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23


Wales breeders John and Rhys Lougher to consider all options when it came to adding value to their milk, eventually settling on processing and selling liquid milk as their preferred option. As one of the oldest farming families in Glamorgan dating back to the 1400s, the Loughers are no strangers to adapting to survive and when Rhys came back from college it was his drive and vision which led the family in to processing. But it was a study trip to Germany in 2003 with Future


M


aximising income from a small herd led south


Farmers of Wales which spurred his decision. “We visited a chicken farm. The farmer was facing poor prices in the supply chain so set up his own processing on farm. This made me consider the business at home and how reliant we were on processors,” explains Rhys. John and Rhys looked in to the processing opportunities available to them, first they considered ice-cream, but with a strong Italian ice cream market in nearby seaside towns they decided not to set up in competition.


Cheese making was next to be


considered and John and Rhys even went on a cheese making course. “Although we enjoyed it, the course was enough to put us off cheese making. It is a highly skilled process that we felt we weren’t capable of maintaining. Not only did it require a lot of skill to achieve consistency in the product, there was also a lot of space required for the maturation process, as well as the cash investment involved in making a product that can’t be sold immediately,” says John. After a couple of years of research, visiting as many small dairies as possible, Rhys and John made the decision to process liquid milk. Long standing members of First Milk, the Loughers got the support from First Milk to allow them to start in the retailing business and in May 2006 the first pint came out of the pasteurisers. Initially only a percentage of the milk was being pasteurised with First Milk continuing to collect the remaining milk. “I noticed the farm gate price starting to drop from First Milk as the volume bonuses were dropping. For the past few years now we have been


In May 2006 Rhys processed the first pint of milk at Tanglwyst.


The 110 cows are


averaging 11,100kg at 3.2%p and 3.6%bf on three times a day milking.


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