WINNER FOR DIVERSIFICATION INNOVATOR
OF THE YEAR – SMALL TO MEDIUM
Sponsored by: Firma Foreign Exchange
Hesper Farm Skyr, Hesper Farm, North Yorkshire
Headed up by Sam Moorhouse, Hesper Farm is a third generation family-run dairy unit situated in the Yorkshire Dales, who began producing the Icelandic ‘superfood’ Skry in 2015.
After concerns about falling dairy prices, the family decided to diversify while continuing to make use of their 180-strong pedigree Holstein Friesian herd.
When he came across an article on the Icelandic dairy industry, Sam became acquainted with the high protein, low fat and sugar yoghurt Skyr, and noticed a gap in the current health conscious U.K food market where he believed it would fit.
The initial product and market research took Sam to Iceland to work with a traditional Skry maker, learning age-old techniques of traditional production.
With no previous processing experience, he also set out to learn the ropes of dairy production and business management.
The initial investments in machinery and technology now gives the farm full capability to supply major regional contracts with a product they are proud of.
At present, Hesper Farm Skyr is stocked in around 30 Booths and nine Morrisons stores, with the aim of covering the whole Yorkshire area by the end of the year.
Sam works closely with stockists, restaurants and cafes, also using social media channels to reach new consumers and promote the Hesper Farm ethos of quality and innovation.
By solidifying his brand in the marketplace, Sam has the aim of achieving national provenance be it though a major retailer or via online sales and subscriptions.
On winning the award, Sam said: Winning this award is so welcome not just for me but for the brand that’s now created. You always have to go that extra mile in farming, especially now when everything seems to be changing. It feels great to be recognised.
The judges said about Sam: Sam has developed a new product exclusive to the dairy market and has contributed to securing the family’s future as farmers. He extensively researched the product, learnt how to make it and has a clear business plan, sharing his knowledge as he grows. A brilliant and innovative initiative.