The Taylor family, Kircubbin, Co. Down have been milk producers since 1856 and have most certainly placed a unique stamp on innovation, particularly farm diversification.
Embracing entrepreneurship, Glastry Farm has become ice-cream production specialists for ten years now.
In order to get their business to the sizeable scale that it is at today, a big move has been made by converting an old milking parlour into a modern creamery, a decision they are most certainly not regretting.
Many question how such an intriguing enterprise came about.
Studying an orchard comprising of nine hectares, thirty kilometres north of Ljubliana, Solvenia is held responsible for the establishment of the award-winning family business.
Will Taylor was the chosen recipient of "The Frank Arden Award" from the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust to report on the "Opportunities for the U.K. Agri-Food Industry in the new Europe, back in 2004.
‘The report reviewed proposals and initiatives, including protection of products of Geographical Incidence (P.G.I.) and products of Geographical Origin ( P.D.O.).’ William explained.
Market Research was next on the agenda the following year, with assistance from the University Of Ulster School Of Entrepreneurship, which assisted to identify the vision and ethos of the family farm, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
‘We produced the top 3% of milk produced anywhere in the Kingdom, because of our compositional and bacteriological standards. Glastry Farm Ice-cream was born as a result.’ William told That’s Farming.
An admirable philosophy is the main driving force behind the business, with all milk sourced directly from the family farm, which is steeped in history.
‘I am fifth generation and the sixth generation is now in place also. Gareth and Liz are in charge of the farm now. It’s about ensuring that we can support two generations of the family in a sustainable manner.’ William said.
The herd itself comprises of a pedigree three-hundred head of Holstein Friesian cows, which dominate a sizeable acreage based on the Ards Peninsula, with 250 acres owned and a further 150 aces rented.
The family also take pride in having the ability to produce the top 1% of quality milk in Northern Ireland.
The family continue to expand their product range, now ten years in the ice-cream production business.
Ice-cream, frozen yoghurt and sorbets are among their areas of speciality.
Thirteen ice-cream flavours and four sorbet flavours are now placed on the market.
One of the enterprise’s most unique products is Teeling Whiskey Ice Cream.
Launched close to two years ago, the vanilla and toffee-flavoured product was produced as a result of a partnership between Teeling, a Dublin-based distillery and the Northern-Ireland based Glastry farm.
‘The ice-cream is truly homemade, something we take great pride in. You won’t find any artificial additives, artificial stabilisers and artificial ingredients. We use the best available ingredients.’ William told That’s Farming.
In order to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the Taylor family, the enterprise has scooped an exceptional quantity of prestigious silverware.
Blas na hEireann Bronze Award 2015, Blas na hEireann Gold 2015, Great Taste Awards 2015 and McKenna’s Guides 2015 are just a few of many titles that the family have claimed to date.
The family have also the United Kingdom's Grassland Farm of the Year and Northern Ireland's Dairy Farm of the Year titles under their belt.
The Taylor’s were a "Focus Farm" utilised to demonstrate good practise and innovation to fellow farmers and groups from various parts of the U.K.
The future for Glastry Farm is one that continues to shine bright.
‘We plan to continue what we are doing already. We will monitor the clear targets that we have set,’ William said.