A family dairy farm near Camborne is marketing its own milk after building a brand new processing plant to bottle and sell all of their own fresh milk straight from the farm.

The Johns family are National Trust tenants and have been farming at Carvannel Farm along the North Cornish Heritage Coast above Portreath for over 50 years.

With the help of EU grants, loans and their own savings they have set up The Free Range Dairy on the farm to produce free range milk carrying the Pasture Promise logo.

Husband and wife Jack and Laura ran the first milk through their new plant on August 19 this year and are delivering to local outlets in the area.

As milk production is increasingly concentrated into fewer, larger herds, it is estimated that between 15 and 20% of all dairy cows in the UK never go out to graze in fields. The Johns family has always been committed to keeping their cows in fields and so decided to join Free Range Dairy Network and put the Pasture Promise logo on their milk.

Jack Johns has bred robust cows well suited to making the most of Cornwall’s lush pastures and today the farm carries 120 cows, comprised of British Friesian, Danish Red and Swedish Red bloodlines.

Free Range Dairy Network is a social enterprise dedicated to promoting the value of milk and dairy products from traditional, pasture-based herds, like those at Carvannel Farm. The Network represents farmers from Cornwall to the Yorkshire Dales, who use Pasture Promise logo TM on their milk, to give a clear assurance that it only comes from cows free to graze for a minimum of 180 days a year, with many grazing a lot longer.

Laura and Jack believe that putting the Pasture Promise logo on their milk bottles and other dairy produce, helps them give customers a clear message about how the milk was produced and how they care for their cows.

Jack said: “The family are really pleased with the feedback from new customers trying Cornish free range milk for the first time. People are loving the taste of really fresh milk, delivered direct from the farm and it is so encouraging to hear that they want to support a local family farm like ours.”

Neil Darwent, director of Free Range Dairy Network, said: “Big dairies have stripped milk of its provenance and taste and many people have fallen out of love with milk. But we know that not all milk is the same and it is great to hear that people can immediately taste the difference, when they try milk from The Free Range Dairy. We hope the Pasture Promise logo will give them and other traditional family farms the chance to win the badly needed recognition and reward they deserve and help shoppers who care about cows and farmers in the UK, a chance to make an informed choice.”

Jack has recently been nominated for South West Farmer of the Year Award and when asked about their ambitions for the future, Jack said that, as tenants of the National Trust, the family would love to provide their milk for all Cornish National Trust cafes and properties, as well as growing the opportunity for more local people to enjoy milk from the farm.

The next plans for this ambitious young family is once they have their distribution running smoothly, to move onto producing more products. Equipment has already been installed at the dairy to enable them to produce Cornish clotted cream, butter and yoghurt.