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The Somerset Guardian, 28th February 2024

In the week when a great deal of interest seemed to be aroused by my comments on full fat milk, it was a fortuitous coincidence that I was visiting the Chew Valley Dairy in Compton Martin.

It is a fascinating business, only about a mile and a half from where I live and it shows what the farming community can do to improve its margins. The milk that is processed there comes from local farms and it is sold as a premium product not just in the Chew Valley but also in London.

Next door, perhaps equally excitingly, there is a mozzarella production factory that has recently been set up. In a few weeks, it will be producing twenty-five tons of mozzarella a week and is called the Caseificio Fratelli Amodio.  What they are doing is producing high quality mozzarella locally with locally sourced milk that they can then sell around the country, initially to restaurants but then they are going into the retail market as well.

Why is this so important? Well, in the week when the Prime Minister went to address the National Farmers’ Union to talk about the countryside, it is essential to work out what the economic activity of the countryside should be. Is it to be a pleasure park for ramblers where nothing much goes on? Or is it, in fact, going to be a hub of economic drive and activity? If it is the latter, it needs innovative people who are not only investing in business through as much automation as possible but who are also selling premium, high quality products.

I think it is so exciting that this is happening locally in the Chew Valley in North East Somerset. It is the perfect place for dairy farming because the lush grass is green and plentiful, thanks to the currently endless rain that feeds the cattle and ensures that the milk is abundant and of the highest quality, as it has been for centuries.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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