As a family business we don’t think in years, but in generations. Royal A-ware invests in the development and management of the entire dairy supply chain, from farm to table. Without cows, there would be no milk with which to create the nutritious dairy products we supply to our customers around the world.
We value and encourage our dairy farmers’ efforts to improve animal welfare. Our Koe Bewust (Cow Conscious) programme focuses on the cows’ well-being. This programme specifies measures to ensure extra attention for their welfare.
To optimise cows’ performance and comfort, they must be monitored and have access to clean drinking water, proper feed, fresh air and soft, clean lying surfaces.
We keep careful track of the cows’ health. KoeMonitor supports us in this. KoeMonitor is a system used by dairy farmers to demonstrate compliance with requirements with regard to animal health, animal welfare and food safety of milk at the farm. For calves and young stock, there is the KalfOK score. We pay particular attention to hoof care and monitoring of udder health. The participating dairy farmers have a slaughter results data program and antibiotic monitoring.
Cows naturally have horns. Under strict conditions, calves younger than six weeks may have their horn buds removed to prevent injury. Disbudding is done under local anaesthesia. The calves also receive sufficient pain relief following the procedure.
It is important for cows and calves to have enough room to move around. Our cows are housed in freestalls, with access to a yard or pasture. Cows with pasture access spend at least 120 days a year, six hours a day grazing on pasture.
We make our cows as comfortable as possible. Cows like to lie comfortably so that they can ruminate and rest. Their stalls are provided with soft lying surfaces and cow brushes. That way the cows can groom themselves and scratch any itches to their hearts’ content.
Cows eat and drink all day long. The foundation of their diet is grass grown by the farmer. This is supplemented by other ingredients to ensure tasty and nutritious rations. All the feed meets VLOG standards (GMO-free feed).
We encourage our dairy farmers to stay up to date on developments in the field. At the Dairy Academy, they follow annual workshops on subjects such as animal health and welfare. The exclusive Dairy Academy knowledge platform is part of Royal A-ware.
Dairy farmers who follow the Koe Bewust programme must comply with stricter animal welfare requirements. As a reward for their efforts, they receive an additional premium on top of the usual milk price.
Haltungsform 3 is a German labelling scheme for welfare and housing conditions in animal husbandry.