30 Jul AGRI Affairs Summer Road Trip Day 1: Hamish Logan Reports on The Original Barista Milk
The 2019 SAYFC Agri Affairs study tour took the form of a road-trip through the West of England and Wales from the 19th – 23rd July. From handsfree farming to coffee milk, from performance recorded ewes to 2000 cows all seven of our visits fitted with the our theme “the road to success”
The following reports provide a brief summary of the interesting, inspiring and cutting edge businesses we were very grateful to have been allowed to visit.
After meeting the bus in Stirling and various pick up points on route our first visit on the Agri Affairs Summer Road Trip was visiting the Lune Valley and going to Brades Farm owned by the Towers Family. We were shown around the farm by Ed one of the sons running the family business along with his father, mother and brother. The family farm has a strong history as Ed will be the third generation on the farm. Farming in the Lune Valley has got its challenges due to the high flooding rate that happens on a yearly basis.
Braids Farm milks 480 cows producing high end milk for barista coffee shops which is high in protein and fat to make the perfect coffee. To do this in the herd there is a mixture of jersey and Holstein fresien cows and this helps get the balance with the correct protein and fat levels for barista milk. Barista milk needs to be high in protein and fat so it can hold its froth and also to allow coffee shops to do coffee art with it. This was a very entrepreneurial idea and a great way of targeting another market place for the product. Out of the total production from the herd about 80% is sold as barista milk and the remaining 20% is sold on a contract price. One of the biggest challenges for producing this product is the distribution to the customer because of the short shelf life and the requirement of refrigeration. On average there is about 2-3 lorries that take the barista milk to London a week.
On the farm there are 5 full time employees with the additional 2 part time staff when required. All staff were from the local area and Ed was passionate about keeping this to help benefit the local community. All the cows are bedded on sand which helps improve the welfare of the animals, whilst also keeping them clean, however this does come with challenges due to the sand blocking up passage ways and drains.
Ed was very passionate about climate change and looking to reduce carbon emissions. One way that this has been trialled is by using a concentrate that contains a garlic additive which gives the cows 10g/day of the garlic additive which has proven to reduce methane emissions by approximately 30%. This is a great initiative in helping climate change and Ed thinks moving forward farmers won’t just be supplying food for consumption but also will be capturing carbon and helping to reduce the global carbon emissions.
Overall it was a great visit to start the road trip off and we are very thankful for the Towers Family taking time out their day to show us round.