Scotland’s first organic dairy farm, Glasgoforest, has been named Farm of the Year by the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo).
The award, made at the annual OMSCo Together event, goes to Anne Willis and her sons William and Angus, who have been supplying OMSCo for nearly 20 years.
Glasoforest is continuing to innovate, with plans to open Scotland’s first milk vending machine this autumn.
Competition judge Lyndon Edwards praised the family’s attention to detail throughout the business, including in their breeding strategy, calf rearing and grass management.
“With a clear objective to produce organic milk in an efficient and sustainable way, the Willises have scrutinised every element of their business,” he said.
Farming just under 400 acres in Aberdeen, the family partnership milks 140 Holstein Friesian cows.
“Routinely measuring and monitoring data, they’ve fine-tuned their management to ensure optimum health and performance,” said Mr Edwards.
“The family’s success is reflected in highly impressive costings which are in line with the very best herds in the UK.”
Glasgoforest was also praised for its involvement with an organic dairy discussion group set up by the Scottish Organic Milk Producers Association (SOMPA).
“Within this group, they’ve compared performance with other Scottish organic dairy farms, and William now mentors other members of the group on grass management,” said Mr Edwards.
“The Willises also have very low levels of antibiotic usage and prioritise prevention strategies which include a combination of breeding, nutrition and careful management.”
Processing some of their own milk is the next venture for the Willis family – a move which includes the new vending machine. Judges commended their market research and determination to overcome challenges when developing the project.
“The vending machine is located in a purpose-built building adjoining a newly installed dairy and cubicle shed,” said Mr Edwards.
“Located on a main road and with good passing trade, William has projected that they’ll sell 100 litres a day from the vending machine at a price of £1.20 per litre.
“We were highly impressed with the Willises’ long-term vision and their plans for several different income streams.”
“The Willises’ have further plans to expand and set up an ice cream parlour, with Angus driving forward this aspect of the enterprise.”
The Farm of the Year award looks to celebrate OMSCo’s 270 members and showcase their businesses as examples of leading dairy enterprises.
“It’s a national search for an outstanding UK organic dairy farm, that is technically progressive and committed to the future of the industry as well as the future of their business,” said Mr Edwards.
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