Supporting Dairy Farming – Skäve Gård (farm)

Bank Ekobanken
Client Skäve Gård
Location Sweden

The situation for dairy farmers in Sweden is becoming severe: many farms are closing because of generation shifts and heavy investment demands. The number of dairy farms has halved in the last ten years and because the price for milk is set on the world market, there’s limited possibility for farmers to influence price.

In order to support and highlight the work of organic and biodynamic dairy farmers, Ekobanken offers a lower interest rate for farmers.

Around the village of Järna ( 50 km south of Stockholm) lies the largest biodynamic arable land in Sweden. Nearby is Saltå Mill and Beras International, organizations specializing in conducting research into organic farming. There is a high school for future farmers as well as a training center for organic gardeners.

All farms are owned by foundations in order to prevent the soil from being bought and sold on the free market and thus taken out of organic treatment (done for many decades). A new dairy is being built to process the milk from the farms and to guarantee a price that makes it possible to survive as farmer.

Dairy farmer Holger van der Woude moved from the Netherlands in the late 1990s, to train on Skäve farm before taking it over. In 2011 he bought the lease of Yttereneby as well, one of Sweden’s oldest biodynamic farms. Recently a brand new barn was built creating an airy atmosphere for up to 110 cows, which still have their horns. Fodder comes from the farm itself, apart from producing grain for the mill.