Eric & Edward Booth, Wigglesworth Hall Farm, Wigglesworth, North Yorkshire
“It’s a family farm,” says dairyman Edward Booth of Wigglesworth Hall Farm in North Yorkshire, where he cares for a herd of 200 Holstein Friesian cattle. His grandad was the first to farm here, his mum and dad are partners on the farm, and he works alongside his wife, their three children and a full-time herdsman, while relief milking is done by an uncle and a cousin.
But as well as immediate family, there’s a strong link to the other rural businesses in this beautiful part of the world, a few miles south of Settle. “We’re a close team and we support the local community as much as possible; we use the local breeding centre, feed merchants, shops and auctions,” Edward says. “The more that we can work together and be part of a team, the better.” Being a member of the Booths milk group is a natural progression, he says. “It’s a good thing to be able to work with a local supermarket – between us all we help to keep the local economy ticking over.”
As one of four family farms, Wigglesworth Hall Farm is paid above market price for the milk it sends to Booths. “The premium gives us the confidence to invest a bit harder in our business and really push things on,” says Edward. “Animal welfare’s always at the top of the list, but it enables us to go that extra yard.
Q: How is the milk is processed?
A: The milk in our cartons is purchased from Muller Wiseman who collects, pasteurises and bottles the milk from their site in Trafford. Our nominated farmers for our milk supply to this site. The milk is consolidated into bulk tanks at Muller Wisemans with other farmers’ milk, this is then bottled into our Booths British Milk containers.
Q: Why is the milk from the farms not separated?
A: If we were to segregate the milk, this would result in increased Co2 emissions and increased production costs, thus eliminating the ability to pay a great
price to farmers without increasing retail prices for the customer. Distribution from just this specific group of farmers would not only be cost prohibitive but not environmentally sound. The fluctuations in demand and supply throughout the seasons are complex and this system enables Booths to guarantee that our farmers can receive the highest price and maintain availability.
For every litre sold in a Booths store over another supermarket, the farmer receives a higher price.