Arla Buys Yeo Valley

The world’s largest producer of organic dairy products, Arla Foods, is to acquire Yeo Valley Dairies Limited, a subsidiary of the Yeo Valley Group Limited.

Arla Foods Limited, a subsidiary of Arla Foods amba, is to acquire Yeo Valley Dairies Limited, a subsidiary of the Yeo Valley Group Limited.

The transaction will give Arla Foods the rights to use the Yeo Valley brand on the UK market for milk, butter, spreads and cheese under an intellectual property license with Yeo Valley.

The Yeo Valley yoghurt, ice cream, cream and desserts business will continue to be run independently through Yeo Valley Group, which remains under the ownership of the Mead family.

Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, executive vice president and head of Europe in Arla Foods, said: “The potential for organic dairy products in the UK is significant, and our investment in range through this licensing agreement with Yeo Valley provides a significant opportunity to offer a greater choice to consumers at attractive prices.

“Our ambition is to encourage customers in the UK to trade up from standard to organic milk, butter and cheese, driving overall growth for organic across dairy categories.”

Organic dairy

Currently in the UK, only 4% of milk sold in the UK fresh milk market is organic, which compares with far greater shares of organic in the milk market in Germany (10%), Sweden (16%) and Denmark (29%)Currently in the UK, only 4% of milk sold in the UK fresh milk market is organic, which compares with far greater shares of organic in the milk market in Germany (10%), Sweden (16%)

“As the world’s leading producer of organic dairy products, Arla has promoted and expanded our sales of organic products across its European core markets over the past decade.”

It is a valuable part of our offer to consumers in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands as well as China and, most recently, in the Middle East.

“Now we take a determined step to make organic dairy products more available to UK consumers as we believe that organic milk has a key role to play as consumers increasingly look for ways to make their diets healthier and more natural,” Giørtz-Carlsen said.

In the UK, the Arla organic free range milk has driven 60% of all the growth within the organic milk category in the last 12 months, with 70% of all Arla organic free range milk sales attributable to customers who would have not previously purchased organic milk.


With one in four households now purchasing organic products, there is opportunity for the UK dairy sector to convert more of its customers from standard to organic dairy.

To fuel this growth and meet the growing needs of consumers requires investment in innovation and range under both the Yeo Valley and Arla brand.

Tim Mead, organic farmer and custodian of the family business said: “Arla’s farmer-owned credentials are aligned to the values and ethos that the Yeo Valley brand is based on – S“We have a long-held ambition to grow organic dairy in the UK.”

Completion of the transaction will take place following approval by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 11,200 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.

supporting British Family Family Farms

Calving in Dairy herds

It’s well worth reviewing the basics of calf rearing on your farm before the new arrivals make an appearance. Vet gives some pointers.

Many of our clients are now stocking up for a busy spring for calving. It’s well worth reviewing the basics of calf-rearing on your farm before the new arrivals make an appearance. I recently visited a dairy client who will focus on reducing calf mortality as one of his Knowledge Transfer targets.

He has already installed a single-unit milking machine in the calving area. He bottle feeds every calf shortly after being born and is amazed at the volume they consume.

Our conversation highlighted how a focus on colostrum management at farm level is pivotal to the rearing of healthy calves and will have far-reaching benefits in terms of protecting calves from disease and therefore maximising their future productivity and profitability.

With the current desire to reduce antibiotic usage, it makes sense to maximise the calf’s immunity with the natural protection available in the dam’s colostrum.


Although your calves may receive colostrum, the quality of the colostrum received cannot be accurately assessed by looking at milk or by knowing the parity of the cow. An easy and affordable method of testing colostrum quality on the farm is a simple hand-held device called a Brix refractometer (available from your vet). If colostrum is <50 mg/mL IgG, then it should be avoided and good-quality frozen colostrum fed instead. Remember, your colostrum can be contaminated by bacteria during collection, storage or feeding using unclean buckets or tanks – good hygiene practises are key. Quality is affected by age, diet and particularly vaccination status of the cow.


The timing of the first feed of colostrum is crucial to the newborn calf achieving passive immunity from the dam. The calf’s intestine will only absorb antibodies from the colostrum in the first 24 hours. Aim to feed colostrum as soon as possible after birth when the suck reflex is strongest; the calf’s ability to absorb antibodies is halved within six hours.


The 1-2-3 rule of thumb is a good guideline. Feed minimum three litres of colostrum (or 8.5% of bodyweight) within two hours from the dam’s first milking. Failure of the calf to absorb sufficient amounts of antibodies (IgG) from the colostrum is called failure of passive transfer. Calves can be blood tested for IgG levels if poor colostrum transfer is suspected in the herd. Less than 5.5G/dl indicates successful transfer of antibodies.

If you have the knowledge, you can plan ahead. Colostrum management is the single-most important factor in giving your calves a great start to life.


How to test ventilation with smoke bomb

If a shed has poor ventilation, you are more likely to get an accumulation of heat and moisture in a building which provides an optimal environment for bacteria to grow. Good ventilation will ensure that animals are breathing in fresh air which can help reduce respiratory issues, but ventilation is only one tool that can be used to reduce the incidence of pneumonia, with vaccination and good husbandry also vital. A good shed design will bring fresh air into the shed where it can collect bacteria, moisture and heat which will then be carried out of the shed. The more air that can be drawn into the shed, the more diluted the harmful bacteria becomes. The shed used in this example is a four-bay single slatted shed with an open front. The shed has a creep and is fitted with vented sheeting above the back wall, up to the eaves. The prevailing wind approaches the shed from the back, hitting the vented sheeting. There are two doors on the creep area of the shed but for this example they were left closed.

Non-toxic pellets

When carrying out a smoke bomb test, it is important that non-toxic smoke pellets are used. There is no flame when the pellet is lit but it is still important to keep it on a fireproof surface. In this example an old tile was used when carrying out the smoke test. Each of these pellets will burn for about a minute and provide ample smoke to allow you to see how the air flow works in a shed.

A smoke bomb test will not always give you a perfect answer as to the air flow through your shed as there can be many contributing factors, not least of which involves the air speed on a given day. The smoke test shown in these examples was carried out on a very calm night where there was very little wind. It is advisable to carry out the test in calm conditions, so you can see how the natural ventilation in the shed works. This will show the airflow in the shed at its worst.

Animals present

It is advisable to carry out the smoke bomb test at animal height when there are animals in the shed as this gives a truer reflection of the air movement and conditions that animals are subjected too.

However, farmers should never go into a pen if cattle are easily agitated, such as bulls. Another alternative is to burn the pellets from the creep area of the shed to give an indication of the conditions present.

In Welsh conditions, wind movement has a large effect on air flow through sheds. Not only can a smoke bomb be used to see if air is stagnant in a shed but it can also be used to see if it is too quick which could lead to draughts. However, this is generally not as big of an issue as poor air movement.

It is vital to avoid draughts, especially with young calves. One thing that is not as prevalent in a calf house is the stack effect as less heat is produced by the calves to drive it. Therefore, you are relying on the wind and the design of the shed to ensure that there is sufficient air flow without causing draughts.

Continuous air movement

When the pellet begins to smoke, you want it to rise up as quickly as possible and exit through the outlet ventilation of the shed, whether it is the ridge cap or through spaced sheeting in the roof. For this to work, ample air must flow in through the inlets on the sides of the shed. If the smoke does not rise but moves quickly along the floor of the shed, this can be an indication of a draught.

Upon burning the pellet, the smoke produced rose straight up away from the animals, highlighting that there were no draughts in the shed, but it was clear that the smoke lingered in the shed for a time. The important thing was that even as the smoke lingered in the shed it was still moving and did not gather in any one area.

It is important to review the ventilation in your sheds, especially for older buildings that may have been adapted over the years. Often farmers will put down an increased stocking rate in the shed as the reason for an increased incidence of respiratory diseases. However the underlying reason is more likely to be poor ventilation. Having a shed well-ventilated can also add to its lifetime. High levels of condensation, and gases may lead to the corrosion of structures over time. Research from the UK has shown that it is desired that there is a minimum change of air within the building of at least 10 times every hour, this would be much higher in warm, humid conditions. One key aspect of fresh air that is often overlooked is its effectiveness at killing harmful bacteria. Research in the UK has shown that fresh air can kill many bacteria and viruses 10-20 times faster than a mix of half and half fresh and stale air.

Dairy markets are reacting negatively to building supply pressure across Europe

The last 12 months will generally be remembered by dairy farmers as a very good year.

Dairy markets began to recover rapidly from October 2016, so much so that by March, prices for spring milk were back on a strong footing.

The unprecedented spike in butter prices across Europe from May onwards added further upward momentum to farmgate milk prices right into the autumn months.

While consumer demand for butter is revitalised in recent years, the big driver of the record butter price was weak milk production coming out of Germany and France in the first half of 2017.

Dairy farmers in these countries were hit hard by the low milk prices the previous year and they were slow to recover their confidence.

However, the very strong milk prices in the second half of 2017 inevitably enticed farmers in Europe to produce more.

Since September, we saw rapid growth in German, French and UK milk production and this has had markets worried.

German milk production in October increased 5% year on year to 2.5bn litres, while French milk production was also up 5% in October to hit 1.9bn litres. UK milk production in October was up 4% to 1.15bn litres.

Dutch expansion

Even more alarming for dairy markets is the situation in the Netherlands, where milk production continues to expand, defying all expectations. October milk collection was up 1.6% to 1.13bn litres, while November collections rose 1.9% to just under 1.1bn litres.

A flush of milk is building in Europe and processors are expecting large volumes to come in the spring months.

FrieslandCampina has already written to suppliers urging them to reign in production for early 2018, as the co-op might not have the capacity to process all the milk.

After a very good year for milk prices, 2017 will close out with plenty of anxiety in dairy markets as supply builds and looks set to outpace demand once again.

New targets for Wales to be officially TB Free

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs has today announced TB eradication targets for Wales and interim targets for each TB region – which if achieved will see Wales become officially TB free between 2036 and 2041.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Interim targets, covering 6-year periods, will be set for each of the TB Areas.   These targets will specify overall reductions in herd incidence as well as the transfer of Spatial Units from higher incidence areas to lower incidence areas.

This means, for example, the Low TB Area will expand over time, to cover land currently classified as Intermediate, and High TB Areas will shrink as their Spatial Units are reclassified to the Intermediate areas. At the end of each 6-year period, progress will be assessed and milestones set for the following period.

Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths said:

“We have made good progress in recent years towards eradicating TB in Wales.  There has been a significant reduction in incidence across Wales and I am determined we continue that improvement.

“The 6-year regional milestones I am announcing today are key to delivering this.  If achieved, Wales will become Officially TB free between 2036 and 2041.

“These milestones stress the urgency of the task at hand and reflect my ambition to see important progress in each region during each period.  They will help convey the need for immediate action, to focus minds and to drive the progress necessary to achieve our collective goals.

“We have enhanced our TB Eradication Programme this autumn and the regional approach to TB eradication is intended to help us achieve our targets. We now need to focus on protecting the Low TB Area from disease incursion and driving down disease in the Intermediate and High TB Areas. We will continue to build our programme as we progress towards our goal of a TB free Wales.

“Meeting our targets will not be easy.  They are intended to be ambitious and to stretch us. Achieving them will require the cooperation and dedication of everyone involved. I am challenging us all, in Government, APHA, industry and our veterinary colleagues, to commit everything to ensure we eradicate this dreadful disease as soon as possible.”

Beef and Broccoli stir fry

Beef and Broccoli stir fry makes the perfect dish when that takeout craving hits! Best of all, this skinny-version is SO easy and flavorful and much healthier and way better than any restaurant version. Great for Sunday meal prep for school or work lunchboxes or lunch bowls! Plus recipe video.

This Skinny Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry makes the perfect easy weeknight dish full of authentic flavors. Best of all, it's so easy to make with authentic flavors and way better than your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. Great for meal prep Sunday and leftovers can be used for work or school lunch bowls!

Pin for later and follow my recipe boards for more easy dinner ideas

Beef and Broccoli is a popular takeout dish that used to show up at our house regularly.

Along with fried rice, lo mein and this sweet and sour chicken, it was one of the very first dishes my parents taught all three of us kids how to make.

It’s a favorite Chinese dish that still shows up at my own family’s dinner table even today since my husband and kids love it.

Broccoli & Beef Rice Bowls make the perfect weeknight dish
This healthier Beef and Broccoli is just as tasty as any takeout version. It’s totally skinny-jean friendly since we are using less oil, lower sodium soy sauce and a leaner cut of beef.Plus, there’s also an option to make this gluten-free or paleo friendly if you are trying to incorporate more of those recipes into your diet.

Broccoli & Beef Rice Bowls make the perfect easy weeknight meal!
To ensure that the broccoli stays nice and crisp and the beef tender and juicy, you should blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 30 seconds prior to sauteing it in the pan – then quickly rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. It’s worth the extra step but feel free to skip it if you are in a pinch. 

Broccoli & Beef Rice Bowls make the perfect easy weeknight meal!
Once that’s done, sear the marinated beef using the same pan.


The key to getting that nice restaurant sizzle is to get the pan really, really hot before adding the beef.

Let the pan sit on high heat with the cooking oil for about 2 minutes. Or until you see enough steam rising before adding the beef and garlic.

Cutting the beef nice and thin and coating it with cornstarch seals in that rich flavor. It also adds a nice and juicy coating to the marinated beef strips. And you won’t have to worry about tough and chewy pieces.

Broccoli & Beef Rice Bowls make the perfect easy weeknight meal!

So juicy, succulent and you can’t beat how quickly this dish comes together. Who needs take-out when this Skinny Beef and Broccoli comes together in just under 30 minutes?!

This Skinny Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry makes the perfect easy weeknight dish full of authentic flavors. Best of all, it's so easy to make with authentic flavors and way better than your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. Great for meal prep Sunday and leftovers can be used for work or school lunch bowls!


  • Wash and prep the broccoli the day before and store in a large zip-top freezer bag.
  • Combine the ingredients for the sauce the day before and store in a resealable container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • If serving with rice, quinoa or noodles, make a big batch and store in a large resealable container in the fridge.
  • This recipe works great for meal prep on Sundays and leftovers are delicious for work or school lunch bowls for the rest of the week.
  • Divide into lunch containers (these are the ones I use —-> lunch containers)with your favorite carb – cauliflower rice, brown or white rice, quinoa or even noodles!

This Skinny Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry makes the perfect easy weeknight dish full of authentic flavors. Best of all, it's so easy to make with authentic flavors and way better than your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant. Great for meal prep Sunday and leftovers can be used for work or school lunch bowls!


Source :

Beef Wellington

Gordon Ramsay’s version of the classic steak dish – a show-stopping centrepiece on a special occasion.




  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Sit the 1kg beef fillet on a roasting traybrush with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with pepper, then roast for 15 mins for medium-rare or 20 mins for medium. When the beef is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven to cool, then chill in the fridge for about 20 mins.
  2. While the beef is cooling, chop 250g chestnut (and wild, if you like) mushroomsas finely as possible so they have the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor to do this, but make sure you pulse-chop the mushrooms so they don’t become a slurry.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 50g butterin a large pan and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat, with 1 large sprig fresh thyme, for about 10 mins stirring often, until you have a softened mixture. Season the mushroom mixture, pour over 100ml dry white wine and cook for about 10 mins until all the wine has been absorbed. The mixture should hold its shape when stirred. Remove the mushroom duxelle from the pan to cool and discard the thyme.
  4. Overlap two pieces of cling film over a large chopping board. Lay 12 slices prosciutto on the cling film, slightly overlapping, in a double row. Spread half the duxelles over the prosciutto, then sit the fillet on it and spread the remaining duxelles over. Use the cling film’s edges to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of cling film to tighten it as you go. Chill the fillet while you roll out the pastry.
  5. Dust your work surface with a little flourRoll out a third of the 500g pack of puff pastry to a 18 x 30cm strip and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Roll out the remainder of the 500g pack of puff pastry to about 28 x 36cm. Unravel the fillet from the cling film and sit it in the centre of the smaller strip of pastry. Beat the 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water and brush the pastry’s edges, and the top and sides of the wrapped fillet. Using a rolling pin, carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing well into the sides. Trim the joins to about a 4cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle. Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the beef Wellington with long diagonal lines taking care not to cut into the pastry. Chill for at least 30 mins and up to 24 hrs.
  6. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Brush the Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook until golden and crisp – 20-25 mins for medium-rare beef, 30 mins for medium. Allow to stand for 10 mins before serving in thick slices.