Milk Retailing

Well we’ve done it - taken the plunge and worked with Food Standards Authority, Environmental Health and Trading Standards and from September 2016 we’re selling our own raw milk from a stud-wall room in the garage.

Both the Buckingham Advertiser and Brackley and Towcester Advertiser have run an article and photo, and we have distributed about 1200 leaflets to the local villages with help from some friends.

We have started with 1 litre bottles of whole milk, but the numbers of people buying four or five bottles at a time mean we will restock with larger sizes.  We have also been asked for skimmed, cream, butter and virtually every other dairy product you can mention.  (Not ghee yet!)

Cream can be added to the repertoire without more paperwork or major investment, but further products will require us to comply with processing regulations and need specialised facilities - not that we’ve ruled it out but there are only 24 hours in the day!

In the meantime local free range eggs and honey are now available and we are working on a link with a local butcher for pre-ordered products.

 Whilst we are not fully organic (we have been previously but could not balance the cows’ nutrition) we maintain an holistic approach to the farm and cows and embrace many of the organic principles.


So why should you try Raw Milk?

 Raw Milk, Real Milk, Unpasteurised Milk - there are many different names for this natural product high in vitamins and minerals and uncorrupted by any form of heat-treatment, splitting and re-combining to standardised products.

When our cows are milked the milk passes through a filter and coolers and enters the refrigerated tank where the cooling process is completed to <4.0oC in about 15 minutes.  We then bottle on a daily basis to ensure the freshest product possible.

The flavour and texture are different to conventional supplies, both because of our Jersey Breed with higher butterfat and protein, and because we neither pasteurise, homogenise nor standardise the milk.  The richer, smoother taste works wonderfully in coffee and on cereal, and roux-based sauces and custards are in a league of their own.

Put simply, it is a natural product in its natural form.



Raw Milk - Risks and Benefits

 Historically there were some very good reasons why milk was heat-treated.  Poor hygiene and cooling systems allowed organisms to invade and multiply in the milk.  Our knowledge of diseases and risk factors was much poorer and the ability to test both cattle and milk for potential problems was limited. Pasteurisation dealt with many of these issues but, along with homogenisation and separation (most processed milk has all the fat removed and then the required amount is added back), can combine to reduce the nutritional value and digestibility of this once-perfect product. 

Today’s cows are in better overall health due to advances in nutrition, breeding and management, and ours are all routinely screened for potential problems which could affect their health or the safety of the milk they produce.  Any adverse results ensure they receive prompt attention. 

Should any of our cows need treatment, eg antibiotics, their milk is discarded during and after treatment until it passes an antibiotics residue test.  All milk leaving the farm to go to the dairy is routinely tested for problems so that we have over 180 whole-herd profiles of health every year in addition to the individual screening of our 120 cows and monitoring by the Food Standards Authority.


This management is far superior to what could be achieved when heat treatment was first advocated and we believe allows us to offer a safe, un-corrupted and highly nutritional product which has simply been filtered, cooled and bottled. 


So what are the risks?

There have been outbreaks of illness as a result of contaminated milk but some of the articles cited below, by people with far more scientific minds than ours declare that the risk of food poisoning from contaminated salad is higher than from raw milk, and shellfish and raw meat issues are higher still.

 If you have a compromised immune system or are in early pregnancy it would be sensible to discuss things with your GP first - but do make sure they know what Raw Milk is all about!


And the Benefits?

 A fresh, local, quality product where you can talk to the supplier and learn more about how the cattle are cared for and how we manage their health and welfare.  You are also supporting local business and helping (in a small way) to reduce the stranglehold of big business on food supplies.

Health benefits - Lactose Intolerance

Apparently there is increasing evidence that lactose-intolerance is widely misdiagnosed.  We gather the traditional “breath test” is also under scrutiny as its validity is now questioned.  Whilst many people have very genuine symptoms from drinking processed milk as many as eight out of ten have found that they can drink raw milk without adverse symptoms.  Please look at the evidence found here:  if you wish to know more about this.

Health benefits - Eczema/asthma/allergy issues

There is considerable anecdotal evidence about the reduction in sensitivity to known allergens when raw milk is added to a diet or simply replaces processed versions.  Indeed we had one lady come to us after only one week on our milk saying the eczema on her elbow had cleared up for the first time in months.   Please note we are not making health claims in this area, but if you are considering  raw milk as a de-sensitising option ensure you are fully aware of all considerations before embarking on this route. 

We have provided signposting to some of the American sites with information both for and against raw milk to allow informed decisions to be made.  If you find any others which add to the information and debate please let us know.