An article in The Times today talks about how surprising it is that Free Range Milk has not caught on before now. Quite right. Why the idea didn’t surface at the same time as Free Range eggs, we’ll never know. People must care just as much about cows as chickens surely? But maybe we’re biased. In any case, it looks like 2017 is going to be another good year for animal welfare. This is great news for us because it will be much easier to explain to people what we are trying to do in dairy farming.
When Chris and I started working towards fully segregated production and processing of Free Range Milk in 2013 it felt like a bit of a fool’s errand. How on earth could we be part of creating a sustainable future for the British dairy industry, in the face of such huge established operators? Talk about David and Goliath. But here we are at the start of 2017, not even two years on from the launch of the UK’s first Free Range Milk here in Morecambe Bay, and the idea is starting to gain interest from the right people.
This Friday at 8 pm, Neil Darwent will be appearing on Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast. Neil is a multi-award winning farmer, and also the originator of the Pasture Promise animal welfare and milk processing standards behind Free Range Milk. We were the first company to successfully turn Free Range Milk from an idea into a product delivered to your door. So the milk you drink, from the farm we work with, will be getting its TV screen debut on Friday during Neil’s interview with Jamie and Jimmy. As you can imagine, we’ll be holding our own mini party!
When you get people like Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty behind ideas like Free Range Milk, you know more people will start to listen. We have known from the outset that being able to pay farmers more, while working to improve animal welfare ‘and’ product quality, has to be a good thing for everyone. Now far more people will be able to hear about the idea and get to decide for themselves.
Let's hope the press attention keeps building and Free Range Milk becomes what everyone buys as standard. But before we get to that point, we just wanted to say thank you to all of our supporters for backing us before the idea took hold.
Our business is founded in the Morecambe Bay community and we would be nothing without our local customers and collaborators. From our roots as a doorstep delivery business we now also supply to a growing range of customers, independent coffee shops and restaurants across the North West who care about the quality of the ingredients they use.
We hope you enjoy the programme on Friday and we’re really looking forward to working with you in 2017. Happy New Year from all at Stephensons Dairy!