Dairy marks 25 years of going organic

An award-winning dairy are celebrating 25 years since switching to organic.

Acorn Dairy, owned and run by the Tweddle family, converted their 360-acre farm near Darlington to Soil Association organic status in 1998.

Following the switch, the family run businesses were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development; a mark of its high-quality products and commitment to organic, eco-friendly practices in 2021, and have continued to produce and supply their organic milk and butter to businesses throughout the region and beyond.

Owner Graham Tweddle said: “Going organic wasn’t an easy decision and we faced a steep learning curve at the time as organic farming was still relatively unusual.

“With advice and help from the Soil Association, we learned that it was all about going back to basics and working with nature, rather than against it. Our farm team adapted quickly, and since then we have collaborated with three other farming families across North Yorkshire and Co Durham to aid them convert to organic standards and be integral to Acorn Dairy.

“Our organic milk customers are now responsible for over 1200 acres of land being farmed organically, which we’re very proud of.

“The benefits of farming organically are plentiful, but the one we’re most proud of is the impact we’ve had on local wildlife. We operate a 12-mile hedge improvement plan and, following an RSPB survey, we know our farm provides habitat for over 86 species of bird, while sightings of kestrels, skylarks, sparrowhawks, curlews, fieldfares and herons are now common.

To keep costs down for customers, Acorn sells directly to the end consumer, cutting out the middlemen, and retaining realistic, competitive prices for its organic produce.

For more information visit www.acorndairy.co.uk