Visiting a dairy farm in Sweden

Monday, February 6, 2017 - Published by Alfred Kazemier
Dairy farmers in West Sweden face the same profitability problems as many other dairy farmers in Europe due to the low prices for milk that the dairy industry pays. As a consequence many farmers have decided to close their farms, or change to other production forms.

At the same time we see an increasing demand from consumers to buy locally produced dairy products. This makes it interesting for the retailers to extend their product range with locally produced dairy products with identity and label of origin.

This in an opportunity for dairy farmers to increase the profitability in their milk production. A number of farms in West Sweden have started to deliver their own locally produced milk under their own label to the local retailer, and/or to sell directly from the farm. The farmers hereby add more value to their products and cuts out the middle-man.

 “A lot of consumers no longer want milk as a bulk commodity. They want to know that the animals have a good life, and that the milk is locally produced,” says Nicklas Lundberg, project coordinator in the project REFRAME in West Sweden.  

In the REFRAME project we formed a network of 14 milk producers that have started their own small scale dairy on their farms. The main purpose for the network is the development of businesses and skills. The first activity in the network was an workshop in how to make their own yoghurt, an essential skill to be able to broaden their product range. Seventeen people from 12 farms participated in the activity.

“In an economically-strained situation this feels like a good choice. The possibility to have greater influence on the sales ourselves gives positive energy. We have also received a lot of encouragement from retailers and customers”, says one of the participating farmers.