Dairy wins second supermarket contract

A farmer-owned Suffolk dairy has secured a deal to supply a supermarket's entire milk range.

MICHAEL POLLITT, EDP Agricultural Editor

A farmer-owned Suffolk dairy has secured a deal to supply a supermarket's entire milk range.

From Tuesday, the milk and cream supplied to Somerfield stores in Beccles and Southwold will come from the Suffolk Meadow dairy at Walpole.

It is the second major supermarket deal for the dairy's Marybelle milk range, and follows a regional sourcing initiative organised jointly by Somerfield and the National Farmers' Union.

Suffolk Meadow general manager Guy Plenderleith said: "We will be supplying between 10,000 and 15,000 pints a week through these stores. It's taken a long-time and a lot of hard work but we're delighted that this is going ahead.

The Marybelle brand was established last year by dairy farmers David and Colette Strachan, who have a 200-strong milking herd at Rendham.

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"We're delighted to find growing demand from people for milk produced on their own doorstep," said Mr Strachan.

"Customers tell us our milk has a nicer taste because the time between milking and pasteurising is so short.

"We also have complete control over what the cow eats, which is mainly food grown on the farm. We even have our own tanker for the milk and almost put it on the shelf ourselves!"

Simon Driver, store manager at Somerfield's Southwold store, said: "We are committed to supporting British farming and our local and regional suppliers.

"This is a great tasting, quality product that our customers will enjoy and there will be genuine enthusiasm as shoppers realise that they are able to support their local food economy."

Suffolk Meadow also supplies milk locally to bottled milk buyers, shops, schools, and restaurants.