"Fourteen generations of the Towers family farmed the valleys around us before we moved to Brades Farm in 1960, with just six dairy cows. In the early days we did our local milkround in the family car, before we grew our business across the Lancaster district in processing and in retail. Today the family farm is managed by the latest generation of the Towers family.
We discovered how to make the perfect milk for coffee, and the cows to produce this milk, in a place not often associated with dairy cows - Denmark. We travelled to Varde, in eastern Denmark, where we were blown away by a herd of Jerseys that produced a milk packed with the protein and butterfat needed to develop our Original Barista Milk. We brought them back to Lancashire, and have never looked back.
We introduced Jerseys to our herd of Holstein-Friesians in late 2015 because Jersey milk has more protein and butterfat - and this is the key to developing the perfect milk for coffee. We only blend the milk from our two herds after undertaking laboratory analysis when the milk tanker arrives, so we can create a consistency in milk proteins unparalleled in the British dairy industry, whilst keeping the milk completely natural."
Animal health & welfare
Our goal is to produce the most consistent milk possible, but also to maximise the welfare of our beautiful cows. As we don’t want our cows to be forced to go outside in inclement Lancashire weather, we came up with ‘Freedom to Choose’. We redesigned the infrastructure of the farm and installed a bridge connecting the Jersey housing to two gorgeous adjacent pastures, separated by a stream. Our Jerseys now have the choice, during sunny summer days, whether to stay indoors or loaf in the pasture. We find that on a sunny day around half of our Jerseys choose to go outside and half choose to stay indoors. On rainy days, our cows outside race for cover and soon the field is empty. This allows us to continue to optimise the quality and consistency of the milk, by maintaining control of the diet of a portion of the cows, whilst giving them the option to graze.
Enteric fermentation related methane emissions have been Brades Farm’s highest CO2 footprint element to tackle. Mootral has been partnering with them to effectively address their number one priority and enabled them to take a big step towards becoming much more climate-smart by reducing their methane GHG emissions caused by enteric fermentation by 30%.
From a farming perspective, being a farmer isn’t just a job, it’s your life, 24/7. It’s part of who we are and has been passed on through generations. For us, it’s important that the land and animals we care about can continue to thrive and grow for future generations to enjoy. Climate change is something we can’t and shouldn’t ignore. From a global perspective, the population is growing and we need to find healthy, sustainable ways to feed a growing population. As ruminant production is responsible for approximately 14.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promising breakthroughs in this area have tremendous potential to be a major step in the fight against climate change. We produce a specialist barista milk for some of the country’s top coffee shops. The ethos and values of the coffee scene consumer base tend to be environmentally focussed. They are quite discerning about their environmental impact. We want to push back and show our industry has a responsible attitude when it comes to the environment. By showing that we can reduce emissions not only allows us to proactively engage with the debate about the status quo, but it also shows that we have a progressive mentality and want to constantly improve our footprint, irrespective of how well it competes with the alternatives. (….)