Why is our milk so good?
It's simple, very happy cows equals very happy milk
Simple Cow was the idea of Ollie who had spent years watching undervalued milk leave the family farm in tankers, Ollie started to think about ways of putting it to better use. So in 2019 he purchased one of the first milk vending machines in the country and started marketing the farms milk direct to the customer.
As a way of getting a better price for the farm, this new way of selling milk was great, however, Ollie was finding himself becoming more and more disenfranchised with the UK dairy sector as a whole.
In most dairy farms’ calves are removed from their mothers within a few hours of their birth, and the stress this places upon the cow and calf is clear. Cows are also often forcefully impregnated and have their life expectancies cut by up to three-quarters; just two examples of how cows are not living full and happy lives.
In 2020 Ollie met his girlfriend, Emma Willoughby, a vegetarian and passionate animal rights activist who had built a career in the marketing industry, together they decided to stop complaining about the problem and become part of the solution.
Ollie and Emma wanted to find a way to keep calves with the cows and still allow the family farm to be financially viable. Put simply, they didn't want anyone to have to choose between doing what is right and staying in business.
As a small, traditional dairy the family farms cows were already benefitting from some of the highest welfare standards in the UK, but they knew things could be even better. So, with ever decreasing margins from a national milk buyer, Ollie convinced his uncle that, with a reduction in cow numbers, Ollie could sell all the milk the farm produced directly.
By moving away from volume type production, the impact it made on cow contentment was staggering. All the animals were noticeably calmer and far more confident. After two to three months the calves became like teenagers, they loved playing with their pals and only came back to mum when they wanted food!
The dairy is small, family owned and independent, and every litre that's produced is packed full of Compassion, Sustainability and Simplicity
If you too want to be part of the solution, why not join us?
Many dairies achieve a high milk yield by using highly intensive methods to maximise profits. Our methods may not achieve the same high levels of production but we know our way has the animal’s welfare as top priority so we’re quite happy to swap lower milk yields for the well-being of our cows.
Our small herd of cows are all sorts of shades red, brown, fawn, and black and some even look spotty or splodgy. This is because we farm with what is called a Mixed Breed Herd. It is a far more gentle, ethical, and traditional approach to dairying, and it suits our small farm well. Our mix of cow’s results in a herd with a mellow nature. Our cows calve easily and enjoy a long-life span. And most importantly to us the female and male calves are both of value on the farm.
Unlike most dairy herds, we allow all our cows to rear their own calves. Due to our natural system the cows are only milked once a day, and we only take the milk remaining once the calves have had their breakfast.
Due to the size of our herd and our location, our cows enjoy a minimum of 300 days a year to roam free range. A completely grass-fed diet not only keeps our cows happy, but also produces better quality milk for you. Their rich diet produces the best tasting, golden cream topped milk with glorious high protein levels in every bottle.
Cows on pasture can feed themselves and return their waste directly to the soil. hundreds of cows living in relative confinement, on the other hand, need their food and water delivered to them and their tremendous volume of waste must be removed. All these inputs and outputs take a serious toll on the environment.
one of our core beliefs is that farming should work with the environment and not against it. We farm as naturally as possible and keep any animal medicine usage to a minimum and only when absolutely necessary. our grazing techniques help to build soil structure and organic matter, we even have our own bees help to pollinate our meadows. Low food miles and reduced carbon emissions are just a couple of the benefits of not buying in feed for the farm, as some concentrated feeds are made up of cereals imported from all over the world.
with our own wind turbine and solar panels we are able to produce all the electricity we require right here on the farm, in fact we produce enough that we can also export a proportion!
Milk is our first food but, if you go to a supermarket, this is as exciting as it gets. It’s a faceless commodity that shops use as a loss leader to lure customers to their isles. Despite the widespread use of images of cows in fields, labels on milk tell you very little about the farms milk comes from and the life that the cows are afforded. Standardised, homogenised, packed in plastic bottles and transported all over the country, a bottle of milk on a Bristol super market shelf is no different to that of one in Birmingham.
However, milk isn’t just white water, the milk that comes from each individual farm has distinct qualities and taste. unfortunately though, this ‘terroir’ is lost as big dairies pool milk from thousands of different farms, stripping it of its provenance.
With the increasing consumer concern about what’s in their food, what’s been taken out, how it was produced, and where it comes from, Simple Cow is here to give consumers some clarity.
Milk available 24 hours a day, milk that hasn’t been messed with, just simply pasteurised. Milk that’s traceable back to one farm, where cows aren’t intensively raised but instead allowed to graze as nature intended, produced in a sustainable and ethical way.
Milk is simple and pure, and we're keeping it that way