A MILK and milkshake vending trailer has opened at a dairy farm in Cornwall. 

Customers can purchase the produce made at Trink Dairy, near St Ives, thanks to their expansion. They can buy re-usable glass bottles, or use their own bottles, travel cups or jugs to take their milk and milkshakes home. 

The dairy farm, which has won a Gold Taste of the West award for four consecutive years, has experienced a high demand for its milk from farm shops and local schools. 

This demand increased after the farm launched its own on-site DIY milkshake bar last year, giving customers the opportunity to create their own milkshakes using a variety of flavoured syrups, including classics such as chocolate, strawberry and banana and varying specials including popcorn, raspberry and white chocolate, pistachio and bubble gum.

Trink Dairy’s current farm shop, including the milk vending machine, will be re-located to the milk trailer.  It will continue to be open 24 hours a day and the milkshake bar will be open from 9am to 9pm.

The business plans to expand its dairy and once the work is completed, the farm shop will move back to the farm building and the trailer will be taken to festivals and events. 

Run by Chris and Rachel Knowles, the farm started pasteurising its own milk six years ago. 

The milkshake bar and trailer were the ideas of daughter Maddy, who also works on the farm after graduating from Harper Adams University in 2021.

Trink Dairy was presented with the Diversification Award at last year’s South West Farmer Awards.

“We never realised just how popular our milk would be when we began pasteurising it ourselves, and now we need to expand our cold storage area to cope with demand which is a fantastic position to be in," said Rachel. 

“It’s been wonderful to sell our milk on-farm and engage with the public who enjoy it, and our milkshake bar has been a fantastic addition, with people travelling far and wide to try some of the more unusual flavours.

“Maddy has spearheaded the project and came up with the idea of moving our farm shop into a trailer before eventually using it to sell our milk and milkshakes at events to create another income stream for the business.

“We have three daughters – Maddy, Tamsin and Naomi – and diversifying in these ways has really helped future-proof the business for them.”

Fisher German sponsored the diversification category in last year's South West Farmer Awards and is doing the same again this year. 

READ MORE: 2023 awards finalists are announced 

"Rural farm diversification takes more than just the right assets, ideas or location," said Ellie Savage, of Fisher German. 

"It is also about the individuals who are willing to take a risk and look at alternative sources of income for their rural business.

“Trink Dairy is a fantastic example of how one initial diversification can open the doors to many more.

“Diversification is increasingly important, particularly as the BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) subsidy is phased out, so I would encourage any rural landowner or business to take inspiration from Trink Dairy and ask themselves whether the assets that they have are working to their optimum potential.

“For those wishing for diversification support and advice, Fisher German can undertake asset reviews which can highlight a range of opportunities to create additional income streams.”