• Sweden edition
 
'Keep Swedish cows indoors':  dairy farmers

'Keep Swedish cows indoors': dairy farmers

Published: 09 Jun 2009 13:41 GMT+02:00

If the rules aren’t changed, Swedish dairy farmers will be drowned out of business by a flood of imported Danish milk, according to Per Andersson, head of Sveriges Mjölkbönder (‘Association of Swedish Dairy Farmers’).

“We can’t afford to have them outdoors. Things are going to hell in a handbasket for Swedish milk producers,” Andersson told the TT news agency.

The organization, which has around 1,000 members, thinks that dairy farmers who introduce new, ultra-modern and spacious indoor feeding environments, should be exempt from Sweden’s outdoor grazing rules, according to Sveriges Radio.

Andersson, who himself has 140 cows on a farm near Stjärnhov in Sörmland in eastern Sweden, supplies Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla.

Increasingly, Arla is filling Swedish store shelves with Danish milk.

According to Andersson, Swedish dairy producers can’t compete against their Danish counterparts, who are allowed to keep their cows indoors year round if they wish.

Nor is it proven with certainty that Swedish cows are in better shape than Danish cows simply because they are allowed to be outside, said Andersson.

After all, he added, the cows are only outside a fraction of the year, thus making their indoor environment at least as important.

“They deserve a better indoor life than I can afford to give them,” said Andersson.

Andersson’s opinions, however, are not representative of all Swedish dairy farmers, according to Johan Taubert, spokesperson for the Federation of Swedish Farmers (Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund – LRF), which represents nearly 80 percent of the country’s dairy producers.

“A majority of Swedish dairy farmers support the outdoor grazing requirement,” he said.

At a recent meeting of LRF, a majority of members voted down a motion to get rid of the requirement.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:56 June 9, 2009 by peropaco
What's up with all that protectionism? I though the creation of the EU would get rid of all the nationalistic sentiments and it would be one umbrella without borders and flag waving.
16:03 June 9, 2009 by jack sprat
It will be a sad day when Joe Public can no longer see a bunch of cows grazing or contentedly chewing their cud in an open field.

The kids may never see at first hand where their daily milk comes from.

However the EU should be based on a level playing field and it seems that in Scandinavia,sadly it is only Sweden that has a concience about production methods.

By the way, the photo you show is not one of a Dairy herd but of a Beef herd.

Jack,Retired Farmer,Dalsland.
20:03 June 9, 2009 by eZee.se
"Keep Swedish cows indoors"... hmmm, i bet the feminists were livid till they read the rest of the article...
21:07 June 9, 2009 by m8surf
It breaks my heart to read this. One of the reasons I was excited to move here is that Swedes are much better about valuing natural treatment of animals, and recieving natural food. I love the cows everywhere and they should be everywhere. I sure hope they don't change the laws. Screw Danish milk.
00:55 June 10, 2009 by Eurostan
it is a common sense that cows feel good in outside environment in summer and eats variety of fresh grass and improves its health.

if cow stays year round cow will have shorter life span.

and torture for the cow.

it seems that farmers are only interested in only short term money.
04:17 June 10, 2009 by Marc the Texan
Why don't they just apply the same rules for imported milk. You can send Danish milk, but t must meet all the same requirements as the Swedish dairy industry. A little enforcement and Problem Solved!
08:02 June 10, 2009 by Tennin
I won't be buying Arla milk anymore. I will spend the extra krona to buy the local milk.

I think it's wonderful to see all the cows outside, enjoying themselves and grazing so happily. It would be a really boring and sad drive on Sweden's country roads when you don't see any cows out grazing.
09:03 June 10, 2009 by storstark
"Increasingly, Arla is filling Swedish store shelves with Danish milk."

i challenge you all to write a quick little note and email it to Arla:

Dear Arla,

As you are filling Swedish store shelves with Danish milk, much of which is produced from 'battery'-like environments, I have decided to no longer purchace ANY of your goods until you cease this practice.

mvh,

ex-Arla customer.

i drank some ecological milk the other day... a whole glass of it... then i had another... it tasted like new zealand milk... exactly like new zealand milk, and i had a craving for marmite on toast to go with it...

unfortunately sweden's climate means the cow cannot be grazed outdoors on grass all year (as happens in nz)... in fact, our neighbourhood cows have only come out to play in the last few weeks... so they are fed on hay and all kinds of processed feed made out of recycled cardboard and crap

and that is why all swedish milk tends to taste the way it does... but try the eco stuff, it's good! you won't go back (but not Arla!)

keeping cows in all year round though... isn't what they are suggesting 'battery' farming for cows? 'ultra modern and spacious,' they say... i can just see it - lcd screens, wall to wall carpet, bean bags, and that intense smell of confined space

the state of swedish milk will only worsen, then we'll all want to drink the danish crap anyway
09:22 June 10, 2009 by jack sprat
Not sure about LCD screens but cows do enjoy some pleasant music while they are doing the biz.

As for cow carpets,they have been around for a long time.
09:41 June 10, 2009 by storstark
the screens would show only 'Robinson' or some reality wedding drivel at any rate, then the milk would really go off
10:11 June 10, 2009 by jack sprat
A bull of the month show would probably boost milk production.

In this area Arla only supply milk from Swedens West Coast.
10:41 June 10, 2009 by Eurostan
i dont buy arla milk any more.
15:18 June 10, 2009 by Puffin
I have stopped buying Arla products they are forcing the small Swedish dairies out of business by forcing the larger stores (ICA/COOP/City Gross) to sign exclusivity agreements to only stock their products.

Soon there will be no choice left
21:17 June 10, 2009 by whattodo?
Sweden must stand strong and maintain its integrity against so many forces that are creeping in. Allowing cows to graze outside whenever weather permits is the only human and healthy choice for both cows and the dairy product consumers. People need to boycott any products that are not compliant with Swedens current farming laws. Most people do not realize how horrific it is for a "dairy cow" to be confined, not to mention, indefinately inside buildings, usually cement floors, their head enclosed in bars, machines hooked up to them, and "animal feed" that contains gmo grains, animal parts, etc. Great for agribusiness, terrible for the cows and people.
22:17 June 10, 2009 by jack sprat
A modern farm is not quite the hell-hole or torture chamber you describe Whattodo.

It is in the farmers best interest to keep the cows in good condition with a fair degree of comfort.

However I do agree its a shame to keep them in all year.

Dont know if you've ever seen them when they get turned out for the first time in late Spring, but they usually go loco for an hour or two,even the older ones, bouncing about the fields like Spring lambs for a while, before settling back into their normal routine.
10:06 June 11, 2009 by lel
I refuse to buy Danish pork. When I lived in the UK I bought outdoor reared British meat as animals deserve our respect. I am generally impressed with Swedish animal husbandry and avoid all Danish animal products. We need to support Swedish farmers and not sell them short as has happened to many British farmers because of supermarket forces. You get what you pay for...maybe karma is part of that too.
14:53 June 11, 2009 by Tennin
I agree with you lel. Karma, what goes around comes around.

I don't think just because we kill to eat something we should treat those animals so cruely. It's really horrible what people will do to make things cheaper in order for more profit. I'd much rather pay alittle more for animals that are raised and killed humanely, then pay a few kronor less for animals who were tortured their whole life.

A friend of mine had me see a film a couple of weeks ago, and it's really shocking and eye opening. It's called "Earthlings".

Earthlings
20:21 June 12, 2009 by spy
The measure of a civilised society is how they treat their animals, prisoners and immigrants.
21:04 June 12, 2009 by jack sprat
The way the weather is at present the cows indoors are the lucky ones.
00:27 June 13, 2009 by sodafox
I buy our milk from a local dairy and find that it's much creamier and of better quality than that 'tetra pak' rubbish that most large dairy farmers produce. Mind you... its not homogenized but hell, who can't shake a bottle eh?

Long live happy cows!
00:45 June 13, 2009 by jack sprat
Better still.

Be sure your milk comes from the local brown cows and not those black and white immigrants.

Much richer with higher cream and butterfat content.

Now, just watch someone accuse me of being racialy predjudice to cows.

Probably be a first anyway.
02:12 June 13, 2009 by Willy
Well, they have been here for a couple of centuries, right? So hardly new arrivals. And don't the red SRB cattle have some Scottish ancestry as well?
02:22 June 25, 2009 by Bsmith
Feed the Danish milk to the Danes. Cows fed on pasture are healthier and produce healthier milk.
Today's headlines
Swede Stenson defends DP World Tour title
Photo: TT/AP

Swede Stenson defends DP World Tour title

Sweden's Henrik Stenson made two birdies on the final two holes to successfully defended his title at the $8 million DP World Tour Championship on Sunday by two shots. READ  

Up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis: report
Photo: TT

Up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis: report

As many as 300 Swedes could have joined the Islamic State insurgency, Sweden's intelligence chief said Saturday. READ  

Swede Stenson on track for Dubai defence
Photo: TT

Swede Stenson on track for Dubai defence

Swedish world number four Henrik Stenson is on course to successfully defend his title at the DP World Tour Championship, the red-hot Rafael Cabrera-Bello may still pose a threat after Saturday's third round. READ  

Stolen ancient gold rings returned by post
A Swedish postman. Photo: TT

Stolen ancient gold rings returned by post

A collection of gold rings which date back some 3,000 years mysteriously turned up at the offices of a Swedish newspaper after they had gone missing from a museum collection years ago. READ  

Body of Irishman found in Stockholm
Stockholm's Old Town in the rain. Photo: TT

Body of Irishman found in Stockholm

The body of an Irishman who had been missing since November 10th was found in the harbour by Stockholm's Old Town on Thursday, it has emerged. READ  

Ibrahimovic returns as PSG claim top spot
Photo: TT

Ibrahimovic returns as PSG claim top spot

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first start for two months as Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-Germain went top for the first time this season with a 3-2 win at mid-table Metz on Friday night READ  

Julian Assange
Ecuador 'guarantees' Assange asylum
Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. Screen grab: SVT

Ecuador 'guarantees' Assange asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on Friday guaranteed political asylum by Ecuador for "as long as necessary," one day after he lost an appeal against a Swedish warrant for his arrest. READ  

Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify
Swedish artist Laleh alongside Björn Ulvaeus. Photo: Björn Ulvaeus

Abba's Björn defends Sweden's Spotify

Björn Ulvaeus has joined the row over Spotify's streaming costs, saying the music industry had to evolve but admitting that songwriters are losing money. He spoke to The Local's blogger Natalia Brzezinski from his newly adopted home, New York. READ  

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden
Stockholm City Hall under the cover of clouds. Photo: TT

Dark weekend looms for southern Sweden

Southern Sweden looks set to stay under a blanket of cloud until at least Tuesday, as the darkest November in decades continues. READ  

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats
Rabbi Hillel Ḥayyim Lavery-Yisraëli. Photo: Private

Gothenburg rabbi reacts to death threats

Gothenburg's rabbi received death threats following an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem earlier this week. Leading figures in the Jewish community have told The Local they fear that anti-Semitism is spreading across Sweden, with Malmö already a key target. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
What's on in Sweden: November 20th to 27th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish mulled wine
Lifestyle
How an Umeå museum is rewriting Swedish history
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Blog updates

21 November

Editor’s Blog, November 21st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello from Stockholm, Our week started with reports another Russian plane had been spotted in Sweden’s airspace,..." READ »

 

21 November

Exclusive Interview with Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"Most of us will agree that actions speak louder than words. But when the two are..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
National
How to boost your career in Skåne, Sweden's south
National
Bones show off Sweden's history
National
What new word are Swedes voting on?
National
Why African Swedes are angry about Santa's helper
National
Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Gallery
Selfies, solidarity and Hillary Clinton: Stefan Löfven on tour
Gallery
People-watching: November 19th
Society
Why are international professionals leaving Sweden?
Business & Money
Meet the Swedes who made suits for The Hunger Games
Technology
'I'm among the first Swedes with a microchip'
National
What is Sweden doing about bird flu?
Gallery
Property of the week: Eriksberg
National
Vecka45: Sweden's most innovative week
Gallery
In Pictures: The clubs and loves of Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson
Society
What's On in Sweden: November 13th to 20th
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
National
Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Lifestyle
Make your own Swedish pea soup
Politics
"Totally unacceptable": Defence Minister on Stockholm submarine
Society
The A-Ö guide to making life in Sweden easier
National
How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
National
Seen the new Ace of Base yet?
National
Meet the Irish woman thundering into Swedish rock
Gallery
In Pictures: Ace of Base through the years
Society
Ten things you should never say to a Swede
Gallery
People-watching: November 12th
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
Opinion: 'We have to talk about Sweden's Isis fighters'
Business & Money
Price hike for new mortgages in Sweden
National
Toy store catalogues 'too white' in Sweden
National
Pirate Bay co-founder released from prison
National
Southern Sweden had 201 days of summer
Gallery
Sweden's ten most powerful people
Gallery
Property of the week: Mariestad
National
Introducing... Healthcare in Stockholm
National
What you need to know about Stockholm hospital bug epidemic
Lifestyle
Young Serbian shouts for students in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to make your own chocolate kladdkaka
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

823
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
aa-europe.org/sweden
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description