Dairy farmers on the Isle of Wight have launched a new brand of milk that is produced, processed and packaged on the island.
The brand, I Love Isle of Wight Milk, was officially launched at the Cowes branch of the Southern Co-operative on Tuesday (6 November).
The Island Dairy Group said about 80% of the milk currently produced was transported off the island, while mainland milk was brought on.
The new product aims to ensure dairy farmers are paid a fair price for the milk they produce and to cut out unnecessary transport and costs.
The Isle of Wight had 300 dairy farms in the 1960s, but there are now just 15. It is hoped farmers will buy into the new brand and help reinvigorate the local dairy industry.
The milk is already available to buy in stores on the island, including Tesco, Southern Co-operative Stores and Freshwater. Depending on public demand it will be rolled out to other Co-op stores.
The milk will also soon start appearing on the shelves of a number of smaller shops and convenience stores across the island. Local catering suppliers Medina Valley Foods also plans to sell the milk.
Louise Hart, secretary of the Island Dairy Farmers Group, said: “Working closely with Rew Valley Dairies, we are looking forward to rolling out our new brand featuring our distinctive logo across the island.
“Most milk is sold through supermarkets, so we are working hard to get them on board, although there are lots of hoops to jump through.”
Organisers of the new brand have launched an online petition to encourage island shops to sell the milk in their stores.
Isle of Wight dairy farmers and the island’s MP Andrew Turner launched the campaign at the Garlic Festival in August.
Mr Turner said: “This is an easy way for anyone to support our island economy. Buying this milk will support island cows, island farmers and help to protect our beautiful countryside – so I hope people will look out for it.”
Dairy farmers across the UK have been campaigning for suppliers to pay them a fairer price for their milk following an abysmal summer, poor yields and mounting feed costs.