Ethical dairy seeks public support
An award-winning business is looking for help raising £50,000 to support their new approach to dairy farming.
The Ethical Dairy at Rainton near Gatehouse has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to as they bid to prove the viability of low-intensity dairy farming, which puts the emphasis on allowing calves to stay with their mothers to suckle.
Talks with ethical investors have stalled and the money is needed to help support the cost of moving to the new model. Rewards on offer include a year’s supply of cheese and the chance to sponsor experiments to make new cheese.
The Ethical Dairy is run by David and Wilma Finlay, who are also behind Cream O’Galloway ice cream.
David said: “Because we are tenant farmers, we have little security to offer traditional lenders so we have been exploring bringing an investor into the business for a couple of years.
“We were assured by advisors that an ethical investor would be in place by the end of last month, but frustratingly that hasn’t happened.
“At the same time we have also been approached by members of the public who have indicated that they want to help us prove this model faster. So we have launched a crowdfunding campaign.
“Our goal is to prove that cow with calf dairy farming can be viable at a commercial scale and we are making good progress towards this.
“There are several reasons why we need to increase investment at this time and the key reason is that demand for our products is greater than we expected, which means we need to speed up our long term plans, which means increasing investment in production facilities faster than anticipated.”
In June, the Ethical Dairy was handed nearly £ 160,000 through a Scottish Government grants scheme which was to be used to help increase production 10 fold.
However, this money needs to be paid up front before being reclaimed, with the £50,000 crowdfunder helping to support cash flow.
David added: “Since we want to share our model freely with other farmers and since our goal is to prove this concept works, not make massive profits, it would seem we are a poor fit with traditional investors.
“So we are inviting members of the public to contribute directly to helping us prove this model.
“We have pulled together a fairly quirky selection of rewards, everything from being a cheese testing champion to an on-pack sponsor to special events, and of course lots of cheese-related rewards.
“The crowdfunder has been launched in the spirit of providing a way for people who support what we are doing to contribute directly to it.”
The crowdfunder can be found at www. crowdfunder.co.uk/theethicaldairy. Twin Wall & Land Drain Coil Sewer Pipe & Fittings Large Diameter Pipe Concrete Rings Septic Tanks MDPE Pipe Philmac Fittings Largest Stock of Pipes in South West Scotland! Best Prices Guaranteed
Looking for support David Finlay of The Ethical Dairy at Rainton, Gatehouse of Fleet