Because it’s Cool:
Love cheese? You can now have it delivered straight to your door from what has to be one of the most ethical and organic dairy farms in the UK. But more on that below.
First, the delicious cheese. There’s the Fleet Valley Blue, which is ripened for up to four months; the Rainton Tomme, which is a mellow, golden Alpine style cheese with a nutty finish; and the Laganory, a semi-hard farmstead cheese with a lemony finish. The nine-month aged Carrick is a curd washed cheese that’s so in demand you’ll need to add yourself to a waiting list to be informed of when the next batch is ready.
Because it Matters:
Based in southwest Scotland, The Ethical Dairy is not your typical organic farm. Farmers David and Wilma Finlay are pioneering a new system of dairy farming – one that keeps the cows and their calves together for five months before weaning them, rather than separating them at just days old.
In all conventional commercial dairy systems cows and calves are separated at just days old and calves are fed only a small proportion of their mother’s milk.
In this farming system the calves get to drink the milk their mother produces for them directly from their mother’s teat. They drink about a third, and two-thirds goes to the dairy production and producing the artisanal cheese.
“What strikes me the most is how the attitudes of the cows change under this system,” says David. “They seem so much more calm. That’s the best way I can describe it – calm.”
The cows and calves are gradually separated for longer periods of time in different fields over the course of five months – but always in view of each other and able to touch noses.
Once the weaning period is complete, the bulls are sent to Peelham Farm to be reared for beef and the cows are introduced into the dairy system.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ETHICAL DAIRY