Organic diary awarded environmental recognition

Organic diary awarded environmental recognition

26th July 2013


AN organic dairy which is leading the way in terms of conservation, compassion and commercial enterprise has picked up another prestigious award.

Acorn Dairy will be awarded the Tye Trophy for the Tyne Tees region from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society at this month’s Great Yorkshire Show.

The accolade recognises the efforts of the Tweddle family to operate a successful business while conserving the environment and boosting animal welfare.

It is the latest in a string of awards for the farm which became organic more than a decade ago and is a leading light in the region for developing and promoting good practice.

Last year, Acorn Dairy was awarded an organic ‘Oscar’ by the Soil Association and the Good Dairy Award by Compassion in World Farming, the international welfare campaign group.

Brother and sister Caroline and Graham operate farms at Archdeacon Newton, Darlington and Spennithorne, near Leyburn, organic islands in a sea of intensively farmed herds that predominate in the North-East.

The organic farming movement, which rejects artificial feeds, insecticides and the over-use of antibiotics in favour of natural processes, is concentrated in the South West of the country.

But Acorn Dairy decided to convert to organic more than a decade ago and has built up a loyal following of 4,000 doorstep customers, schools, cafes, restaurants and supermarkets including Waitrose and Morrisons right across the North-East and North Yorkshire.

Their work has now been recognised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which will present the Tyne Tees Area Award at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate on July 10.

Chairman of the judging panel Charles Mills said: “In all the years I’ve been involved in judging this competition, this year’s regional winners are amongst the finest. What struck us was that, not only do we have enterprises that combine good conservation practices with running a commercial business, but a host of new jobs have also been secured and created. In this economic climate that is very much to be applauded.”

Caroline said: “Organic farming is in our blood and something we all feel passionate about. Running a business should not be at the expense of animals or the environment and I think the success of Acorn, with the support of all our loyal customers, proves that ethical practices also make commercial sense.”

Acorn Dairy boasts a happy healthy herd with great emphasis placed on care, disease prevention and low stress levels.

Research has shown organic milk to be much richer in antioxidants, healthy fatty acids and Omega 3 as a result of the herd feeding on grass and clover.

The farms’ and herd’s natural rate of milk production is less than in an intensive farming system. Intensively farmed animals may struggle to see eight years.

Acorn Dairy’s low intensive system has seen one herd member recently turn 14 with an average herd age of ten years.

Compassion for animals extends to the farm as a whole and Acorn Dairy has created a thriving wetland for flora and fauna, birds and small mammals.

Bird boxes have a 90 per cent occupancy rate and the 16 acre reversion meadow is home to countless species of local and visiting birds, while miles of hedgerows provide safe passage and homes for myriad creatures.

News in July