Dec. 17, 2012 - Home Delivery of Milk: a return to an icon of a bygone era



Consumer demand for locally produced food has spread to the dairy industry as dairies from around the country are jumping on the popular farm-to-table movement by selling freshly pasteurized milk directly to consumers.
milk bottles

Since fluid milk sales have dropped to about 20 gallons on a per-capita many local dairies are hoping to increase sales through on-site stores and home delivery services.

The increase in price is more than offset by the freshness of the product and the convenience of home delivery. The support for local food production is an added plus.

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Home delivery of milk makes comeback
Article from Dairy Herd Network

The days of the friendly neighborhood milkman are no longer just reserved for memories of the bygone era of Norman Rockwellesque communities. Now, dairies from around the country are jumping on the popular farm-to-table movement by selling freshly pasteurized milk directly to consumers.

By providing the freshest milk possible through on-site stores and home delivery services, dairies hope to re-ignite interest in milk and dairy products as fluid milk sales fall to 20.04 gallons on a per-capita basis.

"I know there’s a lot of interest being expressed and there’s a lot of wait-and-see attitude, but people want to buy locally and know where their food comes from. Nobody really knows how strong the buy fresh local movement is, but it seems like it is growing," Noel Rosa, co-owner of Rosa Brothers Milk Company, said in an interview with the Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta.

Rosa’s Hanford-based dairy is one of the latest dairies in California to jump on the farm fresh wagon. Though the dairy does not offer home delivery service at this time, the dairy has plans to transport milk to a Tulare, Calif., bottling plant where the milk will be sold in glass bottles directly to customers through an on-site store.

Ron Locke, owner of Top O’ the Morn Farms in Tulare, is also marketing directly to consumers. Locke’s dairy is planning to begin home delivery to area residents and also open a drive-thru dairy kiosk.

Locke recently spoke with John Maday, associate editor for Dairy Herd Network’s sister site Drovers CattleNetwork, to discuss how his dairy ensures animal health and welfare and its decision to move to home milk delivery.

"We can be in charge of the whole chain -- from the cow to the table. We can guarantee everything in-between," Locke said.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, one dairy is teaming with Central Wisconsin Dairy Delivery to provide fresh milk to thirsty consumers, according to the Central Wisconsin Hub. For Tom Lamers, co-owner and sales and distribution manager of Lamers Dairy, home dairy delivery is all about customer convenience while promoting local agriculture.

Fresh milk comes at a price,

costing up to $3.50 per half-gallon. However, many consumers are happy to pay a little extra for the convenience of home delivery and good-tasting milk in glass bottles.