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Kent Dairy Product of the Year Winner: Kentish Blue by Kingcott Dairy

We are Kingcott Dairy – Steve and Karen Reynolds, along with our sons Frank and Archie; dairy farmers and cheesemakers in Staplehurst.

4 I7 A81251

We are Kingcott Dairy – Steve and Karen Reynolds, along with our sons Frank and Archie; dairy farmers and cheesemakers in Staplehurst. We have a herd of 100 gorgeous dairy cows that produce flavoursome and nutrient-rich milk for us to make into our great-tasting Kentish Blue cheese.

We are proud to carry out every step of making our cheese here on our farm and have full control over the whole process:

We grow the grass – we’ve planted clover-rich pastures that the cows love to feast on from March to October and is also stored for use in the winter months.

We milk the cows – our healthy, contented and relaxed cows definitely produce the best milk for us to work with, quality over quantity every time!

We make the cheese – we take great care to treat the milk gently, carrying out each stage by hand. The result is our Kentish Blue cheese, a young but full-flavoured blue cheese with a creamy texture and long-lasting taste.

As a family-run dairy farm, we’re always working to improve our carbon footprint and impact on the environment in which we live. Our farm ethos is to treat our animals, land and the environment with respect and kindness and here are some of the things we are already doing to be responsible cheesemakers and farmers:

Reduced energy use - We’re delighted that our cheesemaking is a naturally low-energy process, with all the stages from stirring the curds to making the holes typical in a blue cheese, carried out by hand rather than by equipment needing energy to power it. Making farmhouse cheese here means that we harness our cows' natural ability to produce milk at the exact temperature we need it to be to start off the cheesemaking, letting it flow just 10 metres straight into the cheese dairy without the need for pumps or any heating – perfect for today’s carbon[1]conscious business.

Good farming practices – The soil - a healthy soil leads to great grass, milk and finally cheese, and ours certainly benefits from spreading our farmyard manure back onto the fields, producing a good range of microbes for diverse and flourishing pastures.

The fields – We have delicious grazing paddocks for our cows in spring, summer and autumn that are also excellent at absorbing rainfall and perfect for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere – simply doing what grassland is meant to do. The woodland borders are home to all sorts of wildlife and insects as well as plants, flowers and ponds, adding to the huge range of life on our farm.

The right type of cow – The health and welfare of our fabulous group of cows is our top priority and we care for each one as an individual. They are relaxed and contented and are perfect at converting our varied grasses into milk that is high in protein and butterfat – all the better for making cheese!

Supporting local – We love supplying our cheese to other local businesses. Kentish Blue is available in a whole range of farm shops, butchers, food stores, pubs and restaurants around Kent and shopping locally really does help keep the local communities and economies thriving. As a small family business ourselves, we definitely see the benefit of working with others close by when sourcing items and services.