A DAIRY farm near Northallerton has launched a new raw milk brand which is on sale from a purpose-built “milk barn” on the roadside.

W Chapman & Sons of Manor Farm, Kirby Sigston, launched Free Range Yorkshire Raw Milk six weeks ago, initially selling to order.

On Saturday, the Chapmans opened their “milk barn”, complete with fridge, honesty box, bunting and rustic dresser.

The family milk a herd of 80 Holstein Friesians and has supplied their milk to the Wensleydale Creamery at Hawes since 2014. “We jumped at the opportunity to be involved with such a fantastic Yorkshire business and brand,” said Andrew Chapman, who lives at the farm with his wife Rowan and their two children Isaac, eight, and Martha, seven.

“We didn’t know whether to launch or not at first, given the current situation, but we wanted to give friends and neighbours the opportunity to make a few less journeys to the shops, as well as providing them with a tasty, locally produced, nutritious product,” he added.

Andrew, who farms alongside dad Edgar, said he believes there is a growing demand from consumers for fully traceable produce, and stresses the importance of the free range element of the brand.

The herd grazed outdoors for 285 of the 365 days of 2019. “We want them to be out as much as possible to have the freedom to graze fresh grass,” said Andrew.

The whole milk is bottled fresh daily, and the farm had to undergo a full inspection and milk hygiene tests by the Food Standards Agency before being given permission to sell its raw, or unpasteurised milk. The majority is sold in reusable glass bottles bearing the brand name and an image of Andrew’s favourite cow, chosen because “she has a lovely temperament, and always comes over for a stroke”.

Edgar believes selling from the roadside directly to customers is a sign of the industry going full circle. He adds: “Milk prices are going down, and feed prices are going up, so it’s a way of getting some extra income.”

Isaac and Martha describe the milk as “super creamy”. Isaac cut the ribbon at the official opening on Saturday.

Manor Farm is four miles outside Northallerton up Bullamoor Road, and one mile off the A19. Search for Free Range Yorkshire Raw Milk on Facebook for more information.