Friday, August 22, 2008

Mobile Dairy

A local coop in England has come up with an innovative idea to try to help their dairy farmers experiment with adding value to their product. I call it the business incubator on wheels!

In 2002 a group of milk producers there got together to try to figure out how to turn their money losing operations around. One of the ideas thrown around was to add more value to their product by producing such products as cheese, yogurt and ice cream. A lab was set up at Reaseheath College in Nantwich but the distance to the college was a major inhibitor to innovation.

So two of the participants, Sue Prince and Sarah Helliwell, came up with the idea of the Dairy Wagon. Prince Charles was the keynoter at the inauguration of the mobile dairy this year.

Already, John and Jane Marsden produce their own Hope Valley ice cream and Tina Bowler is making her own cheese.

Local production…niche products…they’re both ideas that are growing in importance in the USA. Perhaps this is an idea that we can copy from the Brits to accelerate both trends.


Eric P said...

I think a typical knee-jerk reaction would be "Gas is way too expensive for it to be profitable."
However fuel is far more costly in EU and these folks seem to be making it profitable.
I believe "niche anything", business particularly, is the key to a successful US economy. A great place to start would be in our rural areas. The economic slump/recession has hit us particularly hard.
Thanks for the news Jack. Ive been a long time subscriber - I just comment less than I should

BoomtownUSA said...

Eric: Thanks for the comment. I read them all and love to stay in touch with my readers, responding to every email that I get, even if it sometimes on the weekends when I'm catching up on emails.

I'm constantly looking for new niche ideas because I, along with you, believe that the key for many businesses/small towns are finding profitable niches.