A farm near Ashbourne, Derbyshire has launched a milk vending machine giving customers the chance to buy fresh milk 24 hours a day – and even create their own DIY milkshakes. Yeldersley Farm has diversified and is now selling the freshly pasteurised milk it produces as well as other local produce directly to the local community through vending machines.
The farm is run by husband and wife Mark and Zena Hinds and is based on the Osmaston Estate, which is managed by Fisher German.
Milk will be available from a special milk vending machine, and customers will have the opportunity to bring their own bottles or purchase them on-site through a second vending machine which also stocks free range eggs and locally produced honey, with other local produce being added soon. Flavourings will also be available giving families the opportunity to create their own DIY milkshakes.
The vending machines are based in their own building on the farm and are accessible to customers 24 hours a day. The farmyard is located on the main A52 between Derby and Ashbourne, and Mark and Zena hope to not only attract the local community but also those passing through the area.
Mark said: “We wanted to add value to our milk by selling it directly to the local community while bringing people on to the farm. We also receive an awful lot of passing traffic, so diversifying in this way seemed like a really positive step for the business.
“We want to be as eco-friendly as possible and are encouraging customers to purchase a reusable one litre glass bottle or bring their own, however we do have a limited number of plastic bottles available. We also created our DIY milkshake bar to provide a fun experience for families who are visiting.
“We’re passionate about promoting dairy farms in a positive way and encouraging people to shop local, something that those living in the Ashbourne area are incredibly supportive of. We’ve already received some really positive feedback and are now looking to grow the vending business organically, working with other local suppliers should there be the demand for us to stock a wider range of products. Some of the money we raise will be invested back into the farm to further improve animal welfare and to support local wildlife environments on the farm.”
Ian McKenzie, from our Ashby rural team, added: “This is a fantastic example of diversification and an excellent way to bring members of the community on to the farm while enabling them to purchase fresh local produce.
“It is also very eco-friendly, cutting down on food miles and encouraging customers to reuse glass bottles, creating a sustainable food source for the community. The estate is extremely supportive of the farm’s new vending machine business and we look forward to seeing it thrive.”