Growth through expanding activities
Reijer is the fourth generation of his family to run the farm. He says innovation is key to future-proof the business: “Being a farmer involves much more than just milking cows. You need to have an entrepreneurial mind-set. The sector has plenty of unexplored potential. Nowadays, growth no longer lies in market expansion, but mainly in adding value by extra activities.” This is exactly what the Rotgans family has found in the Lely Orbiter.
Sustainable farming is the starting point for everything the Rotgans do. They built a new cow house in 2014, which offers improved cow comfort and reduces environmental impact of the business. The cows move freely in the barn and for at least 120 days per year, six hours a day, they can go outside and return to be milked whenever they choose. Milk is bottled within 24 hours and is distributed straight from the farm to the supermarket.
Mijn Melk initiative
Reijer Rotgans’s dairy products are sold under the ‘Mijn Melk’ label: milk distributed straight from the farm. Farmers affiliated with ‘Mijn Melk’ process the milk on the farm independently, thanks to the Lely Orbiter. The ‘Mijn Melk’ farmers prefer a short, transparent food chain. Consumers always know the origin of the milk, down to details about the date and time the cow was milked and the milk was bottled.
Straight from the farm
The Lely Orbiter is an advanced mini dairy factory for the farm and directly linked to the Lely Astronaut. Lely's aim of making local milk available to consumers, straight from the farm, has been well-received. Consumers are increasingly preferring small brands and natural, unprocessed and local products. The Rotgans family’s dairy products are pure and supplied straight from the farm: perfectly in line with the demands and expectations of consumers and retailers.
Dairy products ‘straight from the farm' are now available in more than 1,000 supermarkets throughout the Netherlands. In the near future, Lely will further increase the distribution and number of affiliated dairy farmers. After the introduction of cream and semi-skimmed Jersey milk, containing naturally 30% more protein, Lely expects to further expand the Orbiter's production capabilities in the short term. This will allow dairy farmers to further expand their product range.