Cotteswold Dairy

Cotteswold Dairy runs like a well-oiled machine – and you’d expect nothing less with three generations of the Workman family coming down through the business. What started as the basic foundations of Cotteswold Dairy, “Service, Quality and Cleanliness”, still live strong in the business, passed down from one generation to the next. Roger, Cotteswold Dairy Chairman and son of Founder, Harry shares their simple wisdom: “You can only sell rubbish once.”

Roger began working at his father’s dairy when he was “this high” and tells us, “It was just in my blood, it’s something I’ve always had a passion about.” His own daughter, Louise, Director and Company Secretary at Cotteswold, agrees: “I’ve just grown up with the milk. When I was little, dad used to strap me to the back of the lorry in my pushchair, so it’s been my whole life really.”

The mantra of ‘Service, Quality and Cleanliness’ has served Cotteswold well, as Louise tells us: “We’ve won a lot of awards for our products and that shows that the quality of our products is good. We’ve even got Great Taste awards for our milk; I don’t think that happens very often.” To their customers, “We are known for our quality.” And this, of course, starts at the farms. Roger tells us, “We’ve always tried to pay a bit more to our farmers in our sector of the business, and they must do their job. There is only one way of doing a job, and that’s the right way. They must look after the animals.”

As for ‘Service’, that’s also imperative at both ends of the supply chain. Of the farmers who supply them, Louise explains, “We work with just under 50 local farms; family farms in about a 50-mile radius of here. We have a farm liaison officer who works closely with our farmers and helps and advises them on good practise, ensuring that we get good quality coming to us.”

Roger concurs when he jokes, “One of the farms we’ve had for 81 years – the cows are worn out! We’ve had a lot of farms for a long, long time and again I think they like to know where their milk is going to; it’s going locally. We’ve done the job right and they feel they’re secure with us and that means a lot to them.” As for their customers, Roger explains, “If we are always best at doing the job and produce a first-class product, then the customer can’t get any better.” As for their customers, Roger explains, “If we are always best at doing the job and produce a first-class product, then the customer can’t get any better.”

A forward-thinking attitude is another benefit of working with Cotteswold Dairy. Roger remembers, “Years and years ago when organic milk was at the forefront, you could only get organic milk in a plastic poly-bottle. So, I thought it was contradictory as organic milk needed to be in a glass, re-usable, returnable bottle – because it’s all the same green thinking. We were the first dairy in the country to put organic milk and sell it through a glass bottle for the benefit of us and also the benefit of the customer.”

As a family business, pitching in and working together is at the core of Cotteswold Dairy. Roger tells us, “I’d never ask someone to do a job I wouldn’t do myself. Speak nicely to people and treat everyone with respect; we’re all equal, we’re all the same.” This ethos has worked its way through the family, as Louise agrees, “Make every-day count. Have a good attitude, come into work however you are feeling. Just try and be cheerful and happy and smiley. Treat everyone with respect and just all work together well.”

Roger collects Cotteswold Dairy memorabilia, and other dairy related items in his office. These are just a few samples!