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Producing and serving better dairy: Mossgiel and BaxterStorey

Films | Published  1 August 2022

Mossgiel Organic in Ayrshire is the model of better dairy production. It’s transitioned from an intensive system to one which is certified by Eating Better member, Pasture for Life and SOPA (Scottish Organic Producers Association), while working closely with another alliance member, The Soil Association. Farming in tandem with nature with fewer animals and inputs, as called for in our Better by Half roadmap, the herd of 45 Ayrshire cows are milked once a day and the calves stay with their mums, being weaned at 4 months, when they start eating grass and herbal leys. The focus is on the highest standards of animal welfare, boosting biodiversity and producing a premium product, which is in high demand.


Having secured a landmark contract with East Ayrshire council last year to supply organic milk to the authority’s 40 primary schools and 36 early childhood centres, Mossgiel has just announced a major partnership with BaxterStorey, one of the UK’s largest hospitality and food service providers and a case study on our Better by Half roadmap for embedding sustainability across its business. With BaxterStorey committing to net zero emissions as part of the UN’s Race 2 Zero, over 14 of the caterer’s workplace restaurants in public institutions across central Scotland have signed up to use the milk in their barista coffees, including Glasgow Caledonian University. All the milk is delivered by electric vehicles and there is a zero waste packaging policy.

Eating Better caught up with BaxterStorey at Mossgiel and spoke with Director of Food, Greg Bramwell, who told us about the appeal of Mossgiel’s story and its produce: 

It’s so important for us to know where our produce comes from. All the way down the chain, is that love and care and it’s not surprising that the product’s great and the sustainability message is where you want it to be. Customers, with their hard earned money, want to pay for authentic food stories and to be connected to their local communities again. Our baristas also want the best milk to make the best coffees. We’d love all the coffees made in Scotland to be with milk from Mossgiel.” 

Bryce Cunningham, owner of Mossgiel Organic said:

We began working with BaxterStorey in 2020, with an exciting opportunity to collaborate with people dedicated to provenance and quality in areas of hospitality you may not always immediately expect. To work together in this way, supplying Mossgiel Organic Milk to more and more people and places than ever before, just shows how the power of collaboration to reduce emissions and waste while boosting our local economy can benefit everyone, from grass to glass”

This is the direction all public institutions should be heading, supporting sustainable and better dairy production. Eating Better is calling for direct models of procurement to be scaled up across the UK. 

Simon Billing, executive director at Eating Better said: 

“Mossgiel is incredibly exciting because they’re doing things better: better animal welfare, zero waste packing, low carbon, cleaner deliveries. This is sought after by East Ayrshire, the local authority and now by a large commercial company, BaxterStorey, which is using organic milk from a small, local producer in its workplace restaurants in public institutions across Scotland’s central belt. This is scalable and where we should be heading to normalise sustainable produce in the public sector.”  

Watch our short film here on the partnership between Mossgiel and BaxterStorey. It’s the first in a series of films on producing and serving better in Scotland, which we will be rolling out over the coming days and weeks. 


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