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, which was developed in cooperation with our milk producers and launched in 2019, defines rules for milk production on farms.
The Hochwald MilchPlus programme is dedicated to the task of sustainability at the start of our value chain among our farmers. Its purpose is to aid structured continued development towards more sustainability. In future, all measures and activities that go beyond conventional milk will be under the umbrella of the MilchPlus programme.
Society’s expectations regarding the quality and the production of our food are constantly increasing. Questions about the origin of raw materials, food safety along the production chain, but also topics dealing with animal welfare are increasingly coming to the fore. “Sustainability” is being demanded in all stages of the value chain.
To meet the demands and wishes of customers and consumers and to bundle the increasing requirements for farmers, Hochwald, in a team of farmers and employees from Hochwald, developed the MilchPlus programme - a programme created by dairy farmers for dairy farmers. The programme is also intended to uncover potential for optimisation and savings for farms and to achieve optimal management on the farms.
The topic of sustainability is very diverse and it is also a connecting element in our company that permeates all work areas and is consistently integrated into corporate processes. Ever-changing external influences and developments in politics, society and above all in the market make it crucial to view sustainability as a continuous process and to advance it as part of our cooperative. In order to also support a continuous improvement process at the start of our value chain, the MilchPlus programme will be regularly and self-critically reviewed and developed further every year.
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.