Swiss quality milk

Matthias Schleiss
By Matthias Schleiss - January 21, 2019
The food cows eat influences the composition of milk. Swiss cows receive high-quality, nutritional feed. 

Voluntary agricultural programmes for animal welfare

The Federal Office for Agriculture uses direct ­payments to remunerate farmers for services
of ­public and common interest. This includes produc­tion system contributions that are linked
to particularly animal-friendly husbandry.(1)

Regular exercise outdoors – RAUS programme
  • At least 26 days per month spent in pasture (May to October)
  • At least 13 days per month in pasture or outside (winter)
  • Alternatively: free-stall access for the whole year
  • Time spent outside must be documented in a journal(2)
Particularly animal-friendly housing in stables – BTS programme
  • Group husbandry
  • Continuous access to lying area and non-littered area
  • Daylight of at least 15 lux intensity (street lighting corresponds to approx. 10 lux)(3)
  • Compacted ground for eating and drinking area

Swiss milk production figures (4, 5)

  • 575,000 dairy cows across Switzerland
  • 7,010 litres of milk are produced by an average Swiss dairy each year
  • 10 months a year – the average a dairy cow produces milk
  • 3.4 billion kilogrammes of milk is the total supplied by Swiss farmers each year
  • 21,000 milk producers across Switzerland
  • 25 dairy cows per Swiss farm on average
  • 48 % of all dairy cows live in free stalls
  • 84 % of all dairy cows are in the RAUS (regular exercise outdoors) programme
  • 800,000 hectares of grazing land (pastures, meadows) across Switzerland
  • 100 kilogrammes of grass are eaten by cows each summer day
  •  kilogrammes of hay are eaten by cows each winter day
  • 50 – 100 litres of water: the amount a cow drinks each day
  • 2 milk samples a month are submitted for official, extensive quality checking by each milk producer
  • 350,000 cells per millilitre is the Swiss cell count limit  (see article "what makes Swiss milk so special")

Further information

1) www.blw.admin.ch/blw/de/home/instrumente/direktzahlungen.html
2) www.kontrolldienstkut.ch/fileadmin/kut/programme/RAUS/A_Rinder_RAUS-spezifische_Anforderung_an_Stallbereich_und_Auslauf_Version_2017.pdf
3) www.naturallighting.wordpress.com/links/tageslicht-groessen-und-einheiten/
4) LID Landwirtschaftlicher Informationsdienst, Alles über die Schweizer Milch, Ausgabe Juli 2018
5) www.swissmilk.ch


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