Q – Are your cows grass fed?
A – Dairy cows are usually fed grass during the summer months and conserved forage (grass or maize silage, or hay) in the winter. These forages may be supplemented with cereals. Animal welfare is a key issue for us. All of our Cows are well cared for and the milk is produced in a safe and hygienic environment.
Q – Is your cheese suitable for vegetarians?
A – All of our cheeses are suitable for vegetarians with the exception of Cave Aged Cheddar, Cave Aged Goat Cheese and Traditional Crofter Sheep. These cheeses are coated with an animal fat which creates the rind on the outer surface. Cheeses from our ‘Flavours’ range which are not suitable for Vegetarians include Cheddar with Port & our Cheddar with Truffles.
Q – What is the ‘white film’ on my Coastal Cheddar?
A – Sometimes you may encounter a white film on the surface of the cheese. This is normally due to the precipitation of salt or calcium lactate crystals from the cheese. This is a perfectly normal phenomenon and the cheese is entirely fit for consumption.
Q – Are your cheeses hormone free?
A – The use of growth hormones is not permitted in the UK, and all of the milk that we use for the production of our cheddar is antibiotic free. All of our milk is fully tested prior to acceptance of each delivery to confirm the absence of antibiotics.
Q – Please tell me if you feed your cows GMO (genetically altered) feed, or are they grass fed, meaning that they graze?
A – The Barber Family , our parent company, have been farming and making cheese since 1833. Over six generations, land has steadily been added and the dairy herds have grown accordingly. The farms now comprise of 3000 acres of land and 2000 Holstein Friesian cows which in turn produce a substantial amount of the milk required for cheese making.
Managing our own herds allows us to produce the ideal milk for cheese making and also to understand the needs of other farmer producers in trying to achieve the same. As a company we are committed to seeing agriculture and dairy farming in particular remain a significant part of the local economy and protect a way of life for generations to come.
Dairy cows are usually fed grass during the summer months and conserved forage (grass or maize silage, or hay) in the winter. These forages may be supplemented with cereals. Cows are well cared for and the milk is produced in a safe and hygienic environment. The use of growth hormones is not permitted in the UK, and all of the milk that we use for the production of our cheddar is antibiotic free, with all milk being tested prior to acceptance of each delivery to confirm the absence of antibiotics.
All of the milk that we process is from UK farms which are accredited to the Assured Dairy Farms Standard (formally Red Tractor Farm Assurance Dairy Scheme), which sets out to maintain, develop and promote Assurance standards within the dairy industry.
This scheme allows for producers of milk to feed supplementary feedstock of assured standard, which may contain ingredients such as maize and soya from world sources, where GM sources proliferate and for which, controls are not in place to distinguish between GM and non-GM sources. It is therefore concluded that that some of the milk supply used to make the cheese is likely to have come from cows fed on a diet which could contain GM ingredients. The milk from such cows is accepted as GM free since it does not directly contain the DNA of the GM ingredient itself. We do not use any primary GM ingredients in the processing of milk to produce cheese and it is therefore concluded that the cheese can be declared as GM free and in compliance with current UK legislation.
Q – Is your cheese gluten free?
A – All of our cheese is gluten free with the exception of Cheddar with Mustard & Ale. We have strict controls in place in the Ford Farm Dairy to ensure that cross contamination does not take place. We also have verification procedures to confirm that the controls and cleaning procedures in place are sufficient to eliminate any risk of contamination to our products.
Q – How do I remove the wax from a truckle?
A – Score across the centre of the top of the truckle with a sharp knife, cutting through the wax layer. Turn the truckle through 90 degrees and repeat to create 4 x quarters. Follow each of the lines of cutting down the side of the truckle and then peel the wax off.
Q – What breed of cows are used to produce milk for the manufacture of our cheese?
A – The majority of cows within the supply base remain pedigree Holstein/Friesians, but with an increasing prevalence of channel island and continental breeds being cross bred into herds. The change in breed types providing increasing utilisation of grass/forage, and efficient conversion of this into high butterfat and protein constituents, these being the essential building blocks for cheese making.