World-renowned dairy co-op FrieslandCampina has posted a half-year operating profit of $354 million.
FrieslandCampina says the number of dairy products made from pasture milk is increasing.
Last year more dairy farms let their cows graze on pasture, ending a decline in the number of dairy farms doing outdoor grazing, which started in the 1990s.
FrieslandCampina suppliers' pasture-grazed cows increased by 100 in 2015, the co-op says. Some 78% of its member 12,618 farms in the Netherlands grazed outdoors in 2015 versus 77.25 in 2014.
The co-op wants to have 81.2% of the farms doing outdoor grazing by 2020.
FrieslandCampina and other dairy companies in the Netherlands are said to be pushing this policy. The co-op aims at a minimum of 400 farms, whose cows are now barn raised and milked. It plans to approach dairy farms that stopped outdoor grazing in the past three years, to prompt the farmers to use a national scheme for 'new grazers'.
The co-op says grazing cows have been part of the traditional Dutch landscape for many centuries.
Dairy farmers who pasture graze their cows at least 120 days/year for a minimum of six hours/day are entitled to an outdoor grazing allowance of 1 euro (NZ$1.63)/100kg of milk. And FrieslandCampina rewards partly grazing outdoors with 0.46 euro (75c)/100kg milk.
Campina cheese, a series of Gouda cheeses made from pasture milk, was launched in March 2016. Milner and the North Holland Gouda cheese with the red label are also made from pasture milk. Some supermarket chains will soon start buying FrieslandCampina pasture milk cheese for their private labels, the co-op says.