A family of Dungworth dairy farmers who turned ice cream-makers are officially the cream of Britain.
The Our Cow Molly brand launched by Eddie Andrew, third generation of the family to run Cliffe House dairy farm, was named a national Countryside Champion in the ‘Rural Oscars’ on Wednesday.
Leaving dad Graham milking and brother Dan bottling, Eddie and wife Madeline contended with the London tube strike to make their way to the Houses of Parliament to receive their 2013 Countryside Alliance Award from Secretary of State for Defra, Owen Paterson MP.
The awards, an annual celebration of the rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage of small rural businesses are dubbed the Rural Oscars. Our Cow Molly won the Local Food Award.
“National recognition - this is as good as it gets,” said Eddie, who set up the ice cream brand in 2007 after the farm his grandfather Hector Andrew started in 1947 found itself struggling to survive as the price of milk fell.
Ice cream was their life-line. “Today the milk price is so poor three UK dairy farmers a day are giving up producing milk. We didn’t want to be next so Our Cow Molly was born,” says Eddie. “We use fresh milk and cream from our 80 cows and people love it. We hope the national acclaim will increase our customers, as we’ve heavily investing in a new dairy which will up our production, enabling to do in one hour what takes us ten - and get more milk to customers the day it left the cow.”
The ice cream comes in ever-more inventive flavours, has won numerous awards and is sold in venues, cafes and shops throughout the city, as well as the Dungworth farm’s own ice cream parlour.
Countryside Alliance judges commented: “Just visiting this bustling dairy farm puts a smile on your face, and that’s before you’ve even tasted the ice-cream.
“With the dairy industry in freefall the Andrew family redoubled its efforts to go the distance for the next generation – a gutsy move that has paid off. Eddie Andrew’s energy and commitment is richly deserving of this award.”
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “These awards celebrate rural businesses across the UK from post offices to butchers, they are the backbone of rural life and it is vital we do all we can to allow these businesses to compete and thrive.”