A DAIRY run by the same family for more than 100 years has installed a raw milk vending machine so the public can serve themselves.
Hordle Manor Farm is owned by Matthew and Sarah Cobb, who have four children, Jack, Tom, Harry and Emily. They run a closed herd of around 100 Holstein Friesian milking cows, and grow grass silage, hay, maize, barley and straw to feed and bed the animals, with a little extra to sell to the feed company.
Most of the milk goes to Medina Dairy, which has its head office in Windsor, and is then processed and sold in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
However, the family keep some of the milk back for their own use. “In this state it is called raw milk because it has not been heat treated, pasteurised or homogenised,” said Sarah. “Because it hasn’t been altered in any way, it is the most amazing creamy milk; but at around 4% fat it is not fattening
“It also contains all the friendly bacteria which heat treating kills off.
“We decided it was time we shared our secret with the public and have set up a self-service raw milk vending machine.”
Customers can come along to the farm with their own bottles or containers, or buy glass reusable bottles from Matthew and Sarah for £2 each.
The vending machine will supply however much or little milk each customer would like, and is very easy to use with instructions on the machine. It only takes coins, but does give change.
Many of the materials needed for the venture were sourced locally, including signs and flyers from New Forest Printing in New Milton and bottle labels from Gilly Print in Lymington. The logo was designed by the son of a family friend, Jamie Kedwards.
The vending service began a few weeks ago, and Sarah said she has been “overwhelmed” by the response so far.
“On our first day we sold in excess of 60 litres of raw milk,” she said. “We had many customers from lots of different walks of life and had lots of positive feedback.
“Matthew and Harry showed some groups of people around and explained we have an open approach to our farming methods and were happy to answer any questions or to discuss any issues anyone had.
“We want to be upfront and open as to where milk comes from, as sadly the whole farm to supermarkets process has become a little disjointed.
“Emily spent all day explaining to customers how to use the vending machine and met lots of lovely new faces.”
A litre of milk costs £1.40, but for those wanting less than a litre, the machine will give them the amount they pay for.
To use the new vending machine, go to Sarah’s Dairy at Hordle Manor Farm in Cliff Road, Milford, which is open between 7am and 7pm daily.