The cow’s milk used in the Holle infant formula milks come from the Schrozberger dairy – the largest Demeter organic dairy in Germany. The dairy is a cooperative run by the Schrozberger dairy farmers themselves who are totally independent of the interests of banks and shareholders. Schrozberger dairy farmers do not dehorn their cows, a painful process for the animals, as they believe that how the cows are treated affects the wholesomeness and quality of the milk. In fact, everything the farmers do, they do because they believe it is good for the quality of their products, good for the welfare of their animals and good for people and nature.
Established in 1974, Schrozberger dairy was one of the first dairies to start processing Demeter milk and they have since grown to become the largest Demeter dairy in Germany.
What does Demeter mean with regards to animal husbandry?
In biodynamic animal husbandry, the focus is on the fitness and health of the animals. Demeter does not approve of the painful dehorning of cows, or the cropping of ears and tails in pigs. While around 70% of free-roaming organic cows today have their horns removed, Schrozberger dairy farmers do not dehorn their dairy cows. For them it is out of respect for the animal but also, they believe that the integrity of the cows affects the wholesomeness and quality of the milk – even though there are no clinical studies to prove it. The administration of drugs such as antibiotics or hormones is strictly prohibited. In addition, the animals are kept in small herds to enable healthy ranking and social behaviour. Care is taken to ensure that the animals can move freely – both in their barns and in the fresh air. As a result, each barn and enclosure is adapted to the specific needs of different species.
Demeter has strict feed guidelines. 100% of the feed must be organic feed and at least 2/3 of the feed used should comply with Demeter guidelines.
The cow’s manure is viewed as a valuable fertilizer. When mixed with choice herbs and minerals, it is used as a natural fertilizer to improve soil fertility. For this reason, cows are not just valued for their products such as milk or meat, but also for the benefits they bring to the health of the soil.
Schrozberger dairy processes only Demeter milk produced on their own farms. They also follow Demeter production guidelines and adhere to additional strict quality requirements when processing their milk, keeping their products as natural as possible. They use only gentle processing methods such as traditional pasteurisation and deliberately do not use homogenisers, UHTs, and ESL milk manufacturing processes that extend shelf life. This preserves most of the vitamins and natural ingredients.
Demeter is good for the animals, the environment – and above all for the quality of their milk.
Some say cooperatives are old-fashioned. But as a cooperative, the Schrozberger dairy farmers can make all decisions themselves and do not have to take either banks or shareholders into consideration. They can decide for themselves a ‘fair’ price to sell their milk at, how they manage their farms and business and which innovations they choose to invest in. Today, their dairy processes around 17 million kg of milk according to the strict Demeter guidelines and offers the world’s largest assortment of Demeter dairy products.
Holle produce the highest quality baby food products and will only use the best ingredients and the highest quality and most wholesome milk in their infant formula milks. For them, the cow’s milk from Schrozberger dairy farmers is the very best.