12 Aug 2012

Micro dairies

Chris Hussey

At the last TC meeting there was some discussion about the possibility of a ‘micro dairy’  (along the lines of a micro brewery) given the current issues with dairy farming and milk prices.  There are some examples out there – but I didn’t find that many.  A little investigation turned up the North Aston Dairy featured in this grassrootsfood web article.  The same Oxfordshire dairy was featured in a BBC Radio 4 Food Programme episode back in 2010. This is well worth a listen as it gives a good insight into the difficult economics of dairy farming.  Another example is the Maple Field Milk dairy set up as a Community Interest Company with a grant from the Prince’s Countryside Fund.  A case study about it was published by ‘Making Local Food Work’.  The Maple Field Milk example is also of interest because it seems to be associated with the Campaign for Real Farming, promoted by Colin Tudge.  Finally, I came across an article in Spectator Scoff (also from 2010) on the possibilities of micro dairies.  This article begins as follows:

“Why is it that we are prepared to pay over £3 for a pint of lager, £2 for a cappuccino and £1.50 for a litre of bottled water, but balk if a litre of milk costs more than 75p?”