Waitrose Traditional Milk produced on the Leckford Estate in Hampshire will soon be available on the shelves of all 190 branches of the supermarket chain. The new whole milk is called βTraditionalβ because it is unhomogenised so that the cream rises to the top rather than dispersing throughout the milk.
The Waitrose 4,000-acre farm, Leckford Estate in Stockbridge, has a very peaceful atmosphere and is in an idyllic spot, nestled beside the River Test. Nevertheless, it belies a busy farming operation which enables the supermarket to put their principles into practice.
Leckford is part of the Waitrose Select Farm Milk Scheme, an industry-leading initiative which provides customers with high quality milk, produced using sustainable practices to protect and enhance the countryside and ensure high levels of animal welfare and husbandry. In return, farmers under the scheme are paid one of the fairest prices paid by a major retailer.
Waitrose believe that sourcing Waitrose Traditional Milk exclusively from their 600-strong herd of Holstein Fresians will take customers even closer to where their food comes from.
Robbie James, Waitrose Dairy Buyer said: βItβs great for our customers to know exactly where their milk comes from and by sourcing our Traditional Milk from one herd we can take our customers even closer to the origins of their food. Animal welfare is of key importance to Waitrose and at Leckford there has been much innovation to reflect this and ensure our herd are comfortable. Keeping happy healthy cows also has a commercial benefit for us as their milk productivity increases.β
One example of an innovative measure taken by the supermarket last year to ensure happy cows at Leckford is their Β£3 million spend on a new state-of-the art dairy, which also shows the food shopβs confidence in the future of the dairy industry.
The Waitrose Select Farm dairy producer group launched in 1999 and now includes 65 farms producing high quality milk, through efficient, ethical and sustainable farming practices. Waitrose has consistently paid one of the market's highest prices for milk. By paying a premium, Waitrose enables its dairy farmers to meet costs, make a profit and reinvest in their dairies.
Waitrose sells over 1,700 organic products, over 60 different types of fish and seafood and more than 100 different cheeses. The food shop also enjoys one of the best reputations for dealing with farmers and suppliers
Waitrose has 191 branches in its estate including stores in Wales and Scotland and has just been named Britainβs Best High Street Retailer at the Which? Awards 2008 and Supermarket of the Year by the RSPCA at its Good Business Awards in 2008. The food and drink shop has won more major wine awards than any other retailer and was named Supermarket of the Year 2007 at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
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