They have set up AC Dairies and are retailing their own range of milks through vending machines at the Caledonia Park shopping centre in Gretna and direct from the farm too.
Craig, who is the fourth generation of Moffat dairy farmers, had been considering the idea of direct selling their herd’s own milk for about six years but initially decided against it because of all the infrastructure involved, from filling and delivering bottles to the collection and washing element.
However, the arrival of vending machines proved a game changer.
He said: “They were the obvious solution to it. People can pass our doorstep and reuse the glass bottles.
“One night after seeing Countryfile and speaking to a friend who had just started milk vending, we decided to make the investment and go for it.”
It took nine months to get everything ready, including setting up a pasteurising room, building the vending sheds, sourcing stock and finalising branding.
They worked with Daisy Vending and selected a 400 litre machine for the mall and a 200 litre for the farm, both with milkshake options and customised with photos of some of their pedigree Holsteins in the field.
Explaining the process from cow to cup, Craig said: “We pasteurise at the start of evening milking. Milking the low yielding first to ensure the best quality of milk goes to our machines.
“From the parlour, the milk goes through a filter then straight into the pasteuriser at 32 degrees. This process heats the milk up to 64 degrees and holds it at this temperature for 30 mins. The milk is then transferred to the holding tank passing through a plate cooler, to drop the temperature down to 3.5 degrees as quickly as possible.
“From there it’s pumped into the smaller tanks and transferred to the built in fridge in the vending machine.”
Being as environmentally friendly as possible is also another key consideration and they believe their new venture helps keep their carbon footprint low with local delivery, biodegradable cups and reusable glass bottles.
The couple, who have two children Alexander and Isla, are delighted at the response so far to their products and are already thinking about expansion and phase two.