Wensleydale farmers launch mobile milk vending machine

From left, Adam, Sam and Ben Spence with their milk vending machine.

A mobile vending machine will deliver fresh milk to villages in the Yorkshire Dales from this weekend.

The Home Farmer service has been launched by the Spence family who farm at Home Farm, in Aysgarth.

A converted horsebox with a vending machine inside will be left at village locations every day from Saturday.

The vending machine is though to be the first in the Dales, while the mobile service is believed to be a national first.

The machine will supply lightly pasteurised milk from the farm’s 80 cows in either one or two litre glass bottles. The milk costs £1 per litre.

The bottles are also available for £2 each, and are reusable so the customer can bring them every time they use the machine.

The tank holds 150 litres and will be filled up with fresh milk daily.

The machine is being launched by Adam and Ben Spence, and Ben’s wife Sam, who farm with the brothers’ parents David and Susan.

Both brothers moved away after leaving school, Adam is an architectural technologist while Ben trained to be an accountant, however they are now back working on the farm and are determined to diversify the business and create a sustainable future.

Ben said he got the idea for the mobile vending machine from the Ramsay’s fish and chip van which visits villages across Richmondshire.

Before launching the vending machine, the family built a modern new parlour and cow building at the farm.

“It used to be just mum and dad but now I have a young family and Adam will hopefully have one too so there’s more people to support,” Ben said.

“We started work on this parlour when we were getting just 18p a litre and people said we were mad, but that low price was exactly why we were doing it.

“We need to diversify and add value to our product.”

Sam said it was hoped the machine would be popular with people who liked to know where their food came from.

“It makes more sense than milk being brought half way around the country and having to be heavily processed.

“People know it comes from us and our happy cows.”

As well as launching the vending machine, the family have plans to make a raw milk cheese in cooperation with the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, which are supporting the family with their milk vending machine project.

You can see the vending machine in operation on Saturday, March 23 from 10am to 3pm when it will be in launched at the farm in Thoralby Road, Aysgarth, at DL8 3AG.

It will then be moved to villages across the Dales every day.

For more details including a full timetable, visit www.thehomefarmer.co.uk

Alternatively, follow the company on Facebook here or on Instagram here.