NLF contributes to a better world in which milk and other livestock products are produced in a sustainable way: a way in which soil is enriched, animals live well, farmers get a decent income and milk is healthy and without chemical residues.

Our vision

Spearhead the One Health approach in livestock production: Healthy Animals – Healthy People – Healthy Environment

Our mission

Safeguard, expand and spread knowledge about natural ways to increase livestock health – leading to improved food quantity and quality, animal wellbeing and farm income, as well as reduced environmental pollution and anti-microbial resistance.

For many centuries livestock keepers have kept their animals healthy by taking advantage of the opportunities that nature offered them. In recent decades much of this knowledge of our ancestors was lost due to the ease of using drugs from the pharmaceutical industry.

The NLF international network is re-valuing time-tested methods, such as use of medicinal plants and strategic use of local breeds, to be applied in a new context. We combine practices from farmers and veterinarians – combining western science, Ayurveda science, and traditional farmer knowledge – in order to improve cattle health and reduce the use of antibiotics and other chemicals.

See NLF solution tree here

How did NLF originate?

The movement towards Natural Livestock Farming originated in the 1990’s as an international network on ethno-veterinary practices (EVP), and between 2005 and 2015 as the Endogenous Livestock Development (ELD) network.

Between 2014-2016 we organized several E-Motive exchange programs between Netherlands and India, Ethiopia and Uganda, providing alternatives for the use of antibiotics in dairy farming – funded by Oxfam Novib and province of Overijssel.

See also two videos: Milk Dilemma in Uganda, and Green Antibiotics

This resulted in the NLF network (see E-Motive impact story on Natural Livestock Farming) and was the start of the pilot with the NLF 5-layer strategy in Ethiopia, and related activities in Netherlands, India and Uganda.


Each country involved with NLF is facing their own challenges NLF works to safeguard, expand and spread knowledge about healthy animals based on what the natural environment has to offer, by:

  1. Building on a variety of knowledge systems in the world
  2. Combining grass-root expertise, especially from farmers & veterinarians – with scientific backup
  3. Multi country program, combining expertise from countries with a variety of farming systems, learning from each other’s mistakes and success
  4. Piloting solutions based on the NLF 5-layered strategy

NLF core activities are action research, exchange of best practices and training. The combination of bottom-up experimentation and peer to peer exchange is additional to existing initiatives in this field. This opens up opportunities that more conventional programs fail to unlock. And provides opportunity for increased farm income, better child nutrition, improved food quality and biodiversity.

Programs adapted to country priorities, with: