Cow with calf dairy farming at Cream o' Galloway

Ethical Dairy Farming

Rainton Farm has been an organic farm for more than 20 years, and we introduced pasture-based, regenerative, agroecological farming methods 12 years ago. In 2016 we became Europe's largest cow-with-calf dairy farm, after 10 years of research, development and preparation. This means that unlike most other dairy farms, the calves on our farm get to stay with their mum to suckle naturally.

In conventional dairy farms, calves are removed from their mothers within a few hours of their birth. We wanted to find another way, and visitors to Cream o' Galloway encouraged us to give it a try. Put simply, we didn’t want to have to choose between doing what’s right and staying in business.

Our ethical dairy model is based around treating the animals, the land, our environment and the people who work here with respect and kindness.

You can find out more about the story behind our farming system at our sister company, The Ethical Dairy. The Ethical Dairy range is a fully organic range of cheeses and these are available for purchase in our visitor centre and at selected retailers across the UK.

Net Zero Farming

Our farming system is designed around harnessing natural systems for ecological, biodiversity, sustainability and animal welfare benefits. We recently recovered 25 years of soil organic matter data, from historic soil samples, which allowed us to analyse how the changes we made to our farming system have affected the soil health. We now know that our nature-based farming methods mean our soils lock-in (sequester) 5 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year, which is more carbon than we produce. 

We focus on agroecology and regenerative methods; systems of management that put back more than they extract – we don’t just sustain, we go beyond net zero, we regenerate and we renew.