Virgin Trains invests in local dairy farmers.
UK-wide farms will provide over half a million pints of fresh milk a year to trains on the West Coast Mainline.
Average distance between farm and train depot of just 16 miles.
Virgin Trains is to stock regionally sourced fresh milk on all of its trains in a move to support local British dairy farmers.
In a deal struck with Enterprise Foods, the fresh milk will be supplied from dairies as close as 7 miles from the West Coast Mainline and will be delivered to the nearest Virgin Trains depot for distribution along the route. The move will increase the business cost of fresh milk by 8%.
Over the course of a year, more than 300,000 litres of fresh milk (528,000 pints) will be used across the 300Virgin Trains services that run each day to be enjoyed by passengers in their teas and coffee.
The fresh milk is sourced from dairies that run closely along the West Coast Mainline, such as Mortons in Liverpool and Yester Farm in Edinburgh, a family run farm which strives to keep food miles low by completing the entire production process on site, from milking through to pasteurisation. The Yester farm also prides itself on giving the cows the freedom to graze on lush pasture in summer as well as having specially designed sheds to house them in the winter.
Simon McCreery, Managing Director of Yester Farm said:
“Partnering with a large organisation like Virgin Trains to deliver regional produce to customers is really exciting. We know that supplying on such a scale whilst remaining environmentally friendly is difficult and it’s testament to Virgin Trains’ ethos that they’ve made this move to support local farmers.”
Amanda Smit, Head of Catering, from Virgin Trains said:
“Virgin Trains is a company that prides itself on going the extra mile to make its customers happy and this also extends to the people we do business with. We’ve been buying local produce for some time now and the benefits we see to businesses and passengers alike is always positive – Thistly Cross Tilting Cider is a another great example, brewed in Scotland especially for Virgin Trains. By buying fresh local milk we know we can support local farmers in their business whilst also providing quality produce for passengers on our trains who want to relax with a cup of tea whilst we whisk them to their destination.”