19 August 1997

Dairy signs for

Freedom Food

LONG Clawson Dairy, the Leics farmer co-op that produces speciality cheeses, is set to become the first major dairy firm to join the RSPCAs Freedom Food farm animal welfare scheme.

The co-op is the countrys largest producer of Stilton with its milk supply coming from 45 local dairy farmers. After working with Freedom Food for the past year, 42 of the co-ops milk suppliers are soon to be accredited. And Stilton bearing the Freedom Food logo should be on sale in supermarkets early next year.

Mike Sharpe, general manager of Freedom Food, said the accreditation of Long Clawson represented one of the most significant milestones for the farm-to-plate welfare scheme, which was launched in July 1994.

"This breakthrough opens up opportunities for the whole dairy market and extends welfare choice for consumers into one of the biggest and most important mainstream food sectors," he added. Until now the vast majority of the 11m farm animals with Freedom Food accreditation have been pigs and poultry.

Roy Eggleston, Long Clawson chairman, said: "We are delighted that we will be the first cheese manufacturer to offer this quality assurance to our customers.n

Shelley Wright