Home grown Organic Guernsey milk - the best of the best
17 October 2022
Guernsey has just one organic farm - Les Fauconnaires Farm - which supplies 1,000 litres of organic milk to Guernsey Dairy each week. This family farm is run by Jim and Liz Naftel who are both third generation farmers.
To achieve and sustain their Organic status, both the farm and the Dairy must adhere to The Soil Association standards. This means the cows are fed a wholesome diet free from artificial additives, chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. The use of antibiotics is restricted and there are limitations on the use of pesticides, fertilisers, and herbicides on the land.
Guernsey Dairy's Quality and Compliance Manager, Alex Tielles, explains that the Dairy has a dedicated milk pasteurisation and storage setup which is used solely for Les Fauconnaires Farm's organic milk.
"We have detailed procedures in place to make sure milk sold as Organic is processed separately from our 'conventional' milk," said Mrs Tielles.
"This process has been independently verified by the Soil Association, who audit us at least once a year to make sure our processes are robust. We must prove we can account for every litre of milk which leaves Les Fauconnaires Farm and when it enters and leaves the Dairy. Our procedures, alongside the records from the Naftel's, also mean we can trace which cows were milked."
As a certified Organic farm, the Naftel's are passionate about animal welfare standards and environmentally sustainable land management.
"Organic cows must have access to fields, weather permitting of course. They must also be truly free range and have plenty of space to prevent stress and keep them healthy," said Mrs Naftel.
Through selective breeding, the Naftel's have been carefully choosing their cows to ensure the milk from Les Fauconnaires contains only A2/A2 protein. The Dairy has been supporting them throughout the process with genetic testing. A2 is a different type of milk protein, which is naturally prevalent in Guernsey cows; however, Les Fauconnaires is Guernsey's only solely A2 herd.
Mrs Tielles said: "There is some anecdotal evidence that this milk could have extra health benefits. We think Les Fauconnaires Farm may produce the world's only Organic, RSPCA Assured, A2 milk which I know is a big claim."
Guernsey Dairy is very proud to be able to offer such a specialised product from pedigree, rare-breed, Guernsey cows.
"This milk also tastes lovely, which has been backed up by its two-star endorsement from the Great Taste Awards, which rated it as outstanding and in the top 10% of the 150,000 entries," said Mrs Tielles.
"We really appreciate the huge amount of work put in by Liz and Jim to ensure their milk is the best it can be. Having such a good quality product to start with ensures this is carried through the production process before it reaches our customers."
In its first year of entry into The Guild of Fine Food's, Great Taste Awards 2021, Guernsey Dairy's Organic milk received 2-Stars (out of a maximum of three) for its organic milk with many positive comments from the Great Taste judges;
"A full flavoured, low fat milk which was a delight to sample. The milk coated the mouth and the creamy flavours lingered. We thought we were sampling a full fat milk, showing that it's possible to retain the flavour while reducing the fat content. A low fat milk with plenty of sweet, warm, animal-tinged flavour. It had a pleasingly rich, complex flavour that we felt showed that the milk had been respected and not over processed. Delicious."
Guernsey Dairy has recently upgraded its Organic Milk cartons to reflect the achievements in Great Taste Awards, RSPCA Assured, is solely A2/A2 protein and Organic.