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Waveney farm breaks the mould with launch of Bungay Raw Butter

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:01 27 December 2015

Farmer Jonny Crickmore with the farm's Bungay Raw Butter. Photo : Steve Adams

Farmer Jonny Crickmore with the farm's Bungay Raw Butter. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

With dairy farmers facing ever-tighter margins, many continue to look for innovative ways to add value to their product.

One Suffolk farm, which is already known for its successful diversification into raw milk and cheese, is continuing to seek new markets by launching its own butter.

Fen Farm Dairy, nestled in the marshlands of the Waveney River Valley, began selling Bungay Raw Butter at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival in September.
Jonny Crickmore, who has been working on his father Graham’s farm, near Bungay, since 1996, said: “Since then, it’s started to be noticed.

“Neals Yard Dairy in London are buying 160 packs a time from us. Locally we are getting delis and farm shops now stocking it - mostly by word of mouth.”

The family farm produces its offerings from a herd of 300 Montbeliarde and Friesian cows.

How Bungay Raw Butter is made

 Warm milk straight from the milking parlour is poured into a separator

 The milk separates into cream and skimmed milk

 Lactic bacteria is added to the cream before it rests for 24 hours at a temperature of between 10 and 20 degrees centigrade

 After the cream’s acidity is tested it goes into a fridge for another 24 hours to chill at four degrees centigrade

 The cream is then transferred to a mixer to be churned until it separates into butter and buttermilk

 After the buttermilk is drained off, the butter is washed twice with cold water to remove any residue

 Salt is added before the butter is removed from the mixer and weighed into 250g balls

 Each ball is placed in a pre-prepared box lined with gold paper and squashed into 
shape with a butter squeezer before heading out to tables, restaurants and delis nationwide.

Mr Crickmore, 35, said: “It all leads back to the cows. Everything comes from one herd, which gives us our unique flavour.

“The butter has been a bit of a learning process for us. We are making a product that is artisan and handmade.”

Mr Crickmore said it takes his team up to eight hours to pack 200 boxes of butter.

“We are doing something unique,” he said. “It’s quite exciting because no one else in Suffolk makes butter and Suffolk was famous for butter back in the day.”

Retailing at £4.50 for 250g, Bungay Raw Butter is available from the farm’s on-site shop –which also hosts vending machines dispensing raw milk, butter and cheese – as well as via its online shop.

Is your farm business considering diversifying? Contact kate.royall@archant.co.uk.

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