Is your milk pasteurised?

Yes, it is. It is illegal to sell raw milk in Scotland. Mossgiel Organic Farm only sells pasteurised milk.

The milk at Mossgiel Organic Farm is pasteurised in a different way to most milk on the shelves. Milk produced by “Big Dairy” uses a system called “Continuous Flow Pasteurisation”. This quickly heats the milk to a very high temperature before cooling it again. The problem with this method is that it destroys the protein lactoferrin, and alters the taste of the milk.

We heat our milk to a lower temperature – around 68 degrees – but we hold it at this temperature for 5 minutes. This takes more time than the continuous flow method, but it results in no destruction of lactoferrin and tastes better too.

What is non-homogenised?

Non-Homogenised Milk

Mossgiel Organic Milk is ALWAYS ‘non-homogenised’, that’s a fancy way of saying – ‘not highly processed’ or ‘as nature intended’.

During the journey from cow to your fridge, BIG DAIRY wants to make sure the milk always looks nice and white – from the first drop out of your plastic bottle to the very last.  This looks lovely on a supermarket shelf and is designed to make you buy more, but it really does ruin the lovely, natural flavour of nature’s original superfood.

During the process from cow to bottle, milk is forced through a ‘homogeniser’ unit at MASSIVE pressure – just like if you were trying to squeeze milk through your car windscreen washer jets.  This breaks up all the tasty cream into microscopic particles, so the cream doesn’t float to the top and cause family disagreements as to who is getting the ‘best bit’ at porridge time.

At Mossgiel Organic Farm, we prefer our milk the way nature intended: cream intact and not broken. Baristas prefer our milk in large part for this reason. Because our cream is in its natural form, it is able to take on the flavour of their coffee better. Baristas tend to take an awful lot of trouble sourcing their coffee beans. Why would you want to pair an excellent bean with a sub-standard milk? It makes much more sense to pair a premium bean with a premium milk that can cope with all that flavour.

What is cream?

Cream is the layer that rises to the top in non-homogenised milk. It is made up of a mixture of milk and butterfat. As it is slightly less dense than milk, it floats to the top if it is given enough time to settle. The fat in cream forms quite large globules that can be seen easily with the naked eye. In years gone by this was considered unsightly and was one of the reasons that milk began to be more highly processed and have the cream all mixed in with the milk itself.

What is skimmed milk?

Skimmed Milk is when almost all of the Cream is removed. In the UK, Skimmed Milk is usually about 0.5% Cream.

Contrast this with the natural fat percentages of Milk from Ayrshire Cows, which are in the range of 4.5% – 4.9% depending on the season.

The health benefits of removing the Cream from Milk have been much disputed in recent years. So much so that only reasonable justification for drinking Skimmed Milk would be on taste. As it is the Cream in Milk that carries most of the taste, this is why Mossgiel Organic Farm does not produce Skimmed Milk.

What is whole milk?

We would say that it depends who you speak to! If you’re speaking to us then whole milk means exactly what you would expect – all of the milk that our awesome herd of Ayrshire Cows produce (pasteurised, of course). Ayrshire Cows produce between 4.5% & 4.9% cream, depending on what time of the year it is. At the height of summer they produce more cream than in the depths of winter because in the winter months they are in the barn eating the silage that has been cut in the summer. Milk is a seasonal product! In these days of highly industrialised Milk flooding the shelves, this is an idea that seems to have been forgotten.

Speaking about highly processed milk, what passes for whole milk in the supermarkets  usually only means about 3.6% cream. This is the minimum level that the current regulations require to be called ‘whole milk’, so that is the level that industrialised milk is standardised to.

Why is whole milk standardised?

Because cream is worth more than milk. It is more expensive. If ‘big dairy’ can get away with quite literally ‘creaming off the top’ with even ‘whole milk’ then it means that they can sell the cream as well. So, the reason is pretty simple – money. Whoever asked for semi-skimmed or, even worse, skimmed milk anyway? No-one that we know! We would argue that the cream in Milk is really healthy and the idea that ‘all fats are bad’ is complete nutritional nonsense.

This standardisation has led to the belief that Milk is somehow exactly the same all year round, which is also clearly nonsense. It leads people away from having a connection with their food and where it comes from. It is good to note though that an increasing number of people are becoming wise to this and beginning to ask far more searching questions about the provenance of what they put in their bodies: where it comes from, how it is produced, the environmental impact.

Mossgiel Farm nominated for Scottish Rural Awards 2020

Mossgiel Organic Farm Nominated for Scottish Rural Awards 2020

Mossgiel Organic Farm nominated for Scottish Rural Awards 2020

We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated for the Scottish Rural Awards 2020!! 🙂

A massive thanks thanks to all at the Farm who continue to make everything possible and, of course, to our wonderful supporters who are helping change the face of Scottish Dairy!

Good luck to all the other nominees too – some awesome stories out there!

Winner – Person of the Year

Winner of the Slow Food Awards Person of the Year 2019

A lovely end to the year with Bryce becoming the Winner of the Slow Food Awards Person of the Year 2019.

The Slow Food movement promotes food that is produced with an emphasis on quality, not profit.

‘Slow Food is for everyone who eats food,’ said Fred Berkmiller, Chef Proprietor of L’Escargot Blue which won Best Restaurant.

‘I consider slow food to be my grandmother’s thinking,’ he said. ‘People have the right to know where their food is coming from, what it’s been fed with. They want to know what they’re putting inside their body.’


There was even a lovely write-up in Scottish Field, which you can read here, which said;

“Bryce Cunningham of Mossgiel Farm, winner of the Agriculture category at the Scottish Rural Awards 2019, won Person of the Year at the Slow Food Awards for his sustainable practices.

Mossgiel was the first diary in Scotland to eliminate single use plastic.

‘We’ve managed to create food products in a slow, natural and organic way to bring our passion for food to the cities of Scotland,’ Cunningham said. ‘I believe in low processed foods and foods that are natural, foods we would have eaten 500 years ago. Supermarkets are chasing profits, not health benefits.’ “

Slow Food Person of the Year 2019

It’s great that the slow food movement is gathering strength with each passing year. We certainly notice it, talking to all the wonderful people who own businesses that we supply. It seems that provenance is becoming more and more important to people and we think that this is a very encouraging trend. This move towards slow food – real food – and away from overly industrialised, processed food can only be a good thing, bringing people closer to nature and the seasons. Milk is a seasonal food, for example, and we know that this is something that has been lost from most people’s awareness. When the Cows are in the pasture in the height of summer they produce a richer milk than when they are in the byre in the depths of winter (4.9% cream in the summer, 4.5% cream in the winter). Decades ago, this was viewed as a problem. Today, we think that this is something to be embraced and celebrated.

Scottish Organic Producers Association – Organic Farming Certification

SOPA Certificate of Conformity

The Scottish Organic Producers Association is the organisation in Scotland responsible for Organic Farming Certification. It was formed in 1988 and is an independent and provident society. OF&G (Scotland) Ltd certifies organic businesses for SOPA under the organic mark GB-ORG-17.

SOPA lobbies Scottish, UK and EU governments on behalf of their members, promoting the benefits of Organic Farming. It also provides training, carries out research and undertakes market research.

SOPA adopts a pragmatic approach. Its aims are:

  • to protect and uphold the organic integrity of all products produced by its members and certified by OF&G (Scotland) Ltd to the SOPA organic standards
  • support its members in building financially and environmentally sustainable businesses
  • work in a trusting and fair way with all its industry partners
SOPA Certificate for Mossgiel Organic Farm
Scottish Organic Producers Association Certificate of Conformity for Mossgiel