Mossgiel Farm was once home to Scotland's Bard, Robbie Burns, and is now farmed by Bryce Cunningham and his family, who are looking to bring natural, whole Ayrshire food back to our plates.
As the third generation of our family to sign the lease of the land at Mossgiel Farm, Farmer Bryce was desperate to secure a sustainable future for the farm. Unfortunately, soon after taking over the reins of the business, his father died of lung cancer and the UK dairy industry entered the worst downfall in prices for generations. Faced with losing the ‘family jewels' and possibly being forced to leave the farm, Bryce decided to work with nature to ensure a sustainable and ethical future for their environment, community and of course – their Ayrshire cows.
Their sustainable farming dream began in 2015. Bryce was fed up being controlled by an unforgiving dairy industry, controlled by mega-dairies. Being paid just 15p per litre of milk to look after the ‘Mossgiel Girls' (their herd of AWESOME Ayrshire cows who live on the farm) and provide an income for their family: meant they were losing £10,000 per month. It wasn't sustainable – the future of the land, the girls and their home was under threat; all while their son, Boss Arran, was just 1 year old. Things had to change.
Bryce and his family decided to take charge of their future – they notified the dairy that they would no longer be supplying them, and decided they would offer the Mossgiel Girls' awesome, non-homogenised milk directly to the customer; a pasteuriser was installed on-farm to reduce food miles to zero, and they signed up to become an Organic dairy farm – they were ready to go! Starting with a few hugely enthusiastic supporters in their home county of Ayrshire, the Mossgiel team quickly found themselves supplying some of the most highly regarded speciality coffee shops across Scotland – they couldn't believe how much support their girls' non-homogenised milk attracted!
The Mossgiel Girls are at the very heart of the family farming story; eating what they should be – a purely Organic, grass based diet and spending the damp Ayrshire summers grazing the free-range historic pastures of Mossgiel Farm – the very farm where a mildly famous Scottish farmer by the name of ‘Robert Burns' once wrote a few poems and songs.
Mossgiel have come a long way on their sustainable journey, and they're continuing to make waves in the industry as they are currently around £2,500 off their £10,000 crowdfunding target, which would enable them to buy 63,000 glass milk bottles in a bid to become the UK's first plastic-free organic dairy farm. As part of the goal to rid his farm of plastic waste, Mossgiel want to be able to provide miniature metal milk churns for the cafes and coffee shops they supply, and glass bottles for consumers. They were initially quoted high rates of interest for a capital loan, so decided to try to crowdfund for the sustainable initiative. They soon raised three-quarters of the overall sum required but need another £2,500 to do away with plastic completely.
The team at Mosssgiel have taken back control of their future, and have ensured a sustainable future for generations to come. They are very excited to be on a journey to a sustainable, organic future, and they have many more chapters of their story to come.