I was at Birmingham’s first coffee festival this weekend, to support Cotteswold Dairy who were the official milk sponsor for the event. This meant that they provided Pasture Promise free range milk for all of the coffee roasters and baristas to use over the two day festival.

The UK has become a nation of coffee drinkers, with coffee shop visitors purchasing an estimated 2.3 billion cups of coffee per year in stores. Consumers are more knowledgeable and empowered with choice than ever before, and the rise of artisan coffee has driven the desire for premium quality coffee by consumers who can taste quality and want that choice when buying their daily cup.  It’s been said that the coffee market has grown so rapidly that coffee shops are now replacing the local pub as the place to hang out and socialise.

Coffee experts talk about the different waves of coffee evolution. Changes in the coffee market are happening so quickly that the coffee market is now in the fifth wave. The fifth wave encompasses a combination of all four previous waves – Tradition, Chains, Artisan, and Science. This means that high quality artisan type chains will be a major feature of the market and our high streets in the future. These coffee roasters and chains are set to deliver authentic, artisan concepts at scale and Birmingham Coffee Festival was a showcase for this.

Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise milk has been the official milk for the last two years at Manchester Coffee Festival, so it’s great to have the opportunity to team up with Birmingham’s Coffee Festival to bring Free Range Milk to coffee lovers in the Midlands. We believe great coffee deserves great milk. All the coffee roasters and baristas at the festival are so passionate about their beans and milk is becoming part of that story now as well.

After 18 years of considerable continued growth, the coffee shop market is one of the most successful in the UK economy. As milk can make up to 90% of most coffee drinks such as latte and cappuccino, this presents a fantastic opportunity for UK dairy farmers. The best coffee shops want fresh milk that tastes great, froths well and holds its foam and the feedback we got from baristas at the weekend highlighted that Pasture Promise free range milk delivers. We also gave out samples of milk for visitors at the event to try and they loved it too.  Now they can roast their beans at home and use the milk too.

The reason we see Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise as such a great fit with coffee roasters is because they source their coffee beans from sustainable sources overseas, which helps farmers and their communities and that’s the same reasons we work with smaller dairy farmers and businesses in the UK. It’s not enough to be an ethical product, it must taste great too. Cotteswold Dairy’s Free Range Milk has won a Great Taste Award as well as a Taste of the West award, so it was great to see it put through its paces at the festival and get such positive feedback.

The coffee market is growing and that should be great news for dairy farmers here in the UK. We just hope that like the growth in Artisan coffee shops, that small scale dairy initiatives like Free Range Dairy Network will get the opportunity to grow as well.

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