Finding Unpasteurised Milk in the UK

Last year I posted about raw milk (i.e. unpasteurized milk) and discussed whether we should be drinking it. It provoked an interesting response, including from an American anti-raw milk lawyer.

I decided to give it a try, but have been somewhat frustrated in my search for a unpasteurised milk supplier (often it’s called “Green Top Milk” here in the UK). I did find a farm in Cheshire (H S Bourne) who would sell it on demand at my local farmers market, but I ran into a stumbling block, because the farmer in question refused to let me see his milk safety / quality test results. Whilst he could claim till he was blue in the face, that his milk was clean and good, I’d be remiss both as a consumer, and parent, if I didn’t make every effort to ascertain that for myself. Especially as the Chief Scientist of the Food Standards Agency (the main dept in England for food safety) has likened unpasteurised milk to eating raw poultry!!

So that was a no go. I of course wondered what he had to hide? I have continued to look however and have now found another farmer, this one near Hereford, who sells green top milk and this farmer was prepared to send me a copy of his test results and discuss them openly. Even more amazingly, I’ve discovered the reason this farmer does so well in the bacteria tests, is that he is an ex British Army Biological Weapons Training Officer come ice cream farmer!

So as soon as I get the chance, I’m off to Hereford to stock up on some good quality raw milk and see if the hype is all it’s cracked up to be.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Nick Longworth 11 May 2009, 2:35 am

    That is cool you found that. Here in America, people flip out over stuff like that. In fact, I don’t think it is legal to sell Raw Milk here. (Will have to check for sure about that)
    I can tell you as a kid, I did get a chance to drink “Green Top Milk” as you call it. I never appreciated it much, but I can tell you I’d really like to drink it again.
    Let us know how it goes.

  • Colin McNulty 11 May 2009, 9:10 pm

    I think Nick, that it depends on the state you’re in. Some farms get round it by allowing you to buy a share in a cow and paying monthly maintenance for it. You then get a share of what that cow produces “for free”.

  • Louise 7 March 2010, 8:31 pm

    Have been drinking raw milk (green top – unpasteurised) for 5 years now and it’s cured my hayfever and improved my asthma. Extra bonus is it tastes good to. I guess the supplier felt you were prying too much and would have prefered a gold old fashioned relationship based on trust.

    A good site to source milk in the UK is: http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/unpasteurised-raw-milk-uk

  • Colin McNulty 8 March 2010, 6:30 pm

    Thanks for the post Louise and it’s great that “real milk” 😉 has helped you and thanks for the link.

    Yes it would be great to simply trust people, and if it was just me, I probably would. But when it’s also my daughter’s health at stake, I up the due diligence a bit.

  • Karla 26 March 2010, 2:11 pm

    I grew up in California and my mum would only buy raw milk. My grandparents were horrified at the thought that I could drop dead at a moment’s notice.

    Here I am, 40 years later, alive and well, living in the UK and desperate to get my hands on green top milk (it was an orange top in the states! I don’t think you can get it anymore as they’ve switched to pasteurized whole milk now).

    I just hope that, with the return to grow-your-own mentality and the anti-GM movement here, that my milkman will soon be able to leave a pint of green top on my doorstep.

  • Colin McNulty 26 March 2010, 2:34 pm

    Hi Karla, I think the best chance of getting it is to visit local farmers markets and ask around, especially where stalls are selling unpasteurised cheese.

  • Jaci Tomkinson 5 May 2010, 10:43 am

    Hello Colin and anyone else looking to visit a working dairy farm,

    My husband and I moved back to the UK summer 2009 to help out on his parent’s dairy farm (Punchards Farm).

    We have a small jersey herd and provide raw milk, cream and butter. We sell directly from the farm 24/7 and at a variety of farmers markets. We also sell grass fed beef, ethical veal, and fresh pork (fed only milk and wind blown apples).

    We’re located in East Anglia. Please visit our website http://www.punchardsfarm.co.uk or feel free to email my husband with any questions on jerseys@punchardsfarm.co.uk.

    Our farm is open to visit anytime. We have lots of animals to see. At the moment, there’s calves, baby chicks, baby ducklings, a pregnant pony due any minute, and 2 pregnant cats also due now. Kids really enjoy stroking all the animals, and our oldest son is happy to give a tour.

    Hope to see you!

    jaci

  • Colin McNulty 5 May 2010, 11:23 am

    Your farm sounds great Jaci. Sadly it’s 200+ miles away from where I live. I’d love to swing by if I’m ever in Suffolk.

  • Rachael 7 May 2010, 3:38 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for your blog article and for the link in the comments page to our website “Natural Food Finder”.

    Colin we just wanted to invite you to our nutrition conference if your interested: http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=4441

    Tickets are selling at a steady pace and the early bird tickets are limited to a first come first serve basis.

    Stay in touch and feel free to register and leave opinions on Natural Food Finder, including a link to your blog.

    Health and Happiness

    – Rachael

  • Sonia 23 June 2010, 12:02 am

    I’ve been trying to get a hold of grass fed raw organic milk for AGES. I live in north London and am desperate to find a local farmer who sells grass fed raw milk. If anyone knows where I can find one, please message me.

  • Kate 19 August 2010, 10:05 pm

    Sonia – you can buy raw jersey milk from John at Beaconhill Farm (www.johnsjerseys.co.uk), he is the farmer that Colin wrote about. He will happily speak to you about his milk, his cows, his farm….etc! And then send you some by mail order.

  • Colin McNulty 20 August 2010, 5:44 am

    Kate, you just made my day! I didn’t know John had started delivering by mail order. Thanks.

  • Lucy 23 September 2011, 9:11 pm

    I milk my own cows and can supply you with raw milk and cream, legally.

  • Colin McNulty 24 September 2011, 5:15 am

    Hi Lucy, where abouts in the country are you?

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