Stephen and Phil Hook came to Australia for a few days arriving on the 5th of March for the screening of the documentary film, The Moo Man, as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival and presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. Details here.
Steve and his family are British organic farmers from East Sussex producing raw milk for human consumption. The family farm have been selling unpasteurised milk directly to the public since 2007 and the film documents the process beautifully. They currently sell at 20 farmers markets, deliver locally and also via nationwide deliveries.
Steve loves to highlight the plight of the small family farmer. In the recent interview with the ABC, Rising demand for raw milk, he says dairy farmers in the UK are leaving the industry and disappearing at a rate of 1 every day. Selling raw milk is a way for these dairy farmers to get an income stream that can save them. The FSA (Food Standards Agency) considers raw milk a low risk food and current regulation enables thriving business selling raw milk and raw milk products. Raw milk saved Steve's farm and those of other British raw milk producers, but it remains an untapped market here in Australia.
In the interview Rising demand for raw milk, the discussion includes Adam Jenkins, the President of the United Dairy farmers of Victoria and Lorraine Haase, communications manager for Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. FSANZ is the same regulator who regulates New Zealand's thriving raw milk industry. Presenter Michael Williams asks why is raw milk not regulated in Australia? It's an interview not to be missed!
Thank you Steve for these great interviews and testimonies for a regulated, raw milk industry:
Steve featured in a British documentary called Superfoods S3 E4 where he explained why he goes far above and beyond what is required by the food safety authority to ensure the raw milk is safe:
"The Foods Standards Agency will inspect my milking system every six months. They will also take a sample of milk every every three months on an unannounced, random basis but we test our milk every week for E.Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococcus Aureus, Campylobacter. We do that voluntarily."
According to the story, in September 2017 Steve had a herd of 80 cows producing between them half a million pints of raw milk every year. Steve said he sells 10,000 pints a week and after 10 years there has not been a single incidence of food poisoning.
The Film: The Moo Man
The remarkable story of a maverick farmer and his unruly cows, filmed over four years on the marshes of the Pevensey Levels.
In an attempt to save his family farm, Stephen Hook decides to turn his back on the cost cutting dairies and supermarkets, and instead stay small and keep his close relationship with the herd.
However farmer Hook's plans to save the farm do not always go down well with his 55 spirited cows. The result is a laugh-out-loud, emotional roller-coaster of a journey.
"Heart warming, a tearjerker of a movie about the incredible bonds between man, animal and countryside.".