Farm applies for planning to build hut to house milk vending machine

A milk vending machine could come to an Isle of Wight farm as a way of diversifying their products.

Mr and Mrs Bradley of Crockers Farm, on Cowes Road, have submitted a planning application to the Isle of Wight Council to build a timber hut which would house a milk vending machine.

Milk vending machines are becoming ever more popular with farms as a way of supplying milk to paying customers whenever they want it — supplying, farm fresh, pasteurised milk at a push of a button.

There would also be room for five parking spaces.

In a planning statement, agents said the large dairy farm was looking at ways of diversifying what they supplied in light of the uncertainty surrounding milk prices.

Plans have accelerated recently due to the impact of Covid-19, where orders for fresh milk were high, fulfilling ‘unprecedented’ supermarket demand as a result of panic buying.

But with the situation stabilising, overall demand reducing and the price per litre of milk falling, Mr and Mrs Bradley are hoping to pasteurise the milk produced on the farm and then sell it in a refrigerated vending machine.

Most of the milk produced by the farm’s herd, of 400 to 450 cows, will still be collected by a milk tanker but the vending machine would allow the applicants to sell the milk ‘at a price above that which they receive from the food service sector and supermarket sales’ while still provide a saving to customers as they buy directly from the farm.

Planning agents said it would allow the farm to ‘cut out the middle man’, letting the farm serve locals and provide a small scale sustainable farm agricultural diversification scheme.

Due to health and safety restrictions, a timber hut on the main track to the farm has been proposed.

To comment on the application, you can view the application (20/00740/FUL) on the council’s planning portal from Friday (May 29), when the application is advertised, for 21 days.