Christophe Darchambeau is a member of “Marguerite Happy Cow”.
The cooperative Marguerite Happy Cow exists since 2015 and brings together regional dairy farms and processors. In 2017, 9 farmers (for a production of about 4 million liters milk per year), one feed processor and 2 cheese factories are involved. The aim of the co-op is to produce a differentiated-quality milk, based on grass and local pro-duction. Another objective is to give, also, the concerned producers a fair income for this quality. From now on, consumers are also allowed to take part into the co-op.
Production requirements are discussed between cooperative members and are controlled by an external certification body. Here are the 5 key requirements for Margue-rite Happy Cow :
- Grass and pasture conditions
- Local feed (and non-GMO)
- Specific milk quality
- Human scale and fair income
- Local processing
An adaptation phase took place. During one year before the engagement in the cooperative, the milk quality and the imple-mentation of the other specific production requirements were observed on the farm.
The silage dry matter has been changed (higher dry matter) and cleaning wipes are used for every milking.
- Belgium Herve’s Region
- Temperate oceanic climate
- Clayey-loam soil
- Altitude 270 m
- Average slope 10 %
- Vegetation: ray grass, white clover and foxtail
- Grazing : Yes
- Grazing management type : mixed use grassland with rotational stocking
- Grass silage for winter
- Traditional farm, specialized in milk production, with permanent grassland
- Annual Work Unit: 2
- Agricultural Area: 60 ha UAA
- 53 ha of permanent grassland never re-seed and 7 ha of maize silage
- 80 Holstein cows
- 8500 l per cow
- 4% Fat and 3,58% protein in milk
- Average lifetime of the cows on the farm: 6 years
- Age of first calving : 25 month
Why it is working
Satisfaction to produce a differentiated-quality milk and to communicate with consummers.
No need of financial investment or major modification.