Northern Powerhouse Farmer Stories: The Towers Family

18 October 2022

Ed Towers

A project now led by third generation family member Ed Towers; Brades Farm in Farleton near Lancaster is the first agricultural business in the world to successfully produce carbon credits via reductions in methane emissions.

This is achieved by feeding the herd of 170 Jersey cows and 270 Holstein Friesians a garlic supplement which reduces methane by 30%.

The Towers family have been in partnership with the company that supplies the supplement since 2018, when the farm was the first in the world to take part in a commercial stage trial. That company is now able to claim back the carbon credits Brades Farm produces.

Contributing to the agricultural industry’s target of being Net Zero by 2040 will only be achievable if the farm is profitable, which is why the Towers family have seized the market opportunity to maximise value from their produce, developing the UK’s first barista milk specifically designed for pouring into coffee.

All year-round calving ensures the consistent protein levels required by specialist coffee baristas for flavour and long lasting latte art.

Milk is hauled by S J Bargh of Lancaster to Creamline Dairies in Manchester for distribution to coffee shops in London, Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool.

Baristas who source their milk from Brades Farm can visit the cows anytime they like, Ed has even built a viewing gantry.

Neighbouring farmers Malcolm and Judith Sanderson rear all of the Towers family’s young stock from three months old, usually 220 cows in the summer and 180 in the winter months.

Brades Farm employs five full time local staff on top of Ed and his mum and dad. Ed manages 380 farmable acres with 20 acres dedicated
to woodland and hedges which provide habitats and food sources for local wildlife.

Collaboration with Lune Valley Rivers Trust saw Ed fence Farleton Beck to improve water quality. He’s also keen to give the next generation an opportunity and is always on the lookout for school leavers who want to learn the skills needed for successful dairy farming.

Who does the Towers family do business with?
Processing well in excess of 1,000 invoices a year, Ed estimates he is doing business with 90 different companies annually, most
of which repeatedly. He counts Malcolm and Judith Sanderson, Carrs Billington, HJ Lea Oakes, Advanced Nutrition and NWF
Agriculture as those he exchanges the most money with.

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