Going Down a Storm – Local Milk at Cowbridge!
The relocation of the dairy herd in 2020 gave father and son David and Tomos Adams of Llanfrynach Farm quite a conundrum. But it gave light to a new business venture –launching their zero-mile Milk Shed – a vending machine on the outskirts of Cowbridge in the middle of a trio of storms.
“Relocating was quite a challenge to start but it’s transformed our way of farming, possibly having the only off-grid milking robot in the UK, our cows now decide when they want to be milked each day in a robot powered standalone renewable energy system using solar power and battery combination. It is better for their overall health and happiness and I now have more time to spend with the animals instead of milking”. Explains Tomos Adams BSc Nottingham University.
The Milk Shed is easily accessible from the A48, just after the new roundabout west of Cowbridge. It is within easy walking distance of the town, with a lovely circular walk past Llanfrynach church in the nearby field, aptly providing the brand name and logo to this local low carbon milk.
“Launching in a stormy weekend had its hiccups but we like a challenge! The environmental benefits are great – no plastic waste, the milk has zero miles – it only travels a few hundred meters to The Milk Shed Cowbridge at Llanfrynach Farm and we run everything on solar power. We’re so happy to have finally got started providing local people with fresh healthy milk” Tomos explains.
“Farming is all about providing the best quality produce by looking after our animals and crops here in the Vale of Glamorgan. There has been a great demand in going back to basics, buying local, and supporting the farming community recently and you can’t get fresher milk than this produced on your doorstep with zero miles and no plastic” adds David “And the taste speaks for itself!”
“We’re very excited to be finally able to launch the milk – available direct to our customers in a vending machine, cutting out the middle men and supermarkets and providing milk in its natural state – unhomogenised (with the cream on top – great for coffee!). We pasteurise the milk to the necessary quality health standards and that’s it – as little processing as possible which boosts its taste” adds Rhiannon Adams, Tomos’ sister.
There has been a huge rise in local milk vending machines across Wales in the past year, with farmers going back to their roots and providing a local source of fresh natural milk, and many selling other local produce as well.
“We also hope to educate our local customers and consumers about dairy farming and milk production. Whole milk is naturally low in fat – around 4% and is so versatile, is protein rich with many essential vitamins and minerals” explains Rhiannon.
“We also have milkshake options available – we’re using Shaky Cow syrups and providing a huge range of flavours, from best sellers strawberry and chocolate to salted caramel and banoffee”
The Milk Shed Cowbridge at Llanfynach Farm will be open 24 hours a day with contactless payments. The milkshake syrup bar is paid with cash in an honesty box. Reusable glass bottles etched with the Llanfrynach Farm logo are available to buy and customers are encouraged to reuse as it will greatly reduce plastic waste.
Nia Môn, Development Manager for Cywain – a Menter a Busnes project that supports the development of growth-orientated businesses in the food and drink sector in Wales, has provided general support to the venture and helped with brand design. “Supporting your local producers makes a vast difference to the local economy and sustainability, with a greater percentage of each pound staying local. I encourage you all to pledge to buy local in 2022 and look forward to seeing success and growth for The Milk Shed Cowbridge at Llanfynach Farm in the next few years, providing local sustainable milk produce”.