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Guernsey Dairy launches lactose free low-fat milk

12 May 2021

Guernsey Dairy has launched a lactose free low-fat milk to cater for islanders with a lactose intolerance.

This new specialist product will be found on most island retailers' shelves over the coming few days packaged in Guernsey Dairy orange gingham designed 1 litre cartons.

Andrew Tabel, Managing Director, Guernsey Dairy said: "This is an exciting time for the Dairy and one that has been eagerly anticipated.  Following customer feedback, it was apparent that there was a growing demand for lactose free milk among islanders, but the only products available were imported and lacked the unique qualities of our much-loved Guernsey milk.

"Our regular milk is often avoided by those with a lactose intolerance, but this offers them an alternative option which contains all the natural healthy constituents of our normal milk without the lactose.  Unlike imported variants, Guernsey Dairy milk supports the conservation of our unique rural environment designed to maintain Guernsey's traditional countryside whilst enhancing the island's biodiversity.  From grass to glass it has travelled just a few miles," he said.

Last August, after growing demand from local dairy buyers and consumers, Guernsey Dairy began to fully investigate the feasibility of producing its own locally produced lactose free milk. 

"An initial trial batch was made to test the methodology behind our research before committing to two larger production runs. This gave us the confidence in the manufacturing and testing protocols to ensure the lactose free milk achieved the same high standards as our traditional milk," said Mr Tabel.

The Dairy laboratory staff carried tests for each trial and found no detectable levels of lactose (typically it contains less than 0.01% lactose but can contain up to a maximum of 0.03%). This was verified by an accredited independent UK-based testing facility. 

"The decision to produce lactose free low-fat Guernsey milk was two-fold," said Mr Tabel.

"Firstly, it was hoped that some people who may be drinking other lactose-free brands would consider switching to the Guernsey Dairy alternative, and secondly it was hoped some of the consumers who have switched or are considering switching to plant based milk would consider a locally made lactose free milk as an alternative."

The lactose free market has gained popularity particularly within the dairy sector where the variety of products has grown exponentially in recent years.

Due to the popularity of the Dairy's low-fat blue milk (c72% of total fresh milk sales) it decided to focus on producing a low-fat lactose free equivalent centring on the area of highest demand.

Having obtained figures from local dairy buyers, the Dairy has committed to producing c3,000 litres per week; however, this will be adjusted dependent upon consumer demand.

Michael Bray, President of the Guernsey Farmers Association said: "As farmers we are extremely proud of the unique product that our Guernsey cows produce and believe everyone should be able to enjoy the health benefits that milk contains. We realise that there is a percentage of the population that suffer challenges drinking normal cows' milk and we're extremely pleased that the Dairy has been able to develop a lactose free product allowing everyone to enjoy drinking the great taste of Guernsey Milk."

Lactose Free Milk

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