Guernsey sits in the English Channel, sheltered by the mainland of France but benefiting from a balance of cold and warm temperature flows and the Gulf Stream. The deep, loamy soils developed from windblown silty sediments, soil deposits and sands settling on our granite bedrock are ideal pastures for our Guernsey cows.
The island is just over 15,000 acres. But here in Guernsey we're a bit different. We measure our land in vergees so that's 38,660 vergees for us...
Nearly 50% of our island's land is devoted to agriculture and our 14 dairy farms make up most of this.
Fields are modest in size, surrounded by historical earth banks and stone walls preserved to let traditional wildflowers flourish.
This means our farming and production scale is small and non-intensive. We don't over work our precious land and our farmers, as custodians of the countryside, manage the land with biodiversity in mind.
Our dairy farming community traditions span generations and the high quality products we produce are a result of the pride and care our farmers take in looking after a world class breed of dairy cow in this a unique island environment.
In the 1950's Guernsey had around 400 farmers each with roughly 5 dairy cows. Today, we have 14 working dairy farms and just over 1,500 cows supplying milk to the Dairy. Together they produce around 8 million litres of milk a year.
Our farmers embrace the latest technology, adhere to the highest hygiene standards with their animal's welfare and the island's heritage always in mind. They are part of the Guernsey Countryside Management Scheme, created to improve wildlife, animal welfare and environmental protection aspects of the farming industry. It encourages farmers to maintain and manage traditional pastures and wildflower meadows without the use of fertilisers or herbicides to encourage biodiversity, reduce pollution and conserve wildlife.
All of our dairy farmers are guardians of our countryside and share a commitment to our 'Guernseys', the community, and of course, to producing fantastic milk whilst all bringing something different to the industry.
Click on each farm below to learn more.