From January 1, 2019, the agreement against non-selective herbicides will come into effect ‒ Hochland is once again a pioneer in terms of sustainability
It is a further step towards sustainability: On January 1, 2019, the agreement of Hochland Deutschland GmbH and their milk producers for the plant in Schongau will come into effect. In this agreement, farmers commit themselves to completely abandoning the use of non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate on their fields and grassland. At the beginning of July Hochland and the committees of the “Erstes Bayerisches Butterwerk” and the Milk Producer Association (MEG) Pfaffenwinkel had reached an agreement, approved by the “Bayern Milk Producer Association (Bayern MEG)”. The decision of the milk producer panels was unanimous. The committees of Allgäuland eG have also approved the agreement. Their milk producers will supply Hochland from January 2019.
Hochland and their milk suppliers are thereby responding to the wishes of consumers who are increasingly critical with regard to non-selective herbicides.
The agreement is part of the "Milk for Hochland" quality program, which the company has been implementing together with the farmers for several years. All milk suppliers of the Schongau plant ‒ current and new ones ‒ contractually agree to participate. Hochland pays the farmers an extra 1.0 Eurocent per kilogram on the milk price to compensate the additional outlay due to this program.
With this move, the cheese manufacturer based in the Allgäu region continues its pioneering role in the industry: Hochland was also the first dairy company to establish cheese production without genetic engineering at production sites in several European countries: Following the switch, from animal feed to ingredients, to a non-GMO production of the hard and semi-hard cheese brand Grünländer in autumn 2011, the switch at the plants in Schongau (Upper Bavaria) and Wȩgrów in Poland followed in 2017. Since the spring of 2018, the French factory in Dieue-sur-Meuse also produces according to the German VLOG standard. Fromagerie Henri Hutin is the first large dairy in France to offer its soft cheese in “non GMO” quality.
The processed cheese factory in Heimenkirch is also able to produce all product categories without genetic engineering. Currently, non-GMO products account for about 50 percent of the total production volume in Heimenkirch.
Already more than 20 years ago, Hochland was the first company in the dairy industry in Germany to be certified according to the EU Eco-Audit Regulation (EMAS II).