We launched a new brand of milk in 2019 in a bid to slow the dwindling number of dairy farmers on the Isle of Wight and give them a fair price for their produce.
The idea was initially pursued by Paul Griffin, of Briddlesford Lodge Farm, as a way to protect the Island’s heritage, to ensure farmers get a fair price for their milk and to reduce the impact on the environment by reducing travel distances.
He was aware of a number of farmers who were close to bankruptcy as the cost of milk had dropped to about half of what it costs to produce the milk.
Paul, the fourth generation of the Griffin family to run his farm, said: “As a dairy farmer, we were looking at decimation on the Isle of Wight. There wasn’t going to be a dairy industry.”
Of the millions of litres of milk being produced each year, Paul estimates that about 80 per cent needed to go off the Island for processing.
But Briddlesford has recently installed its own processing plant to produce its premium milk from Guernsey cows with a much larger capacity than needed. The plant will cut the costs of production while ensuring the highest standard of processing with 12 day shelf life.
To start the milk flowing, Paul has initially linked up with Read’s Farm in Carisbrooke which is run by Reads Farm Partnership Kay and Mark Reed and assisted by Mark’s wife Jodie.
Mark, who has around 280 Friesian cows, said: “2016 was one of our worst years as we were basically getting out of bed everyday just to lose money. It was playing on our minds a lot especially as we have three other people we employ here. We had to make some very difficult decisions.
This new brand is about working together and ensuring a future for our family and our farm. It gives us hope. Our main goal is to look after our cows. If you look after them then they look after you.
We initially teamed up with the Southern Coop with a launch in three local stores, this has already expanded to other outlets and we have recently teamed up with Central Convenience to supply their chain of local stores.