In December 2017, following several months of talks and consultations, Bel and the Bel West Producers Association (Association des Producteurs de lait Bel Ouest — APBO) announced a jointly prepared and model agreement within the dairy industry. The agreement is unprecedented in more ways than one:
- It guarantees a year-long average benchmark price for milk purchased from producers, providing them with financial visibility and safeguarding their income;
- It concerns Bel’s entire milk collection in France. Over 400 million liters of milk are collected annually from APBO member-producers, in over 800 dairy farms;
- It integrates, enshrines and rewards differentiating, sustainable farming practices, such as pasture grazing and GMO-free animal feed for dairy herds, to meet evolving consumer expectations and the drive by the APBO and Bel to build a sustainable business model.
A year after announcing their unprecedented agreement for better milk prices, Bel and the APBO have agreed to strengthen their partnership, which shows that forging new working relations among manufacturers and farmers is possible.