MORE than 1,200 people flocked to a Sidlesham dairy farm on Sunday (June 9), to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of milk production.
Chalder Farm Dairy is a key supplier of milk to Marks & Spencer which helped run the event as part of a national farming open day.
Visitors to the farm enjoyed tours of the dairy, hosted by farmer Chris Spiby, to learn about the day-to-day life of the 520 cows which graze the Pagham Harbour land.
Children were able to take part in pond-dipping and had the chance to sample some of the farm’s handmade dairy ice cream from Caroline’s Dairy – a successful brand created by Mrs Spiby.
She said: “We would like to thank everyone who contributed on the day and everyone who came along to see the farm.”
Mr Spiby said: “We were delighted with the turn-out on the day, it was great to be able to show how we care for our ‘girls’ so that people can see for themselves our high standard of animal welfare and the quality of milk we produce.”
Anna Playfair Hannay, M&S agricultural technologist, said the day was a ‘great opportunity’ for customers to see where the firm gets its produce. Chalder Farm is part of ‘Milk Pledge Plus’, a milk payment scheme for M&S dairy farmers which takes into account the costs of production and rewards farmers for their health and welfare standards and farm production standards.
The scheme guarantees the farmers a fixed price for milk, removing the uncertainty of the milk industry’s price fluctuations
Mrs Spiby said she would donate £150 from the day to The Cherries Association, the charity side of The Cherries Respite Centre, and Richard and Pauline Marks, farmers from Cocking who served food on the day, would donate £50.