Meet the Farmers Weekly Rising Stars 2017

After a nationwide search, we’ve found 13 young men and women who are transforming the farming, food and environmental sectors. They’re all 35 or under and are already making a massive difference. We’re confident that, over the coming years and decades, their influence will be huge. Quite simply, they will be game-changers.

Food manufacturers hit by soaring dairy prices

In Lancashire’s rolling Lune Valley, brothers Joe and Edward Towers were hit hard by 2014-16’s falling milk prices, as the 350-acre family dairy farm haemorrhaged money. Their peers also struggled: in January 2014, there were 555 registered dairy farms in Lancashire, according to the AHDB. By December 2015, 35 had closed. “We weren’t a business; we needed a reason to be,” said Joe, a 26-year-old former coffee trader. “We had to take a gamble.” Spotting a growing niche market, the Towers’ spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a new venture: supplying specialist milk with a high protein content to London’s artisan coffee shops.

How this family farm was saved by a latte

Edward is a young dairy farmer in Lancashire. His family were hit hard by the fall in milk prices and took some rather unusual steps to diversify - turning adversity into opportunity.

Joe and Ed Towers

Faced with the repercussions of supermarket wars and spot prices crashing, a local dairy farming family were forced to rethink their market supply, which they did by working with hipster baristas in London. Working with a Copenhagen-based scientist/coffee consultant, Joe and Ed Towers has developed the UK’s first barista milk, specially designed for pouring into coffee. Research revealed there was a demand for a high protein milk to produce the perfect ‘microfoam’ for coffee. Overhauling the farm’s whole dairy breed and system, Jersey heifers were purchased from Denmark in November 2015 and steadily grown to meet demand.

More NewsMore News