A LOCAL farm is celebrating a major milestone delivering fresh, organic produce to residents in the North-East.

Acorn Dairy, which is based in County Durham, is celebrating 20 years of its popular dairy delivery service.

The family business has been farming at Archdeacon Newton, near Darlington, since 1928 and in 1998 converted to an organic status before launching deliveries two years later.

Now, the firm delivers to thousands of households through its own fleet of drivers and a nationwide network of distributors.

Director Caroline Bell said: “We introduced our direct delivery service to allow us to access a sustainable selling price for our milk as it costs a lot more per litre to produce milk organically to our standards.

“Over the last twenty years the uptake we’ve received for direct deliveries is incredible.

"The peace of mind from knowing who is producing your food, the ease of doorstep delivery, plus the growing popularity of organic food standards, have led to a customer base across not only the North but reaching down to the South East.

“For some, organic is just a buzzword. They still do not know what makes organic food better that it’s non-organic counterpart.

"To us, it’s a way of life that we’re proud to be able to share with the community as it is better for our bodies, earth and wildlife.”

Graham Tweddle, Ms Bell’s brother and fellow director, added: “It’s great to see more people embrace organic options in their everyday lifestyle.

"Cow welfare and sustainability are our main priorities, which is something our customers have really picked up on and supported through deliveries.”

The family haven’t looked back since transitioning to organic farming, which they credit for better cow health and tastier milk.

The Northern Farmer:

This comes from greater attention to detail and farming with nature rather than against it.

As shoppers become more aware and interested in the provenance of their food, the family hope their single source milk will continue to grow in appeal.

During lockdown, alone the firm welcomed 680 new residential customers, filling doorstep delivery routes to the brim and being able to offer more households access to its organic produce.

According to research, 57 per cent of people surveyed said they will be more likely to spend money with a business that offers locally produced goods once lockdown is lifted – so the future is continuing to look bright for Acorn Dairy.

“From expanding our reach and connecting with more of the community, to sharing our passion for organic dairy farming, offering direct milk deliveries has given our organic farm a solid future," Ms Bell said.

"We have developed a few wrinkles and may no longer look as fresh as the milk, but when we look back, we are so very proud of what we and our team has achieved.

“Here’s to the next 20 years.”

The organic farmers are also eco-friendly, with their glass milk bottles average 69 trips from the farm to customers after efforts to reduce packaging and bring glass bottles to a new generation.