A family-run farm is producing its own range of fresh, unhomogenised milk after reshaping its business model with financial support from HSBC UK.
Stokehouse Farm Dairy owners Christiana and Matthew Heard used the funding to purchase a herd of Jersey and Jersey-Friesian-cross cows, renovate existing space with the installation of a milking parlour, and source the equipment required to support their new venture into milk production.
The support from HSBC UK is also enabling the family-run farm to focus on its ambitions to lower its carbon footprint and maintain control over its product prices through the introduction of glass bottles. In addition, the farm plans to source all supplies locally, including feed for the herd.
Stokehouse Farm Dairy recently bypassed the supermarket model with the installation of two innovative milk vending machines at local community hubs in Tiverton and Cullompton, Devon.
Christiana Heard, Partner at Stokehouse Farm, said: “Since we decided to revamp the way we work, our operations have gone from strength-to-strength. We have been working with our HSBC UK Relationship Manager, Graham Underhill, since 2017 to support our venture into dairy farming, and we look forward to exploring further ways to bring our premium milk to local people and businesses.”
Kate Courbet, Regional Head of Business Banking Direct at HSBC UK, said: “The team at Stokehouse Farm Dairy has been working tirelessly to create a business model that works for them, and we are happy to have been able to support their continued growth over the past five years. Their creative solutions to reducing their footprint are impressive and their success within the community is a testament to their hard work.”
Stokehouse Farm Dairy has been operating for ten years, but the Heard family have been in farming for almost two decades, having engaged in a farm-sharing venture near Tiverton previously which focused on beef and dairy. The couple’s children recently joined the business to increase its online presence through social media and with the development of a new website.