Yoghurt: Yogurt or yoghurt or yoghourt (/ˈjoʊɡərt/ or /ˈjɒɡərt/; other spellings listed below) is a fermented milk product (soy milk, nut milks such as almond milk, and coconut milk can also be used) produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”.
Support British farmers; buy British; we’re all part of a family and very hands on; we do the right thing…these are some of the phrases that will forever stay with me when I think about Yeo Valley Farm or eat some of their fabulous yoghurt.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Yeo Valley HQ and go on the most wonderful farm tour. As soon as we walked into the building we were welcomed; as we walked down the ‘reasons to be cheerful’ corridor on our way to a cup of tea and some of the most delicious cakes I’ve eaten we were made to feel at home, and by the end of the day we felt like we had experienced a taste of what it feels like to be part of the wonderful, passionate family that makes up Yeo Valley.
I must admit that as I set off in the morning I didn’t know what to expect. I packed my welly boots thinking I’d be wading through mud and admiring cows from afar! The boots were not needed, but the cows were admired…both from afar and close up, including the most adorable Hereford cross bull calf born only the night before.
The tour started with a walk around some of the fields surrounding the farm, learning from the brilliant Les all about the geographical history of the landscape and how over time man has shaped the landscape whilst working in harmony with it.
We learnt about what it truly means to be organic and that Yeo Valley is an organisation that stretches across the South West, surrounding the M4 and M5 and employing around 1600 people. The views across the landscape from the fields were breathtaking and it was whilst we were all admiring them that we learnt something that none of us knew before…Yeo Valley yoghurt is the ONLY British owned and produced yoghurt on the market! It amazed us all that so much yoghurt is imported…we couldn’t fathom out why! We need to support British farmers more!
Lunch was eaten in one of the converted old redundant farm buildings. I ate far too much cheese (thank you for your portion Jenny Paulin!) and ended the meal with my favourite flavour of lemon curd yoghurt. Next were the gorgeous cows (never thought I’d say that about cows!) and we learnt about the different types of cows there are on the farm. That some are pregnant now, others dry for a short period of time and how the bulls fall into two categories…top studs who father the next generations and others sold on for beef. Everyone involved was very passionate when speaking about their work on the farm and you couldn’t help but become a bit passionate about it too!
Finally we were to end the tour with a trip on The Bedford which was so calming it nearly sent a few of us to sleep,in-spite of it being a bit of a bumpy ride!
Fields of red clover, fields of cows and one very lucky bull, fields of Miscanthus (an interesting fuel crop) and more gorgeous views passed us by before we returned to HQ for more tea and yummy cake.
I can honestly say that I was wowed by Yeo Valley, that I never expected to be so absorbed by everyone’s enthusiasm and love for what they do. At Yeo Valley they work hard to do the right thing and provide their customers with British, organic, delicious yoghurt. (of which I bought lots and lots in the staff shop!!) I had a truly wonderful day there and hope I’m invited back very soon. (hint hint!)
Thank you Yeo Valley!
These opinions are genuinely my own. I also received the fabulous Yeo Valley cookbook at the end of the day which I would highly recommend.