We meet the Norton family who produce milk, cheese, yogurt and more from their farm near Norwich
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Nortons Dairy, a family-run traditional mixed dairy farm. We are involved in every stage of milk production from cow to cup; we breed, raise and care for our herd of Brown Swiss cows and process their top-quality milk in our on-site dairy. Our cows are able to choose when they want to be milked as we use a voluntary milking system; the girls bring themselves in from the fields and barns at any time, 24/7, and are milked by our robot, Merlin. We are passionate about providing the highest welfare for our animals and believe this is why our produce is some of the best around.
Where are you based?
Our farm is located in Frettenham, about five miles north of Norwich in the beautiful Norfolk countryside.
How big is the farm and the dairy herd?
In total the farm is 360 acres with about two thirds of this acreage put to arable crop production, including feed and bedding for our cows as well as food crops like sugar beet and malting barley, and a third being used for grazing. We have a relatively small milking herd of 60 cows with an additional 35 followers made up of calves, heifers and pregnant cows.
What do you produce?
We produce bottled skimmed, semi and whole milk, double and single cream and Norfolk butter as well as fresh natural pouring yoghurt and the Nortons Soft Cheeses available as the original, with chilli, with apricot and with Norfolk Lavender.
Any future plans?
Our continued aim is to expand the number of outlets which we supply in the region and diversify to keep up with the changing farming environment.
Can we visit?
Yes of course! We offer pre-booked educational tours which are very popular with school, family, WI and scout groups. These are all tailor-made to suit the needs of the individual groups and can include product tastings – just get in touch via email if you wish to book. Farm education is something we are passionate about and so the more people we can show what we do, the better!
Where can we buy your products?
We stock a variety of local shops, cafes, delis, farm shops and restaurants – a list that’s growing all the time! A full-list is available on our website but includes White House Farm, Norwich; Farm to Fork, Horstead; Truly Local, Stalham; Budgens of Holt and Aylsham and The Tacons at Rollesby.
Is there a best seller?
Our best seller has to be our Nortons Soft Cheese with Lavender – and for good reason – not only did it win gold at the British Cheese Awards 2017, it was also awarded Best Flavour Added Cheese too. It definitely comes highly recommended from us!
How has Norfolk Food and Drink been able to help you?
Being part of an established local network of food producers helps us to keep in contact with our partners in the industry and promote and support our local produce.
Published in Feast issue 25 – April 2018