Dairy Diversification: Small micro-dairy launches community vending machine
A family-run micro-dairy has launched a community vending machine, as part of their dairy diversification plans, providing the public with a new option to access local fresh milk daily.
Just Jerseys, a small dairy enterprise owned by the Raes, has launched the machine with a focus on traditional low input farming methods. They own ten pedigree Jersey cows, milked twice a day using a mobile milking machine in the field where they graze and pasteurised using a mobile micro dairy.
The vending machine will be located in the centre of Tenbury Wells in Shropshire, offering residents access to local milk with an environmentally conscious factor. Customers will be able to pour their own milk into environmentally-friendly bottles from the vending machine, or they can bring their own.
Children will also have the option for a Just Jerseys Milkshake from the ‘Mooshake’ bar, available at the vending machine area, offering an additional attraction to their dairy diversification project. And a delivery service will be provided, inspired by the community spirit during lockdown, offering raw and pasteurised milk to the vulnerable and elderly.
Reducing food miles and carbon emissions is a key mission for husband and wife team Marina and Mick Rae, and their daughter Lauren.
Marina said: “Our mission is to provide our community with local fresh milk daily, offering an alternative to supermarkets where milk can often be several days old. Over the years we have seen farms grow into extremely large operations with herds exceeding five hundred, due to having to survive and remain in farming. Many small farms have been forced to close and family businesses lost, which is heart-breaking.”
But since the start of the pandemic, there has been a public shift to buying local, helping small farms and businesses like Just Jerseys survive. Marina explained that milk vending machines in particular have become popular with the public in recent years.
“With our hard work and determination, our small micro dairy will support our local community and will run as a sustainable family farming venture,” she added.