The basis for these new requirements are the three federal programmes for animal welfare:
- ROEL (Regular Outdoor Exercise for Livestock) promotes pasture-based systems for dairy cows.
- GMM (grassland-based milk and meat production) promotes natural, sustainable and location-based feeding
- PAS (Particularly Animal-Friendly Stabling Systems) allows animals to move freely and be kept humanely in stables.
ROEL is an essential basic requirement of the Coop milk programme as well as one of the other two federal programmes, GMM or PAS. As such, the Coop milk programme is taking things a step further than the "Industry Standard for Sustainable Milk (swissmilk green)", which was launched in September 2019. Dairy farmers who follow the principles of ROEL and one of the other programmes will receive at least 1 cent more per litre in addition to the "swissmilk green" sustainability supplement. Anyone implementing all three programmes will receive at least 3 cents more.
On the one hand, the new standard improves the income of dairy farmers. And on the other, it guarantees cows more access to pasture and reduces the use of concentrated feed in favour of more local grass and hay.