Recreation and Tourism Management; Auchincruive; graduated 2004.
Agriculture HND; Auchincruive; graduated 2001.
Agriculture HND; Oatridge; graduated 1999.
Agriculture HND; Auchincruive; graduated1999.
Roan’s Dairy is a family run dairy farm just outside Dalbeattie that supplies fresh free range milk within Dumfries and Galloway. Their catchphrase is “Fresher than the udders”.
Stuart Roan had always wanted to sell milk direct to the customer, giving today’s consumers the choice of fresh, local milk with traceability and quality. With the dairy industry now in crisis and milk price at all time low, the Roan family realised that they needed to do something now to secure their future and for the next generation.
Tracey Roan, one of the partners at Roan’s Dairy, explains how this family of SRUC alumni launched their business:
“With all four of us working together, using our different skills gained at SAC Auchincruive and Oatridge College we knew that we could work together. Steven, Stuart and Aylett studied Agriculture and I did my Honours Degree in Rural Recreation and Tourism Management. SAC Auchincruive was actually where I met Steven, my husband!
“In September 2015 we launched Roan’s Dairy and it has been udder chaos but we are seeing a great demand for free range milk from our doorstep customers, hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops.
“Our milk is not just any ordinary milk you can get in the supermarket. Ours is from grass fed, free range cows and this is something that that we are very passionate about. We don't just sell our milk but we sell our story and that's what customers like about us.
“We are the only family run dairy farm that sells milk direct to the consumer as free range within Dumfries and Galloway.”
Stuart and Steven Roan
Steven and Stuart are the 6th generation of Roans to be dairy farming. The family has been farming at Barnbarroch since 1896.
“Stuart farms at Barnbarroch with his wife Aylett and 2 sons Fergus (aged 9) and Fraser (aged 7). Myself and Steven farm just 3 miles down the road at Boreland of Colvend with our son Andrew (aged 7) and daughter Lucy (aged 5).
"At Barnbarroch we milk 120 Holstein cows with two robots, and at Boreland we milk 180 pedigree Holstein in a parlour.
"Steven and Stuart’s father and mother (Derek & Kathleen) are still very much involved in the farm. The Roans have always milked cows and we have a photo of great grandpa Roan in 1946 delivering milk on horse and cart in the village."
Aylett and Tracey Roan with the Roan’s Dairy
Roan Dairy's branding and marketing is striking, and has a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook.
“When we first started looking at branding we had clear ideas of what we were about - fresh, free range milk from grass fed cows, local and a traditional family run dairy farm. We knew that just a cow on label wasn't going to deliver our message, and we had to be eye catching when on the shelf.
“Myself and Aylett did a lot of research and we got help from a 4th year graphic design student. We played around with a few ideas, milk churns, cow print, but we knew that we had to think how our branding would grow with us if we were to go into butter or yoghurt. So that's when the udder stamp came about.
"Our slogan 'fresher than the udders' came about from a exchange of emails late one night.
“Using social media is one of our keys ways to provide a high level of customer service. Facebook is used a lot for our doorstep service, it’s a way of making it very simple for our customers to contact us to change their order. However, we know that there are still a number of potential customers out there not online, so we also attend local shows and community events, doorstep leaflets, hand out free samples, sales calls and also work with the local media."
As they approach the first birthday of their business, the Roans look to the future.
“We will be officially launching our 'Udder Bar' at the Dumfries Show on the 6th August where we will be selling our milkshakes made with fresh free range milk. We will also have some of our merchandise for sale, like our new sunglasses which we are encouraging people to wear and take photos to post under #FresherThanTheUdders on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
“We currently process our milk off farm so our next major project is to put in our own processing plant on site which would enable us to grow our product range and meet the growing demand for free range milk.
“With our on site processing unit we also want to encourage the next generation of potential farmers by working with local schools and hosting visits to the farm. Our plans for our site are for the general public to come and view the whole process of the milk getting from the cow to the bottle.”
The milk bottled up and ready