Riverford Organic Farms has been praised for its fair pay to British dairy farmers in the wake of the row over milk prices.
The vegbox scheme has an exclusive relationship with Archdeacon Newton-based Acorn Dairy which supplies milk for Riverford’s vegboxes produced at its Home Farm, near Newby Wiske.
Director of Acorn Dairy Caroline Tweddle says: “Acorn works with the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative and Riverford to ensure a fair price which reflects the hard work and manpower required to produce organic milk. The benefits of organic farming are not just to the welfare of the cows and the environment, they are also shown in the taste of the milk, which is still a good value and healthy drink.”
Four generations of the Tweddle family have farmed at Archdeacon Newton since 1928, delivering milk well into the 1960s before, like so many small dairies, being gradually pushed out by larger dairy businesses. The farm converted to organic status in 1998 after becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of food produced and its traceability and began supplying local consumers direct – cutting out the middlemen in 2000 by building their own bottling plant.
Now 70% of the milk destined for Riverford’s vegboxes is produced by the Tweddle’s own herd of Dairy Shorthorn crosses raised in Wensleydale and County Durham, with the balance coming from three other small family organic farms ““ two at Northallerton and one based at Newcastle University.
Says Peter Richardson of Riverford Home Farm: “These are difficult times for dairy farmers and at Riverford we are proud to work closely with our farmers to ensure they are paid a sustainable rate for their milk, whilst still being able to sell it at a price that competes with the supermarkets and not charging for delivery.”
Continues Caroline: “We are happy to share exactly how we produce milk on our organic dairy farm with consumers and customers can also follow the herd’s progress on our dedicated facebook page.”