Mooving with the times
Multi-award winning family orientated business Cotteswold Dairy has achieved recognition in the industry for its high quality dairy and other fresh produce
Founded in 1938 by Harry Workman, Cotteswold Dairy Ltd began operating with a 30-gallon a day milk round. From these humble beginnings the company grew over the years thanks to Harry’s commitment to high quality, customer service and family values. Today in its third generation, Cotteswold Dairy continues to have these values at the forefront of all business activities, a tradition that has resulted in a thriving, independent family orientated and owned dairy that processes approximately 100 million litres per annum.
“Before my grandfather started at the dairy he worked for the International Stores, where there was a policy for real service to customers and high quality products. He built the company on what he learnt there as well as family values, which is something we have continued over the years and view as a major strength. We are still very much traditional and focus on providing what our customer’s require, whether that is in a specific format for example,” says George Workman, Managing Director.
Providing an overview of the company’s portfolio, George continues: “Today our product range includes various liquid milks and cream; these include conventional milk and Channel Island milk, which is from the Jersey and Guernsey breed of cow, that is richer in flavour and has a lovely golden colour as carotene is naturally in it. We also process organic milk, which is produced on farms without the use of artificial fertilisers or sprays, Welsh milk from Welsh farms and have just launched a free range milk which carries the Pasture Promise logo; which means it only comes from dairy farms where cows are given the freedom to graze in fields for at least six months of the year. In addition we also offer specialist dairy products such as clotted cream, crème fraîche and Greek style yogurts, all made from the Jersey milk under our Upper Norton Jersey brand.’’
This focus on quality has not gone unnoticed in the industry, with Cotteswold Dairy receiving a number of awards over recent years. In 2016 the company won multiple Great Taste Awards for its products, with the Upper Norton Greek Style Yogurt being awarded the prestigious three star Award, while the Upper Norton Clotted Cream and free range whole milk were awarded one star.
Key to delivering high quality products is the company’s commitment to sustainability, which includes working with 50 farmers who operate to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme. Representing quality food that can be trusted, the Red Tractor logo ensures strict governance when it comes to regulations for food safety and traceability, animal welfare and environmental protection. “We also seek to improve and meet targets on recycling and reducing our carbon footprint,” says George. “We still provide a doorstep delivery servicewhereby a glass bottle will do on average 25 to 30 delivery trips, the majority of which is delivered on environmentally friendly electric milk floats; this vehicle was way before its time and was one of the pioneers of electric vehicles.”
Complementing Cotteswold Dairy’s headquarters are its three depots that have been set up in order to get products to a wider range of customers. The North Wales depot supplies Welsh milk packed under the Dragon brand; The Shrewsbury depot serves mid Wales with the Dragon brand as well as Shropshire and the surrounding area with its Cotteswold milk and products; the Cheltenham depot, is dedicated to the doorstep delivery service.
Cotteswold Dairy provides multi sector coverage to Doorstep, Bottle milk Buyers, Foodservice, Retail and Wholesale. Its Tewkesbury site provides daily deliveries, serving an 180 mile radius. In addition to dairy products, the company also offers customers an extensive range of other products such as fruit juices, bottled waters, and breads.
While business remains positive, George says Cotteswold Dairy is keen to remain at the forefront of the dairy industry by moving forward with a 15 year masterplan of its eight acre site: “There are seven stages of which we have just completed the first which is the creation of a new lorry park that adjoins our site. The next stage is to produce a cold store extension and other facilities which will free up additional production space. Once the first two stages are complete we will be able to double our current capacity.
“We are looking to continuously improve what we are doing by becoming more efficient and lean while also endorsing our quality, service and family values. Over the coming years we will also be looking at improving the products and services we provide while also seeking opportunities to expand our presence into new sectors,” George concludes.