£36,194.68 FUNDED

Milk Vending Project

Trink Dairy Ltd

To convert an existing office into a milk processing room and install relevant pasteurising and processing equipment, vending machines and appropriate cover and storage space on the farm for the sale of the milk.

Milk dairy shakes up the industry

Milk has been a staple part of the British diet for so long that we expect its presence in our village stores, cafes and schools, and at home in our own fridges. For decades, colour-coded bottle tops have helped guide shoppers to select their preferred level of “skim”, but do consumers really understand the content and cost of this culinary essential?

Helping milk-lovers to understand and experience the taste of real farm-fresh milk is Rachel Knowles, Owner/Director of Trink Dairy. She and her husband, Chris, who admit that they have farming “in their blood,” manage their family-run farm and dairy near St Ives in Cornwall.

As a nation, we’re accustomed to the flavour and consistency of supermarket milk; however, Rachel explains that big chains, such as supermarkets, use factories that “over-process milk.” In fact, “All milk you buy is reconstituted,” she says. In contrast, Trink Dairy milk is neither homogenised (a process that prevents cream from rising to the top) or standardised(a process that removes the cream, then re-adds fat to a specific percentage). Instead, it is only pasteurised – Rachel describes it as “pure milk, not altered.”

LEADER funding enhances food education
Trink offers a literal window into the milk world; there are observation windows fitted into the milking parlour so that visitors can learn more about the pure milk process. “We have school visits and give talks,” says Rachel. “It’s very important for helping young people understand where their food comes from.” But getting the site visitor-ready was a challenge that required funding, so Rachel and Chris approached LEADER for crucial investment.

With a funding package in place, the team could create their own small processing facility, on site at the farm. The investment helped the business undertake building work, drive marketing, install signage and CCTV, and acquire essential dairy machinery for pasteurising and bottling. In addition, Trink Dairy invested in a milk vending machine that Rachel is proud to declare “open 24 hours!” With this stroke, the company is setting a high bar for convenience and sustainability!

On the subject of bars, Trink Dairy has recently opened its own Milkshake Bar – another win for school visitors.“It seems to be very popular,” says Rachel, who admits that this was the brainchild of her innovative daughter, Maddy, 23. In fact, the success of this venture has encouraged the team to invest further in this market with a milkshake vending machine on its way.

Reflecting on the impact of the funding, Rachel explains that without the LEADER Programme “I wouldn’t have done it.” The investment into her community-driven business has continued to pay off: Trink Dairy has won numerous prestigious awards for its pure milk, and customers seem to be very happytoo: as Rachel explains, “sales have gone up year on year.”

To find out more about Trink Dairy, go to

Key documents