MAWLEY MILK: Buy-From Shropshire Food & Drink Hub @ Ludlow Food Festival

What made you decide to turn your food or drink into a business? 
Mawley Milk was established in 1982, to give locals to Cleobury a doorstep service fresh from the farm.  It gave us stability for the price of a proportion of milk we produced.  Gradually there was a decline in demand for the doorstep service when supermarkets grew in popularity, and the 3 milkmen we supplied to retired.  Fortunately we were able to keep Mawley Milk in business by responding to consumer demand and switched the packaging to the convenient plastic bottle, now sold through independent farm shops, village stores etc.    

Tell us about a day in the life of your business:
Our days start at 5am, when the pasturising in the dairy commences. 6 mornings a week we process an average of 3000 litres of milk. Bottling starts around 6.30am and takes approx 2 hours to complete. The bottled milk is loaded onto refrigerated vans ready to be delivered from 9am.  Routine morning maintenance and cow checks also starts early - The cows are fed their breakfast from 7am (its like a hotel here!). Because our cows are robotically milked on an Automated Milking System (AMS), we do not have conventional milking times; they can milk as and when they want to, 24 hours a day.  The cows produce 8000l of milk a day. We have 3 to 4 calves born each week so there may well be a new born calf and freshly calved cow to attend to.  The baby calves are fed at 8am. Once the milk is away  from the farm and the cows are fed and happy, it's breakfast time for the farmers!  We have to do daily checks on all the cattle out at grass, which means inspecting and counting every animal (easier said than done when they are mooooving around!). We feed and bed the bulls. Depending on the time of year, we might be harvesting, baling hay and straw, silaging, planting, fertilizing the fields, carrying out tractor maintenance or bringing cows home for calving. Running a dairy farm means a lot of paper work - there are many hours spent on admin (did you know every animal has a passport?!) Afternoon maintenance on the AMS and cow checks are carried out daily,  the calves have their second feed and the diet feeder is loaded ready to feed the cows for the next day.  The milk tanker comes to collect the surplus milk.  Late night checks around the livestock and yard are carried out every evening, then thank goodness its bedtime! 

Is there anything new & exciting happening within your business that we can look forward?  
We have very recently increased our delivery area to a 30 mile radius from the farm and include direct deliveries to Shrewsbury and Birmingham. We look forward to building new business relationships and getting Mawley Milk to reach more consumers. 

Quick Fire Questions:
 Favourite Food: Roast Beef
Favourite Drink: Hobson's Town Crier
Favourite Place to eat in Shropshire: Anywhere! 
Favourite Place to shop in Shropshire: Ludlow 
Favourite Place in Shropshire: Cleobury Mortimer