Single use plastic needs to be re-cycled and the sad fact is that a lot of single-use plastic is not re-cycled. We believe that re-use beats re-cycle and that re-cycling should be the last option, only employed when there are no more opportunities for reducing and re-using.
Mossgiel Organic Farm – Finalists in the Scottish Rural Awards 2020 – Twice!!
Finalist – ‘Most Sustainable Rural Business Award’
Finalist – ‘Best Countryside Digital Innovators’
We were unbelievably grateful and delighted to be in the running for the Scottish Rural Awards 2020 and are even more excited to be in the finals! It is fantastic that Organic Dairy Farming is once again in the spotlight and it is great that all our campaigning is being recognised.
It has been a busy time since last awards night – never a dull moment! We’ve expanded the team and even built a new Dairy to cope with the increased demand. Onwards and upwards!
Last year we won the Agriculture Award, so fingers crossed for April. The night is set to be compèred by the one and only Jim Smith, so it should be a good laugh in any case! There is also word that there may be some whisky on the tables: that would have pleased a certain former tenant of Mossgiel…
O Whisky! soul o’ plays and pranks!
Accept a bardie’s gratfu’ thanks!
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
Are my poor verses!
Thou comes-they rattle in their ranks,
At ither’s a-s!
Mossgiel is the first Dairy in the UK to completely stop using single-use plastic packaging.
All milk that leaves our farm gates does so in re-usable containers. During 2017/18, over 14.7 billion litres of milk were produced in the UK (1). This is a HUGE number! This results in an astronomical number of plastic bottles being manufactured, consumed and put in the bin. We believe that this model is hugely wasteful in terms of resources, we also believe that it is also completely un-necessary!
When it comes to delivering milk, as far as the environment is concerned, the old-fashioned way really is best. Remember the milkmen of yesteryear, delivering their locally-sourced product in re-usableglass packaging on their electric milk floats? Years ahead of their time…
Single-use plastic packaging is clogging up our oceans and entering our food chain. Despite the best efforts of many councils, not all plastic packaging even gets recycled. Plastic takes a very long time to break down, and even when it does it does not biodegrade, ending up as ‘micro-plastics’. These tiny particles are finding there way into the food chain with unknown consequences on animal and human health.
We can all learn to do things differently, to change our actions. The recent move away from single use plastic straws is a good example of this. A small change with a big impact. Let’s make Milk jugs next! It is not good enough to recycle them when we can re-use our milk packaging instead. This is not some airy-fairy good idea, decades from fruition, still in the development stage. This is a right-here, right-now technology. A simple, proven technology, able to be implemented today. We can do this! We must do this…
Mossgiel Organic Milk can be delivered in good old-fashioned 1 pint bottles. These are great for residential use and for commercial re-sale. They are also the perfect size for making a fantastic protein shake, where the non-homogenised cream not only makes it taste great, but also helps Vitamin absorption.
Mossgiel Organic Milk can also be delivered in 3 litre, 5 litre or 20 litre tubs.
When you are involved in the food industry using Milk, 1 pint bottles are likely going to be too small. That is why we can deliver our Organic Milk in more commercial-friendly sizes. The tubs, while made of plastic, work in exactly the same way as the bottles do. They are used then the empty tubs are picked up by our drivers when they make the next delivery to be sterilised and then used again.
There is a lot of press regarding the merits of recycling, almost to the point where it has become a bit of an article of faith for a lot of people. This is in some ways a good thing, but in other ways not so much. Wherever possible, it is better to re-use than recycle. It is in every way far more efficient.
Love the environment? Then re-cycling is the LAST thing that you should do! First Reduce, then Re-use, then Re-cycle.
This is a point that seems to have been lost from public debate recently. It needs to come back.
Recycling requires energy to do. Consider what happens to a standard 2L milk jug:
The milk is used and the jug is placed into the re-cycling bin.
Scenario 1. The jug is collected and because of some reason (the bin holding mixed recycling rather than just plastic; or, the council not having the facilities or the funding to do the job properly) the jug is not recycled at all and goes to landfill. Not a good outcome.
Scenario 2. The jug is collected and taken to a sorting facility. (Journey 1)
The jug is sorted. (Process 1)
The sorted jugs are sent to a plastic recycling plant. (Journey 2)
The jug is melted down to be made into something else. (Process 2)
The new object is transported to whatever factory needs to use it. (Journey 3)
So, for recycling, at least 2 processes and 3 journeys before the plastic can be useful again.
Compare that to the process that we use with our re-usable bottles and tubs:
The milk is used and the bottles or tubs are left out for collection by the driver.
The driver collects all the empty bottles and tubs while they are completing the same journey as the deliveries. i.e. no additional miles are traveled to pick up the empty containers.
The empty containers are returned to the washroom on the same site as the Milk Production and sterilised to be used again. (Process 1)
That’s it. 1 Process vs. 3 Processes and 2 Journeys.
Re-using is by definition different to re-cycling. It requires different behaviours and different habits. In our case, it might mean putting bottles back on the doorstep rather than into the recycling bin. It means doing things differently. But doing the same thing and expecting a different result, well, there’s a name for that.
Mossgiel Organic Milk can also be delivered in 3 litre, 5 litre or 20 litre tubs. Once emptied, these are then rinsed out and picked up by the delivery driver to be re-sterilised and used again. Zero single-use plastic waste. Genius. Our 3 and 5-litre re-usable tubs are mainly used by restaurants, cafes and coffee shops and our 20-litre tubs usually go to ice-cream makers.
Here at the Farm, we are fond of saying that if you care about the environment, then the last thing that you should be doing is re-cycling! Re-use beats re-cycle every time. That being said, it is also important that packaging is as practical as possible. To that end, we offer our Milk in a variety of sizes of containers:
2-Litre Re-usable Glass Bottles
Our 2-litre re-usable glass bottles have proved a hit not only with coffee shops that want to take advantage of fridge door space, but also with retailers. Customers have got into the the habit of buying milk in 2-litre containers and some people prefer this size to the traditional pints.
5-Litre Re-usable Plastic Tubs
Our 5-litre round tubs are our most popular commercial size as they can be fitted with a pouring lid to make them easier to decant.
20-Litre Re-usable Plastic Tubs
These are the containers of choice for people who use a lot of milk at once. They are easier to lift and carry than the Churns.
50-Litre Re-usable Metal Churns
Yes, Milk can still be delivered in churns! These are what sit inside our Milk dispensing machines in Locavore, Roots, Fruits and Flowers and Dandy’s Delicatessen. They are also the size of choice for Ice Cream makers, who go through a LOT of Milk!
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.’ “
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.
Organic & Locally Sourced – Delivered To Your Door!
Locavore, on the corner of Victoria Road and Calder Street on Glasgow’s South Side, is a wonderful place to go for all things Organic and Sustainable. They are one of Mossgiel’s biggest supporters, having a Milk Dispensing Machine, using our Milk in their ethically-sourced coffee and supplying pint bottles via their Veg-Box service! This means that if you live in Glasgow within range of this service, you can have Mossgiel Organic Milk delivered to your door along with your Organic Veg – sorted!
The Grocery contains hundreds of different types of Organically grown and ethically sourced produce adhering to the philosophy of keeping things as local as possible. To this end, Locavore even grow their own Organic Veg within the City – how’s that for keeping food miles to a minimum?!
Locavore have exactly the same outlook as ourselves when it comes to packaging – it’s better to re-use than to re-cycle! They have LOADS of dispensers in-store for things as diverse as flour and washing up liquid for you to bring your own containers along and re-fill. So why don’t you take a wee trip down to see them, buy a bottle from them and fill it with delicious Organic Milk? Then you can say good-bye forever to those awful plastic jugs you get in super-markets while you are enjoying the taste of proper, old-fashioned Milk (rather than the watered-down white water that you tend to find in the plastic milk jugs!).
While you’re at it, you might want to have a wee slice of their cake to celebrate taking the decision to eliminate an on-going source of plastic waste from your life. Such decisions are the only way that plastic problem is ever going to get sorted, so we would say that you definitely deserve it! And their cake is awfully good…