Vista Alegre Baserria In much greater detail...
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In much greater detail...

In this corner of our website we look in depth at the “what, why, how, when, where and who” of food production and, albeit in less detail, food consumption, particularly in the case of milk, yoghurt and cheese. Producing and consuming food is as complex as it is necessary and the more information made available to both farmers and consumers, the easier it will become to move towards food sovereignty : agronomically, environmentally, socially and culturally sustainable food production and consumption, that places human health, nutrition and the environment before the interests of large transnational companies and that directly responds to each Peoples’ needs in the context of responsible food production and consumption. 

The documents offer information concerning steps taken on the Vista Alegre farm itself and in the farm’s dairy towards more sustainable (agroecological) livestock farming in the context of food sovereignty. The documents are technical in character, but, we hope, easily understood:

We hope that all the information offered in these documents is useful, correct and easy to understand. If you have contributions, suggestions or simply comments to make, please send  them to us..Contacto

Working towards food sovereignty and transparency in our food depends on sharing information and ideas amongst us all.

Shortly: “Getting to know yoghurt and cheese”, “Yoghurt and cheese from the Vista Alegre farm”, “Structural elements in the Vista Alegre farm landscape”, “GM-free milk”.

Getting to know the farm

This is a general description of the farm to provide more information about its dairy herd, the tendency towards e-intensification of milk production and the farm’s project to pasteurise milk and make yoghurts and cheeses in its own dairy. It explains the basic objectives of the farmers and why they decided not to farm intensively or industrially. Read document

Feeding cows

Feeding dairy cows on the Vista Alegre farm (Karrantza, Bizkaia) from an agroecological point of view in the context of food sovereignty:

The starting point in milk production is what cows eat: apart from the influence fodder and the way fodder is supplied has on the nutrition of dairy cattle, it is worth pointing out the influence it has on other aspects that should be borne in mind, such as the welfare of cattle, the environment on the farm and in the surroundings, the health and nutrition of consumers, impacts in the South.... This document provides an in depth analysis of all these questions, firstly in general and secondly concerning fodder and the way it is supplied on the Vista Alegre farm itself. Read document

Getting to know milk

What is cow’s milk and how can it be consumed?

This document describes what cow’s milk is, its chemical composition and the biological elements it contains from a general point of view. It looks at what can be done with milk to conserve and consume it, with special reference to two issues currently under debate: whether or not to homogenise milk (milk from the Vista Alegre farm is not homogenised) and the question of the Omegas. Read document

Milk from the Vista Alegre farm.

Milk from the Vista Alegre farm itself  is analysed in this document. Consumers can check our milk quality with reference to results of analyses undertaken in official laboratories to find information on nutrient content (protein, fat -including the omegas- and lactose) and its quality in terms of health and hygiene (somatic cell count and bacteriology). This data is updated in our corner “Month by month on the farm” with monthly results from the laboratory. Our aim is to identify any changes in milk quality as the farm becomes more sustainable in agroecological terms.  Read document

Energy consumption on the Vista Alegre farm

Energy is used in all the activities undertaken on the farm and in the dairy. Knowing where this energy comes from and whether or not steps are being taken to save energy and replace fossil fuels by renewable sources of energy indicates the degree to which a farm is committed to improving the sustainability of its activities and working towards food sovereignty. Today our farm is still a long way from being able to dispense with oil-based energy but there are ways in which we are starting to reduce our dependence on this source of energy. Read document

The packaging debate

Milk, yoghurts and cheese need to be packaged to be sold... but in what? Which packaging materials are best? This document presents data for glass and  plastic. The cost of packaging in relation to the size of a container or the amount of goods packaged is also analysed. Offering goods in big containers is not just a case of wanting to sell more.... there is an environmental logic to it as well as economic advantages for  consumers. Read document

Biodiversity, cattle fodder and milk quality

A research proposal

¿And if we wish to know even more? This proposal includes a series of possible ways in which to further research issues related to the way in which fodder is supplied to cattle, biodiversity and the quality of our milk on the Vista Alegre farm. This document has been presented to the Departments of Ecology and Botany of the University of the Basque Country, to the Department of Ecology of the Autonomous University of Madrid and to the Department of Ecosystems of Neiker (Basque Farm Research Station) to see whether the research proposals can be undertaken on the farm, to the benefit of both the farm and the consumers of the farms products.

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What do our product labels tell us ?

In this article we explain the information that legislation currently requires us to offer to consumers on the labels of our dairy produce. However, rather than just listing this information, we also assess the usefulness of each bit of data, the cost generated by  incorporating new information on labels following new legal requirements and how the veracity of the information offered to consumers is guaranteed.

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Special corner for schools: visit our special corner for schools for special information about our farm and the farm dairy. There are resource materials for teachers. In this corner you can find out how to arrange a class outing to our farm.

Copy left: With due regard to both constructive criticism and respect, the information posted on this website may be used freely for socially orientated and solidarity minded projects in order to further food sovereignty.