5 Minute Listening: Milk on tap

  • Listen to the news podcast about a business set up by an enterprising farmer in Germany 


John Millen |

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Voice 1: You are on your way home one evening and you suddenly remember you haven’t got any milk in the fridge. The nearby convenience store has sold out of fresh milk and there won’t be another delivery until tomorrow morning. They haven’t got any long-life milk left either. It looks like you’ll be drinking your coffee black and skipping your breakfast cereal in the morning.

Voice 2: Now, if you lived in the small German town of Neunkirchen - seelscheid near the city of Cologne, you would never risk running out of milk. You would simply take an empty bottle to the local milk filling-station and fill up as if you were filling your car with petrol. No one in Neunkirchen ever runs out of milk for their coffee or their breakfast cereal. Here milk is always on tap like water.

Voice 1: Neunkirchen’s milk filling-station is the brilliant idea of Bruno Stauf, a local dairy farmer. Each day, the pumps at the filling station sell fresh milk from Bruno’s herd of eighty cows. Milk doesn’t come fresher than this. The cows are milked in the early hours of the morning, the milk is put into stainless steel pumps and customers start to arrive for their daily supply. Farmer Bruno’s customers either bring their own containers to fill from the pumps or they can purchase empty bottles to fill with fresh milk.

Voice 2: It’s all very easy. The milk filling station is open twenty-four hours, every day of the week including public holidays. And it never runs out of milk. Using a button, customers select how much milk they want to buy. They put their money in a slot, carefully place their container under the nozzle, press another button and there you are. Delicious, creamy fresh milk.

Voice 1: Milk at Farmer Bruno’s Filling Station costs seventy Euro cents a litre, a lot more than at the supermarket. But customers don’t mind paying a bit extra for the better quality and the convenience. Bruno explains that his fresh milk is real milk that has not been treated with heat or additives to make it last longer. It naturally contains more protein and vitamins than supermarket milk.

Voice 2: And Bruno does not need to convince his customers about the wonderful taste of the milk from his filling station. Just one mouthful and customers quickly forget the white liquid that passes for milk in mass-produced cartons. Was that milk - or just coloured water they’ve been buying from their supermarket?

Voice 1: Before he opened his milk filling-station, Farmer Bruno had no choice but to sell his milk to supermarket chains and he was paid the lowest possible price. Supermarket bosses were only interested in treating the milk to lengthen its shelf-life and didn’t bother about the quality, taste or freshness of the milk.

Voice 2: Now in Neunkirchen, milk has become real milk
again, and Farmer Bruno Stauf is proud of the service and product he is providing. Nothing tastes as good as a cool glass of milk straight from Bruno's milk pumps. Cheers!


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