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Arla rolls out food assurance programme, Arlagården, in the UK

5 October 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

Arla is rolling out its farm assurance programme, Arlagården, in the UK this October.

Arlagården

Arlagården focuses on milk quality, food safety and animal welfare. Already in operation in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, the assurance programme ensures all 12,700 Arla farmers are assessed to the same standards.

Arlagården protects and enhances Arla’s reputation for supplying quality milk in its home markets. In addition, it increases Arla’s ability to compete globally as export countries have the reassurance the milk has been produced to the same high standards.

In the UK, Arla and Red Tractor have worked closely together during the development of Arlagården. Arla farmers will continue to meet the Red Tractor requirements but in order to implement Arlagården and its additional 16 standards efficiently and effectively across the 3,000 UK farmers who supply Arla; both schemes will be assessed at the same time.

David Clarke, Red Tractor Chief Executive, said, “We welcome Arla’s continued, long-term commitment to the Red Tractor scheme. We have worked in partnership with Arla to ensure Red Tractor continues to be at the core of dairy farm assurance assessments for Arla farmers and that they are delivered in an efficient way, specifically to avoid any duplication.

“We are also delighted Arla is extending its use of the Red Tractor logo on its branded products, demonstrating that Red Tractor is core to the business and that it is committed to communicating Red Tractor credentials to shoppers.”

Arlagården requires farmers to only use antibiotics for curing or alleviating diseases

The most significant of the additional standards relates to the use of antibiotics. Arlagården places emphasis on ensuring farmers work closely with their vet to ensure that antibiotics are used as little as possible, but as much as necessary. Arlagården will require farmers to only use antibiotics for curing or alleviating diseases and illness rather than for preventive purposes.

As part of the preparation towards the roll-out, Arla has carried out a series of meetings with over 300 vets to discuss the new standards. In addition, Arla is in the process of running sixty workshops with farmers specifically focussing on antibiotic use.

Peter Edmondson, Arla’s consultant vet, said, “It is absolutely crucial that Arla farmers work closely with their vets to agree how they will meet the new standards relating to antibiotics. We’ve taken the opportunity to meet with vets to outline Arla’s approach so they are in a position to support Arla farmers along the way. This is just the beginning of our journey and it is essential that we build on these foundations to deliver the standards in the long term.”

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