Somerset dairy farmers Rosie Sage and Dave Paull milk 200 Guernsey cows. They are the third generation of the family to be farming on the land. They have been selling their raw milk for over 20 years according to this article. For the last 15 years they have been selling their raw dairy at London farmers markets. Together they have vast experience in dealing with the public and educating them about raw milk. Both Rosie and Dave are enthusiastic about education in food and farming. They take an active part in community farm events. Rosie is a long-term committee member of Farming for the Family and each year she brings the Hurdlebrook Milking Cow Show to the section for the public to watch and learn about milking. Everyone is encouraged to have a go with the hands-on milking.
Regulated Raw Milk directly to the consumer
Hurdlebrook's unpasteurised milk, cream, butter, creme fraiche and various yogurts are for sale at three London farmers markets: Nottinghill, Marylebone and Islington (source). They also sell from their online shop. The raw dairy products are delivered in an insulated box, but they will need
to be refrigerated upon arrival. They still supply the local village with an honesty box system that allows neighbours to buy milk directly. Raw milk is strictly regulated by the Food Standards Agency and bottles must carry a health warning because the FSA say it may contain bacteria "such as salmonella and E.coli that can cause illness". Hygiene must be irreproachable at the dairy. Today regulated raw milk is produced in clinically clean conditions, which means that the environment is not sterile but still has an adequate level of cleanliness. The milk goes 'from teat to tank' without exposure to air and is cooled to 4'C within five minutes. Raw milk dairy farmers are the most fastidious of farmers. They have to be because high standards of cleanliness help keep nasty pathogens out of raw milk and away from the consumer. Having adequate controls means the risk is minimal. See the following for more information about legislation:
A2: Guernsey cows are very special
The Guernsey milk has a unique texture and flavour, specific to both the cows and their home. It has a smooth, silky texture but thicker and more delicious than standard milk. The Guernsey milk is also golden in colour because of the beta carotene from the grass. It tastes different every time because the taste changes with the season, the weather, which pasture on the farm the cows were grazing and even what time of the day the cows were milked. That's raw milk. Like wine, its unique flavour and aroma can be compared by the discerning.
According to the Hurdlebrook's website: "there are 1,840,000 dairy cows in the UK, of which approximately 5,000 are Guernseys - that’s nearly as rare as hen’s teeth". Guernsey cows originated from the British Channel Island of Guernsey but today the distinctive red and white breed is well established in Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Hurdlebrook Dairy's Guernsey cows naturally produce milk containing 95% A2 beta casein (a milk protein). According to the website the Jersey cow is another breed that originated from the same area and it produces milk with 40% A2 beta casein and the black and white breeds' milk has only 15%. Rosie says that “milk from pasture reared animals has the right proportion of Omega 3 and 6, and A2 Guernsey Milk has the same beta caseins as breast milk. In dairy cows there are two main beta caseins, which means when you digest that milk, you don't get a casomorphin by-product why is why people say they feel sluggish after drinking milk.”(source) Click here to read more about the A2 milk and the health benefits of raw milk. There are more articles about the dairy at the bottom of this page.
Abergavenney Food Festival Rude Health Rant
Dave and Rosie have also taken part in the annual Abergavenney Food Festivals' Rude Health Rant, which is a very brief opportunity to rant to the festival goers about a topic of their choice, which is usually milk. Rosie says she likes a good rant. It is clear that they know their customer very well and their conversations/rants are full of valuable information. For more Rude Health rants, see the list at the bottom of this page.