This year’s Organic Food Awards feature a special dairy award for Best Organic Dairy, with Acorn Dairy of Darlington taking the hotly contested prize. The award was based on extra criteria including farm management, conservation, animal welfare and community involvement, as well as taste
Acorn’s exemplary practices were highlighted for particular praise. Central to this, said the judges, is a high level of time spent with their animals, ensuring any problems can be caught and treated early.
The farm has also been recognised for their commitment to biodiversity and energy conservation. Working closely with RSPB volunteers, the farm now boasts over 70 bird species and a 16 acre reversion meadow, which forms part their Stewardship scheme. The farm’s milking parlour is fitted with solar panels and a smart energy system generates hot water for the parlour wash out. Autumn 2012 will hopefully also see Acorn become the first farm to have its own wind turbine, which will supply directly the farm’s energy needs.
In addition to striving for farming excellence through high animal welfare and energy efficiency, providing local food for local people at competitive prices is integral to Acorn’s entire farming philosoph
Chief judge and food writer Lynda Brown said: ”Acorn Farm is a gem – the kind of local farming enterprise that makes your heart jump for joy. Their farming practices, their commitment to care for the environment, animal welfare, and local, and their obvious dedication to their customers is inspirational. Acorn produces high-quality, delicious dairy products at competitive prices, and it is an outstanding example of why family farms are so important.”