In 1999, the Lactalis Group and three farmers created a new product category: organic milk. José Manuel Vázquez, a farmer from Burgo do Negral (Lugo), had the vision of "doing things differently, producing milk in a more sustainable way, both for cows and for the planet."
Twenty years later, he continues to work with Lactalis.
After José Manuel, more than 80 Galician, Asturian, Cantabrian and Catalan farmers joined the Lactalis Group in the project, looking to organic milk as a way to add more value to the livestock sector and in response to consumer concerns about the environment, animal welfare and natural products.
According to Nielsen, Lactalis has become the leader of the category in Spain through its brand Puleva Eco, with a market share of 46%. This year it has completed its range with Eco Fresh Puleva -pasteurized milk from organic farms.
The Lactalis Group continues to work on adding new farmers to those already certified. The company will reach a collection of 20m liters of organic milk later this year and expects to reach 22m liters by 2022.
José Enrique García, director of milk collection for the Lactalis Group in Spain, said, “When we started 20 years ago we were described as adventurous, but today we are proud to have taken this path with our 80 farmers who give us their daily milk. For all of us, "eco" is not just a label, it is the most sustainable way to produce milk. This vision has made the Lactalis Group the largest manufacturer of organic dairy products in the world.”
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of organic milk in Spain, Lactalis brought together its 80 farmers at an event in the province of Lugo.