Delph Farm in Yorkshire came up with the idea for raw milk vending machines after the dairy price plummeted even further.
They already run the hugely successful Yummy Yorkshire ice cream parlour, but are keen to explore other avenues of diversification.
“We have to constantly be on the look-out for new ways of doing things because the milk price is so low,” farmer Jeremy Holmes said. “At the moment I get 20p a litre from the dairy I sell to, whereas I get £1 a litre from the vending machine.”
Jeremy purchased the vending machine after seeing an article in a magazine about them last year. Vending machines on farms are popular on the continent, in countries such as Spain and France, but haven’t yet taken off in the UK.
“The vending machine is in a shed which is open from 6am to 7pm every day, even on Christmas Day in case anyone suddenly needs some,” Jeremy said. “We’re there to answer questions about raw milk if anyone has any. Even I wasn’t aware of the health benefits of raw milk before I started to consider doing this. It hasn’t been heated, so all the good fats are still in there.”
The vending machine is located on the farm and consumers are encouraged to help themselves – they simply insert money depending on whether they want one or two litres and then fill a carton themselves.
“It’s a 200 litre tank,” Jeremy added. “At the moment I’m selling about 30 litres a day, but it would be great to get that up to 100 litres.”
Food Standards don’t permit raw milk vending machines to be put in shops, therefore this is a market that only farmers can take advantage of.
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A Yorkshire dairy farm already famed for its diversification has innovated again, this time with a raw milk vending machine.