26 July 2002

Yogurt is a money spinner

THERE were only 50 cows to see at Llaeth y Llan, Tal y Bryn, Llannefydd, but BGS members also had the opportunity to inspect the farms successful yogurt production unit.

Gareth Roberts explained that two decades ago he and his wife Falmai were struggling to survive on their 21ha (52 acre) unit. Having tried a milk round and selling skimmed milk and cream, they climbed on the health food bandwagon and concentrated on making yogurt.

They still have a flying herd of 50 milkers which average 7000 litres. All cows are put to a Hereford bull and the aim is to have cows in milk all year. To achieve good milk quality, big bale silage is buffer fed throughout the grazing season.

A further 4500 litres of purchased milk is processed each day into standard yogurt and a range of 25 high quality deserts, including some containing liqueurs. The business has been growing at the rate of 30%/year and customers include Safeway and Waitrose, some Continental supermarkets and wholesalers.

While much of Mr Roberts time is spent on the creamery side, he still milks cows at the weekend. He advised visiting producers that if they had a good diversification idea and determination they should go for it. &#42

The Roberts have grown his business through a yogurt enterprise.