Cows only produce good milk when they are doing well. That is why our farmers go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of our cows. Today, quality and sustainability are also increasingly becoming the priority when it comes to raw milk production. We appreciate and reward our farmers’ efforts. Modern technology has made work easier and helps monitor the well-being of the animals. Our farmers must comply with numerous regulations ensuring animal-friendly husbandry at the highest international level. Economically stable, forward-thinking agricultural practices and being mindful of natural resource use are standard for our members. It is their livelihood.
German farmers must comply with numerous regulations ensuring animal-friendly husbandry at the highest international level. Economically stable, forward-thinking agricultural practices and being mindful of natural resource use are standard for our members.
99.53% of the milk supplied to Hochwald was placed in the quality class 1+S. A total of 83.46% complied with even stricter regulations for the quality class S. This strongly indicates that it is high quality and is also an indication of healthy udders and sustainable cattle farming. Our quality has been at a high level for years.
Hochwald Foods has been involved in the certification and production of GMO-free milk for several years now. The claim to be “GMO free” places high demands on our farmers because the animal feed cannot contain any genetically modified plants. This claim is awarded by VLOG, the German Association of Food without Genetic Engineering (Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik), with their “GMO free” label (“Ohne Gentechnik”). Compliance is ensured through external audits and keeping in close contact with our milk suppliers. As of 1/1/2020, our cooperative’s milk will be 100% “GMO free”. https://www.ohnegentechnik.org/
100% of our cooperative’s milk is certified by QM-Milch (the German quality assurance standard for milk) and has been since 2004. QM-Milch sets strict verifiable quality standards and is the business-to-business standard for milk producers and dairy. The QM-Milch standard lays out requirements that go beyond what is legally required and beyond the guidelines for best practices. The standard ensures the entire production process is transparent and traceable. https://www.qm-milch.de/
The sustainability module of QM-Milch collected data on milk production in terms of the environment, the economy, animal welfare and human affairs nationwide in Germany for the first time using a questionnaire. The goal was to create a scientific fact-based database on the sustainability of our farms and to initiate a continuous learning and development process. Approximately 95% of our suppliers participated in the pilot project.
Our quality and sustainability programme MilchPlus was developed in collaboration with our milk producers and launched in 2019. It defined a set of rules for milk production on farms.
It is comprised of four pillars – energy, animal welfare, the environment and human affairs – and is the foundation for further structured development geared towards greater sustainability. In the first year, around 52% of our farmers were already participating in the voluntary programme, and they produce around 75% of the cooperative’s milk. There is a bonus system in place to reward those who meet the increasingly demanding requirements and are continuously working to improve themselves.
We process the milk we receive from our suppliers into drinking milk, condensed milk, milk mixed drinks, whipped cream, quark, yoghurt, desserts, cheese, milk and whey powder and many other dairy products.
Each of our production sites specialise in one product group to enable efficient processing.