Yorkshire superheroes ensure the nation gets its supply of goats' milk supply

While the country remains in lockdown, a team of Yorkshire superheroes have been working round the clock to supply millions of litres of its milk to the nation.

By Sue Wilkinson
Wednesday, 27th May 2020, 2:09 pm
Operations manager at St Helens Farm Paul Dunlea

Staff at St Helen’s Farm in the small village of Seaton Ross, in the East Riding have been going to phenomenal lengths to ensure goats’ milk and goats’ milk products, which are vital for the good health of a lot of the farm’s customers, are packed fresh and delivered to supermarkets every day.

Between the start of the lockdown period in the UK and the upcoming World Milk Day on Monday June 1, the superheroes at St Helen’s Farm have ensured more than two million litres of goats’ milk have made it to fridges in homes up and down the country.

Products have also been donated to local food banks to ensure those experiencing hardship also have a supply.

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The team includes multi-skilled operatives, production supervisors, technicians, herdspeople, tanker drivers, engineers, quality assurance and compliance teams, marketing and purchasing teams, HR support and much more, all of whom have banded together – at a two-metre distance – to keep the wheels turning at the site.

Operations manager at St Helen’s Farm Paul Dunlea said: “As we approach World Milk Day, we’re reflecting on just how fantastic our colleagues at St Helen’s Farm and our suppliers have been during this really strange and difficult time.

"They’ve gone above and beyond to make sure we can safely provide millions of our delicious – and for some, extremely necessary – products, just as we normally would. I have never been more proud of our teams. They’ve shown true Yorkshire spirit.”

Yvonne Bettley, quality assurance and compliance officer said: “The best part of working at St Helen’s Farm is the people – we’re like a small family here at the farm, everyone gets on really well which makes it a great place to work.

"I can’t wait to be able to hug everyone again and I’m really looking forward to everyone from the farm going out together to celebrate the fact that we’ve all worked hard as a team and as a family. It will be great to let our hair down.”

There have, however, been some challenges during this time. Michael Burns, multi-skilled operator at St Helen’s Farm, said: “I love my job here at St Helen’s Farm and I’m so proud of how we’ve been able to continue producing our range and keeping the nation fed during this critical time.

"My role day to day brings lots of variety and with that comes moving around site a lot so social distancing has definitely impacted that. Working closely with other team members has become a bit of a challenge but everyone has really pulled together to make it work.

“Coronavirus has thrown so many curveballs at us and for me personally, childcare was made more difficult.

"During lockdown, my son has had to finish nursery a lot earlier and so I’ve required more flexibility on when my day ends. St Helen’s Farm has been a great help with that; the flexibility and support here has been superb. When all this is over, I can’t wait for a trip to the park with my son and a trip to the pub with colleagues.”

Evidence shows people have been enjoying goats’ milk for millennia. Packed full of prebiotics and bursting with vitamins and minerals, goats’ milk has earned an army of fans, including Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey**.

Leading nutritionist and best-selling author Amanda Hamilton explains why she considers goats’ milk a superfood: “For me to call something a superfood I’d be looking for something with exceptional levels of nutrient density, or some kind of added benefit that’s hard to get in other ways. From my point of view, something like goats’ milk should have the superfood label as it is gentler on the tummy for many people and you don’t miss out on the vital calcium, vitamins and minerals that you expect from milk. I introduced it to my daughter who had trouble with cows’ milk and now we all just love the taste.”

At times like this, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the nation is eating as well as they possibly can to keep themselves in good health. Naturally good for you, goats’ milk contains 11% of the NRV for Vitamin A, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system, and its levels of calcium contribute to the normal function of the digestive enzymes. It’s nutritionally closer to cows’ milk than any other alternatives yet has certain physical properties that sets it apart, like being slightly lower in lactose, having different proteins and fats, and being four times higher in prebiotics, which may contribute to good gut health.

St Helen’s Farm is part of the Kavli Group. It is the UK’s largest goats’ milk producer, with a 64% share of the fresh goats’ milk market and 92% of the goats’ yogurt market.

Its products includes fresh milk, yogurts, cheese and butter. It has been farming goats in East Yorkshire for more than 30 years.