and the production of dairy foods significantly contributes to climate change, and that almost half (46%) of UK adults believe that rearing of animals for meat consumption significantly contributes to climate change.

“This survey reinforces that UK consumers are concerned about climate change, with many taking environmental factors into consideration when choosing food,” said Mark Brooking, sustainability director at First Milk. “It also highlights the level of interest UK consumers have in animal welfare and dairy production systems.”

More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they would prefer to buy milk and dairy products guaranteed to come from cows that have access to pasture/the outdoors (78%), with almost two-thirds (63%) saying they are concerned about the welfare of dairy cows in the UK.

Mr Brooking added: “We know that the UK farming sector takes its responsibilities seriously and has a good track record in terms of animal welfare, with a growing focus on environmental responsibility, especially around climate change.

“But we all share the responsibility for communicating to consumers about the great work going on across the farming sector and highlighting the importance of the many initiatives that underline the positive benefits of UK farming and food.”

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Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...