Cream O’Galloway

Simply Natural

Tuesday 2 June 2009, by Marta Robledillo, Monica Tonisastre, Wendy Cuypers

Why Cream O’Galloway?

We all know that there are lots of companies that use organically grown ingredients to produce their products. Organic food is made according to certain production standards, such as avoiding the use of non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. Although it is an important fact, it is not enough. Cream O’Galloway goes further with its activities and tries to trade ethically and to reduce their impact on the environment, which they say it means a fair deal for the growers and a guilt free treat for the costumers. The founders of Cream O’Galloway, Wilma Finlay and her husband David, have worked hard to achieve an economically sustainable business by leaving behind the conventional agricultural methods and supporting organic farming which benefit wildlife rather than threaten it. So we can say that we have chosen this company because it really stands out from other organic farms in reducing their impact on the environment.

The main facts about the activities of the company

Cream o’ Galloway Dairy Farm is an organic dairy farm launched to increase biodiversity and enhance visitors’ experience. Cream O’Galloway was founded in the early 1990s on David’s family farm, called Rainton farm. During the 80s and 90s, there was a lot of pressure to intensify food production to compete with larger scale industrial farms. After trying to be more competitive, they realized that the intensification of the farm was causing more problems than it was solving. The farm needed to find new ways to make it economically sustainable, so with Wilma’s interest in ethical business combined with David’s scepticism about the usual agricultural methods, they decided to diversify. They turned again to the cheese making, as they did some years ago, and also they converted the old farm building into an ice-cream factory.
After two years of research and development, the company was ready to make ice-cream and they opened the farm to the public to educate people on sustainable farming and quality in 1994. They now produce around 30 types of ice-creams, frozen yogurts and frozen smoothies all made with natural ingredients and organic milk from their own farm in South West Scotland. In the farm we can find dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep living in a superb animal welfare.
So after opening the ice-cream factory, the site became a popular tourism destination, more concretely, an eco-tourism one. The factory opened the doors of the visitor centre, where you can by an ice-cream, where you can make a picnic or where your children can pass a great day in their adventure playground. Also in the same place you can try to enjoy miles of nature trails with wildlife watching, take your dog for a walk or make one of their cycle tracks. As well as, during July and August there is an activity where you can try to do your own ice cream and then eat it! For the factory is very important to show to the visitors the way that they make their ice-creams and show them how they are dealing with the environment in an ethically and responsible way.

The ethical challenges this company is addressing

The mission of Cream O’Galloway is to continue developing new management techniques that take them closer to a sustainable livelihood. But their organic approach is only the beginning of their commitment to green principles. They try to recycle as much material as possible, including the materials used on the farm, apart of the products used to produce. Energy efficiency and waste recycling are very important at the creamery.

Running the farm with all its activities has considerable energy costs so they are always looking at ways to make their energy consumption more sustainable. That’s why they have decided to insulate the households on the farm to reduce heating costs. Perhaps the most important and new factor for Rainton Farm is the heating of one of the buildings, which uses ground-source heat pumps. This system use the solar heating maintained in a constant temperature just below the ground’s surface. They installed 600m of underground piping beneath a cycle tracks through which the water can circulate and the farm is warmed by this constant temperature. They are also well concerned about the importance of using renewable resources like solar energy. Although, Scotland has not the sunniest climate, they have installed solar panels that have provided roughly 50% of the water heating costs. Furthermore, to solve this handicap with the sun, they also use a wind turbine that generates electricity whenever the wind rises above 12.5 mph. Actually the turbine is owned by the local community, so they purchase the electricity from them and the proceeds go to community projects.

But we should take into account that the creation of this sustainable model is not easy and, as we can imagine, all the installations have cost an important amount of money. Cream O’Galloway has faced up all these difficulties in order to preserve a sustainable development of its economic activities.

What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

What makes us to think that Cream O’Galloway has ethic behaviour is the way they produce their ice-creams and smoothies. Rainton Farm turned an organic farm in 1999 when the Soil Association certified that it was a chemical-free farm. The Soil Association returns every year to ensure that they are producing according to standards: this company audits chemical-free farmers every year in order to retain the certificate they receive.

We also think that this quality rural entrepreneurship brings indirect support to the public towards more conscious and quality consumption. As well as, the local economy of the area benefits from the visitors coming to the farm.

The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

The possible challenges for the future include diversifying into organic lamb and pork and joining with other farmers in the area to run a cooperative abattoir. From our point of view, the company could improve their marketing activities in order to expand their products far away from the Britain supermarkets.

Bibliography

http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/
http://www.greentourism.org.uk/CreamOGalloway
http://www.ethicsgirls.co.uk/Wilma-Finlay

Location: Gatehouse of Fleet (United Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland)

Sector: organic fairtrade dairy ice cream & frozen smoothies

Official website: http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk

Nbr. visits: 230