27 April 2016
A word on the milk crisis and raw milk
The Raw Milk Revolution
There has been much in the news lately regarding dairy farmers and the milk crisis following a feature on BBC's Countryfile.
The ‘milk crisis’ should really be a non-issue; the shocking fact is that milk is currently cheaper than water. Dairy farms should be paid a fair and proportionate price for the milk they produce in order to maintain the standards of welfare required to rear cattle and to meet overheads. Imagine a time when all dairy farms are forced to close? It would be a sad day for Great Britain if we no longer saw our countryside scattered with cows.
Our dairy farm client at Delph House Farm exited the mass milk production market a number of years ago and subsequently reduced the herd by 50% to concentrate efforts on other areas of the business. Quality and ethics being the main priority, the farm was unable to sustainably produce milk at the prices retailers were prepared to pay for it.
A few more pennies per pint would make a huge difference to the whole supply chain and education is vital to help the general public understand this bigger picture.
So our client Delph House Farm in looking to diversify, installed a raw milk vending machine on the farm. It's currently the only one of its kind in the north of England and gives customers direct access to raw milk.
Raw milk has been a controversial topic, however when it is produced in a highly regulated and ethical environment, it is arguably believed to have significant health benefits and tastes great too.
The raw milk vending machine is seeing a roaring trade and those that have tried it can taste the goodness and pureness of the milk from the healthy and happy cows grazed daily on beautiful Yorkshire hills. (Caveat, the Food Standards Agency recommends that children, the elderly and anyone with a potentially lower immune responses should not have raw milk including pregnant women. By law in the sale of raw milk farmers have to state ‘Our raw milk has not been heat treated and may therefore contain organisms harmful to health’).
That said, we still love raw milk, it reminds us of good old Yorkshire green top and has some fabulous possibilities in cooking. If raw milk seems a step too far for you though, we hope you’ll join us and choose wisely and thoughtfully when you buy milk. Buying ethically is good for the cow, good for the farmer and good for you.