Brookfield Farm – sustainable dairy calf welfare
Through our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards programme, we engage and reward market leading food companies for their policies and commitments to supply higher welfare and sustainable food.
As part of our Good Dairy Award criteria, all dairy calves must be reared in high welfare systems, where they are raised in social groups, with adequate bedding and access to fibre daily. Transport times should be limited to a maximum of 8 hours and export from the UK is not permitted.
Male dairy calves are often considered a waste product as they cannot produce milk and are deemed unsuitable for beef production. Compassion encourages schemes that ensure that these often ‘unwanted’ calves are reared in high welfare systems for the veal and beef market.
In June 2006, Compassion and the RSPCA convened the Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum. Its objective was to stimulate economically sustainable supply chains for high welfare veal and beef from the UK dairy industry. Due to the Forum’s widespread commitment from leading industry stakeholders, today we are seeing an increase in the number of male dairy calves reared in the UK with members encouraging a secure market for beef and veal from the dairy industry.
In 2011, Compassion was delighted to award Brookfield Farm with our Good Calf Commendation. The Brookfield Farm brand is a joint venture between DB Foods and Tarrant Valley Livestock. They have made a significant commitment to farming sustainability and animal welfare by purchasing unwanted dairy calves from local farms and raising them for veal and beef. By working in partnership, they have developed an economic and sustainable production system where they can share the costs and profits of rearing their calves in high welfare systems.
Winning the Good Calf Commendation is something we are immensely proud of and is testament to the level of work and investment behind our high-welfare veal and beef-rearing operation. Recognition from Compassion is very important to use and is invaluable in helping our model to grow and expand.
David Tory, Tarrant Valley Livestock, a Brookfield Farm producer