Milk vending machine key to dairy farming future
A family farm in Silverdale is cutting out the middle man and taking matters into its own hands by selling raw milk from a vending machine.
Gibraltar Farm, which has been in the Burrow family for three generations, launched the new system last week, and is already seeing a lot of interest from locals and visitors alike.
Amy Burrow, 39, and her husband James, 41, currently milk 60 British Fresian cows, but falling milk prices have left that side of the business unsustainable.
Amy said: “We can’t cover our own costs for what we get for the milk.
“We’re receiving 14p a litre, and it costs 24p a litre to produce. A lot of dairy farms across the country are facing the same problem.
“We were watching Countryfile a couple of months ago, and it featured another way of keeping dairy farms profitable.
“Afarmer called Jonny Crickmore, based in Suffolk, had this vending machine installed, so we contacted him, and it went from there.”
The vending machine is made in Italy and holds 200 litres of milk at any one time.
Amy said: “People come along with £1 and bring their own bottles and fill up themselves.
“It’s early days, but the feedback so far has been really positive and we’re really pleased with it.
“We’re hoping that as word spreads, people will come and support us.
“There are lots of health benefits to drinking raw milk, there’s more vitamins for a start, and it tastes better, and doing it this way helps local farming.”
Amy said the couple’s two sons, Eddie, 11, and Ollie, eight, are keen to be farmers themselves in the future.
She said: “This is one way of us being able to carry things on for them.
“It’s as much for their future as it is for ours.”
Amy and James also run a camping and caravan site at Gibraltar Farm, located near Jenny Browns Point, and also have sheep and beef.
They also recently startedmaking their own ice-cream.
The farm welcomed its first caravan on site in the 1970s.
It also has a 10 acre woodland available for group bookings.
For more information on the farm, and the milk, visit www.gibraltarfarm.co.uk.