Gloucestershire dairy farmer offers Guernsey milk on tap
FARMER Adam Fleming is hoping to milk profits after coming up with a new way of marketing his product.
Fed up with plummeting prices for an essential product, the entrepreneur has started to sell milk 'on tap' straight to the public.
He is supplying Britain's first milk vending machines straight from his beloved Guernsey cows at Eyford Hill Farm, near Stow-on-the-Wold.
The first milk station has opened outside the Kingham Plough, near Stow, closely followed by one at the Cotswold Farm Park, near Guiting Power.
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You can buy a litre glass bottle for £1 and fill it with fresh, creamy milk for £2 – and reuse the bottle.
"It's not a gimmick – we wanted to sell direct to the consumer and allow him to take control," said Adam, who runs Nell's Dairy on his land.
"There's no packaging involved, we sell the traditional glass bottles or you can bring your own containers.
"It's milk like no other – astonishingly and deliciously different, harking back to the old days. Milk vending machines are all over Europe and farmers have been selling this way for a long time. As far as we know, no one else is doing this in Britain."
With dairy farms struggling to survive on supermarket prices, it seemed an obvious step.
"It really got my goat that this incredible substance sells for less than bottled water," said Adam.
"Milk is a real key to your sustenance along with eggs and bread. If retailers continue to use milk as a lost leader, basically making it unprofitable for the dairy farmer to produce milk, then dairies will go on closing. But you could get to the point where there isn't any milk and then people will pay anything for it. Guernsey milk has always traded at a premium.
"But we believe our price is a small one to pay for such a special creamy milk, which has much more Omega 3 than others and this wonderful golden colour from the beta-carotene in the grass and clover our cows eat.
"We're just putting our toe in the water with a little venture, as we're a micro dairy with only eight milking Guernseys. We've spent time resuscitating the old dairy and getting organic status with the Soil Association.
"Obviously it would be wonderful if we could have a wider circulation, but might only go as far afield as Cheltenham and Oxford as we want to keep it fresh and local."