Grazing - milk
Keeping animals on pasture is good for animal health and allows them plenty of opportunity to behave naturally. Well-managed grassland farming is also a resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable way to raise cattle. Grazing can be done on grassy fields or land that is less suitable for growing grain and legumes etc. Contracting organisations that set requirements for grassland farming also contribute to grazing that can have positive effects on biodiversity.
- Technical specification
- Milk and dairy from cows
Products made from milk must be derived from animals that are kept on pasture for at least 60 days during the grazing season, as defined in the country of production.
Animals are considered to be kept grazing for one day if they spend time outside for a continuous period of at least six hours per day on land containing plants that can be grazed by the animals at such quantity and quality that it is possible for the animals to be able to graze naturally simultaneously.
Upon request the supplier shall be ready to present, for example, one of the following:
- Certification according to IP nöt och mjölk grundcertifiering [IP beef and milk base certification] or other certification that meets the requirment.
- Details regarding the raw material's country of origin and reference to applicable law in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g.,
- Ursprung Sverige [Origin: Sweden], Chapter 2 Section 3-4 of of the Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance (2019:66) and Chapter 6 Section 4-7 of SJVFS 2019:18 Item no. L104.
One method of follow-up is through spot checks of delivered products. It is then checked that information about the country of origin of the raw material can be provided/details that the supplier has submitted with the tender are reviewed: such as by means of:
- ensuring that information about certification according to IP nöt och mjölk grundcertifiering [IP beef and milk base certification] or other certification that meets the requirement is correct.
- ensuring that origin marking appears on the product in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g.,
- Ursprung Sverige [Origin: Sweden], 'Mjölk från Sverige' [Milk from Sweden] or 'Från Sverige' [From Sweden] along with documentation showing that the requirement has been met, e.g., an Importer's Declaration along with a self-assessment in accordance with Miljöhusesyn or audit records.
- ensuring that other documentation provided shows that the requirement is met.
Information about the criterion
Note that, according to Chapter 2, Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance (2019:66) grassland farming in Sweden does not involve animals that are kept in quarantine, calves younger than six months of age, or bulls.
In organic production, cattle must always have access to grazing when weather and ground conditions allow. The regulations do not specify any exact times for grazing. For expanded requirements for grassland farming, see also Ekologisk vara – tillägg mjölk, Requirement ID 10450 [Organic product – supplementary (milk)].
Animals that can spend time in large outdoor grasslands are given good opportunity to move about and graze in accordance with their natural behaviour. Grazing also generally produces animals that are more healthy and sound, and with fewer injuries to their legs and hooves. Grazing animals can also contribute to biological diversity when grazing creates an environment that benefits many plants and animals.
In Sweden, there are legal requirements regarding grazing for dairy cows. Chapter 6, Sections 4-7 of the regulations of the Swedish Board of Agriculture (SJVFS 2019:18) specify the minimum number of days that dairy cows must be kept on pasture.
Common rules for cattle at the EU level are mainly found in the so-called Calves Directive (Directive 2008/119/EC, laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves) that regulates the rearing of calves up to the age of six months. Sweden is the only country in the EU with legal requirements for grazing, but there are laws for resting cattle in Finland, Austria and other countries. However, production based on grazing is common, especially in countries that have a mild climate.
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
2020-12-21, RequirementID 10429:1 Changed the text according to the regulations of the Swedish Board of Agriculture SJVFS 2019:18 6 kap. 4-7 §§. Clarified the grazing season as it is defined in the production country and grazing according to control guidance for the official control. Added suggested follow up and verification information about origin and legislative reference + doumentation.