– cheese made sustainably
Milk from the best cows
It all starts with the milk and it’s really important for us as famers to have the right type of cow for the land we farm. We now have a herd of 100 small, friendly, healthy girls which are ideally suited to our pasture-based farming system and fantastic to work with.
They are excellent at converting our clover rich grass into high nutrient milk for us to make cheese with. Our cows produce less milk than other breeds, but that’s ok with us as we know they are living a relaxed, contented life in as natural conditions as possible.
Low energy cheesemaking
Less energy use is good for us and the planet so it’s great that our cheesemaking is a naturally low energy process. All the stages from stirring the curds to making the holes typical in a blue cheese are carried out by hand rather than by equipment needing energy to power it.
Making farmhouse cheese here means that we harness our cow’s natural ability to produce warm milk, letting it flow just 10 metres straight into the cheese dairy, and using it raw, to start off the day’s cheesemaking – perfect for today’s carbon conscious business.
Packaging can be a big waste area for food producers so our cheese is always delivered in recyclable boxes or reusable crates and trays. We use biodegradable natural sheep’s wool and wood wool for box liners as it is perfect for keeping the cheese fresh and protected during its journey to customers a little further away, and has many more uses once unpacked.
We do currently use plastic pouches to wrap our individual portions, we haven’t found an alternative that maintains the quality of the cheese for several weeks – yet!
The local economy
Being part of a vibrant local economy is hugely important to small businesses such as Kingcott Dairy. Most of our cheese is sold within 50 miles of our farm and we supply many farm shops, village shops and restaurants, all who depend on local trade to survive.
In turn we source the products and services we need from our closest suppliers, from labels and leaflets to website design and equipment servicing, all found within our home county.
Better sustainability in farming and food production is something we will continue to work towards, and we are always watching for new technology and processes that will help us reduce our carbon footprint further.
Next to be installed is some heat exchange equipment which will help reduce the energy needed to heat the water required for cleaning equipment, and hopefully soon, some solar panels to generate the electricity used for our milking parlour and other farm items.
We are looking forward to being responsible dairy farmers and cheesemakers for many years to come!