Cartoon couple have dairy crisis licked

25 August 2000

Cartoon couple have dairy crisis licked

By Nigel Burnham

A NORTHUMBERLAND dairy farmer and his wife have beaten the crisis in the industry by turning themselves into cartoon characters on the packaging of their luxury handmade ice creams.

Neill and Jackie Maxwell, of Doddington Dairy, near Wooler, already sell their own cheese in many parts of the country.

But milk prices have fallen so dramatically in the past three years that they decided a new idea was needed to stay in business.

Mrs Maxwell said: We decided on luxury handmade ice cream because, with 250 cows on the farm, we have plenty of spare milk.

And then we decided that as ice cream is a fun product we would turn ourselves, our family and our five employees, into cartoon characters depicting life on a working farm.

Each carton has a cartoon on the side featuring caricatures of everyone who works at the dairy.

One shows four of the dairys female staff swooning over the local vet, who has arrived to check over the cows.

For the last three months the couple have been selling their ice cream, priced at 2.95 a carton, at farmers markets throughout Northumberland.

The product is now available in specialist food shops in the northeast and Scotland — and can also be bought direct from Doddington Dairy.

Neill Maxwell confesses to having “put on a few pounds” testing the ice cream range, whose names include Utter Chocolate, Simply Vanilla and Home Made Fudge Chunk.

As a result of the success of the ice cream venture one job had been saved and another full-time job and one part-time job created, he added.

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