The Coronavirus pandemic has caused huge upheaval in the milk market and had a marked impact on the fortunes of local dairy farmers. Photos in newspapers of milk being tipped down the drain on farms, have appeared alongside empty milk aisles in the supermarkets. This has led anxious shoppers to seek out local suppliers and many have been rewarded with the wonderful taste of super-fresh milk from farms just down the road.
Due to the restrictions imposed by social distancing measures, many businesses are now turning to technology to communicate with customers and get their message across. Free Range Dairy Network would usually organise visits to Gloucestershire dairy farms, at this time of year, to give people the chance to meet the farmers and cows that produce free range milk for Cotteswold Dairy, in Tewkesbury.
Since large groups cannot visit farms this summer, the organisation has decided to give milk lovers the chance to enjoy a ‘virtual farm walk’ and meet dairy farmer and cheesemaker Liz McNab-Jones on her farm near Stroud through Facebook Live.
FRD Network are inviting everyone to join in the event on 24 June 2020 at 7.00pm. Neil Darwent, Director, will be talking to Liz about her farm, her cows and the Pasture Promise free range milk she produces. To take part go to Free Range Dairy Facebook page between 7.00 and 7.30pm, on Wednesday 24th June.
Neil Darwent Director Free Range Dairy Network:
“With my family roots in Gloucestershire, I am really pleased to be working with Cotteswold Dairy and eight of their farmers, to deliver Pasture Promise free range milk. There is a real local feel to what we do, with the milk available to buy in Mid-Counties Coop stores around the county. We are delighted more and more people are getting behind our initiative that gives cows the freedom to graze for a minimum of six months a year and Facebook Live gives us a great opportunity to tell others about the Pasture Promise scheme.”
Free Range Dairy Network recently commissioned a survey with Censuswide UK which revealed that 63% said they were likely to continue buying local produce once the Coronavirus pandemic has died down. In addition, 54% said they were more likely to buy local produce because of the Coronavirus pandemic and 75% said were glad that British farmers could continue to produce fresh milk and dairy in the current crisis’.
74% of people surveyed believed it is vital that we build strong local food networks to safeguard domestic food supplies. Free Range Dairy Network is working with farmers from the Yorkshire Dales to the Cornish coast, to make great tasting free range milk available to local communities all around the country.
Neil will be chatting to Liz about what it means to be a Free Range Dairy farmer and why it’s important that people understand more about how milk is produced on farms and how their milk choice impacts on the lives of farmers and cows.
Notes to editors:
Survey of 1,000 UK adults carried out on behalf of the Free Range Dairy Network by Censuswide UK, March 2020.