A Hassop dairy farm is now selling raw milk direct from the herd after installing a vending machine on site, and has been overwhelmed by its popularity with customers.
Home Farm, on Hassop Road, is tapping into a growing nationwide trend for raw milk which has seen similar machines popping up around the country in recent years.
Bob and Judy Dilks have run the farm with their children for many years with a herd of 130 free-range, grass-fed Montbéliarde and Friesian cattle supplying milk to brands such as Cravendale.
Daughter Charlotte Dilks, 27, said: “We saw one of the machines while we were on holiday and decided to do a family project together, and we have been amazed with the support we have received over the last two weeks.
“It’s been a huge success, and customer feedback has been incredible.”
The Simply Milk machine is open daily from 7am to 7pm, and is refilled with fresh milk every morning and kept chilled all day.
A litre of milk costs £1.20, and reusable glass bottles are also sold on site for £2 along with a range of milkshakes.
Unlike products sold in supermarkets, raw milk is unpasteurised which adds to its nutritional benefits while still conforming to all necessary food safety standards.
Charlotte said: “When you pasteurize milk to make it keep longer, the heat process kills a lot of the bacteria which can be good for your health and gives it more flavour.
“People love the creamy, fresh taste of raw milk and keep coming back for more. Children especially love the machine.”
She added: “People also like how they can see the herd in the field across the road and make the connection about where the milk comes from.
“When you buy a bottle of milk in the supermarket, it’s easy to forget about the cows.”
While the benefits of raw milk are enough to drive demand by themselves, the family are glad of an opportunity for another income stream.
Charlotte said: “All farmers are trying the best they can, but it’s been extremely hard this year with the dry weather following a very wet winter.
“We’re glad we can diversify what we’re doing like this, and it’s giving everyone a buzz.”
For updates on the project, join the Simply Milk Facebook group at https://goo.gl/eSou9T.