While there’s no evidence that this process negatively affects the nutritional aspect of milk, Rachel says that it affects the overall taste: “homogenising is ‘denaturing’ the milk. Here, we’re not processing it, we are just pasteurising.” Of course, like anything produced on a smaller scale, Trink milk is a few pennies more per pint than your average shop-bought milk. “Our milk is more expensive,” Rachel explains, “because we’re not splitting the milk and removing the expensive bits like cream and butter and selling them separately – we are selling whole milk.” She then co-ordinated the project, developed the dairy, bought the equipment, and within a year of her light-bulb moment, milk was available to buy on the premises – seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
“We’ve hit on this at a really good time,” says Rachel, enthusiastically. “People want whole, unprocessed food. And milk is not expensive.” The bulk of the farm’s milk is still being collected in tankers, but Rachel siphons off what she needs for the Trink Milk dairy, and local people come and buy the milk any time they please. Rachel is a novice when it comes to marketing, she confesses, and she hasn’t the time to attend farmers’ markets and such, which means most of her trade comes from word of mouth. However, the interest has inevitably picked up. Local restaurant and deli, Scarlet Wines, has started buying Trink milk – citing its taste and frothability as key drivers. John Keast, Scarlet’s owner, admits that Trink milk is slightly more expensive than the homogenised milk he stocked previously, but raising the price of a cup of coffee by a few pence has covered the extra expense – and he claims the patrons love it.