Awareness of the damage that plastic milk bottles do to the environment seems to be spreading in Sparkland. We recently featured a scheme in Cirencester that sells milk in refillable stainless steel churns. My only disappointment then was that it wasn’t closer to where I live in Stroud. Then I met the people from Transition Minchinhampton and they told me about the Loose Milk scheme at the wonderful Woefuldane Organic Dairy shop in the centre of the village.
I popped in and had a chat with the owner, Henry Ravenhill, who is a very friendly and enthusiastic bloke. He told me that the scheme - where customers buy a stainless steel churn or a glass bottle with stopper - saved in excess of 9,500 plastic bottles last year. This year’s figures should show an increase in the region of 25%, he said.
“The idea of selling milk to the public in their own containers was something my father came up with. He likes traditional farming practices and the Loose Milk scheme takes its inspiration from the way milk was delivered in the past. It would have been carted around in large churns then divvied out accordingly to the local people.”
Henry has sold 140 stainless steel milk cans and 100 glass bottles to date.
I am also now the proud owner of a refillable glass bottle and finished my first litre of delicious organic milk from Henry’s herd of Dairy Shorthorn and Shorthorn Crosses just yesterday.
“This revolutionary way of selling has not only returned some pretty green figures but also re-introduced a lot of people to drinking milk,” Henry says.
“Customers don't just love the milk, but the story behind it and the fact that we have well and truly cut out the middle man as it comes directly from our farm to their containers.”
The Woefuldane Organic Dairy shop, by the high cross in the centre of Minchinhampton, also has a yummy range of cheeses made from the herd’s high-butterfat milk.
The shop is open 9-1 and 2-5 Tuesday to Friday and 9-2 on Saturday. It's closed Sunday and Monday.
Call 01453 886 855 or visit Woefuldane Organic Dairy shop
Bill Heaney. Spring 2011. Online exclusive
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