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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Where can you buy raw milk in Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 10:29 05 April 2019

One of the cows at Abbey Farm Dairy which sells over 100 litres of raw milk a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy

One of the cows at Abbey Farm Dairy which sells over 100 litres of raw milk a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy

A Norfolk dairy farmer who has drunk raw milk all her life says it's growing hugely in popularity with more than 100 litres being sold a day from her vending machine.

Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.

Alexandra Wales and her husband William have a Holstein Friesian herd which produces milk for Arla – which ends up in supermarkets – but also has been running a profitable side-line in selling milk straight from the cow.

The business took off so well they invested in a vending machine and then converted a barn to create an outlet which sells cheese also made from raw milk.

Being situated close to Binham priory, the dairy gets many visitors and reckon some people buy 80 litres at a time to freeze.

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Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.

“It was a huge task investing in all the equipment and vending machine and passing all the regulations and we had to build a complete washroom to clean the tank which stores the milk but we are very passionate and love it,” said Alexandra. She and her husband are the fourth generation of dairy farmers in their family.

“The reason milk was pasteurised after the war was because of TB but all our cows are tested for this twice a year. People can come and see our cows and drink the milk almost as fresh as it can be. If you buy milk from a supermarket it can be at least four days old, it may have travelled 450 miles and then been cooled and heated – and they call that ‘fresh.’

“I think people want to know a product hasn’t been interfered with, they can see our cows and know exactly where the milk they are drinking has come from.”

Where can you buy raw milk in Norfolk? Click here

Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.Abbey Farm Dairy, Binham sells over 100 litres of raw milk through its vending machine a day. Pic: Abbey Farm Dairy.

Alexandra said she has drunk it all her life with no ill effects. “We don’t say anything in terms of health advice, it is up to the person to decide if they want to drink it or not but I do think there has been some scaremongering in the past over whether drinking raw milk is bad for you.”

More than 170 producers currently sell raw milk direct to consumers.

But because raw milk skips the pasteurisation process, if it is not produced safely the current health advice is it may contain bacteria that could be harmful to health. However, the public demand is there as raw milk sales in the UK have increased five times over in the past five years – from 610,000 litres in 2014 to 3m litres last year.

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