Not in My Cuppa

In 2010 we ran a campaign that helped to defeat plans for a US-style intensive dairy farm in the UK.

In December 2009, Nocton Dairies first put forward its plans for an 8,100 cow intensive dairy farm - the largest ever in UK history. 

When Nocton put forward its plan, we recognised that this one farm could open the floodgates to intensive dairy farming: putting traditional pasture based dairy farmers out of business, causing serious environmental damage and keeping cows indoors all year, with no chance of ever being able to eat a blade of grass in the sunshine.

The Not in my Cuppa campaign was launched in the Spring of 2010 in response to the planning application. It was our first major UK campaign and we began engaging the public in a debate about what would happen if factory dairy farming became the norm.

Our aim was to prevent dairy cows being sentenced to a life inside vast sheds. We also sought to ensure that there was a wider debate on what this could mean for UK farming at a national and local level.

Support for the campaign

Our team gained support from 38 Degrees, the Campaign Against Factory Farming Operations (the local support group in the village of Nocton), the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association. This collaboration led to support for our report which examined the animal welfare impacts of intensive indoor dairy farming.

Read our report: Old MacDonald had a Farm >>

Over 50 MPs attended an event we held in Parliament and then continued to debate the issues in the House of Commons. 161 MPs from all political parties signed our Early Day Motion and 18 celebrities signed up to the campaign.

These included the cast of Emmerdale, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Twiggy and Miranda Richardson who encouraged people to join them in saying “not in my cuppa” to factory milk from battery cows. 

Engaging the public

In September 2010, 100 people went on the run through London dressed as intensively farmed dairy cows. This raised the profile of the campaign in the media and online. Shortly after this, we published Not on our Cornflakes a report making the case against Nocton-style factory milk and for a sustatinable British dairy industry.

Read our report: Not on our Cornflakes >>

Success for dairy cows

In November 2010, Nocton Dairies resubmitted their planning application, halving the size of the farm. With over 14,000 objections to the council, Nocton withdrew their application in February 2011.

The future of dairy farming

We are continuing to campaign for dairy cows to be kept on grass as we believe it’s better for their welfare. We do this by championing good animal welfare practices and by urging the public to ask retailers where their milk comes from and how it is produced. We believe that consumers have the right to choose to put free range milk on their cornflakes and in their cuppa.

Read more about our work on dairy>>

Timeline of the Not in my Cuppa campaign

  • Dec 2009: Nocton Dairies put forward plans for 8,100 cow mega-dairy
  • Mar 2010: We submit an objection to Nocton Dairies’ plans
  • May 2010: We run a pre-election campaign, after which around 50 elected MPs commit to fighting the intensification of the UK dairy industry
  • Jun 2010: Our first victory comes after plans for a second mega dairy in South Witham, Lincolnshire are withdrawn due to fierce opposition
  • Aug 2010: We launch the Not on our Cornflakes report
  • Sep 2010: We publicly launch the Not in my Cuppa campaign
  • Sep 2010: the Ecologist publish an undercover expose of the USA intensive dairy industry, later named as one of the Ecologist’s ‘top 20 reads of 2010’
  • Oct 2010: HRH Prince Charles openly speaks out against intensive dairy farms
  • Oct 2010: We co-host a parliamentary reception on dairy farming with Compassion in World Farming, attended by over 50 MPs
  • Nov 2010: Nocton Dairies resubmit their planning application, reducing the scale of the farm to house 3,770 cows
  • Dec 2010: The Not in my Cuppa team meets with Defra
  • Jan 2010: Over 14,000 objections are made to North Kesteven Council against Nocton Dairies’ planning application
  • Feb 17th 2011: Nocton Dairies withdraw their plans
  • June 2011: The Not in my Cuppa campaign wins a Public Affairs CIPR Excellence Award

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