The Manford Family
We are the Manford Family, third and fourth generation, born and raised at Hinxden Farm in Benenden, Kent.
Third generation siblings, Graham, Sally and Richard Manford, were originally in business together, alongside their parents. Graham and Sally have since retired meaning the new partnership is husband and wife team, Richard and Dee Manford.
The fourth generation, Rebecca and Katy (Richard and Dee’s daughters), both work in different industries but also on the farm, in the office, in the dairy and delivering milk as needed.
The Farm Team
Our dedicated team of farm staff take care of the cows and youngstock daily as well as the seasonal work, harvesting the home-grown crops to feed the cows.
The Dairy Team
Our fantastic team of dairy staff do a range of jobs ranging from sterilising the returnable glass milk bottles, to pasteurising and bottling the milk, making yogurt, crème fraiche and cream, potting into a variety of pot and bottle sizes.
The Delivery Team
Our intrepid team of reliable milkmen and women deliver our milk and other dairy products to homes within a 10mile radius of the farm in Benenden.
They also deliver to cafes, hotels, restaurants, shops and schools across Kent and East Sussex.
It is true that not all heroes wear capes – ours wear high viz!
Our delivery team will deliver whatever the weather, six days a week (three days on one route and three days on another).
Why use us…
Buying milk which has only travelled from our farm directly to your house, drastically reduces your food miles.
Reduce your single-use plastic waste when you buy our milk in traditional 1pint glass milk bottles which we will collect, sterilise and fill again and again.
Support your local British farmer by paying a fair price, helping the local economy and cutting out the middleman – the supermarkets.
Red Tractor Farm Assurance
Buy dairy products produced from cows which are kept to Red Tractor Farm Assurance standards. British agriculture has some of the highest welfare standards worldwide.
Fresh and Delicious!
Buy milk that is fresher and only pasteurised, rather than homogenised, and you will see that the cream still rises to the top, ‘just like it used to be’.
The Manford family settled at Hinxden Farm in Benenden in 1930 with just 6 cows. Siblings, John and Thomasine, increased cow numbers and acres over the years as land became available to rent or buy.
John Manford’s wife, Winifred, started off by selling raw milk to friends and neighbours. When milk quotas were introduced in 1984 and the opportunity arose to buy a neighbouring dairy`s milk round along with the first 20 Friesian cows, the business started to grow and develop further.
Graham, Sally and Richard have continued to increase the number of cows over the years to 250 and now have 7 refrigerated vans on the road.
1930's & 40's
The Manford Family, with children John and Tam Manford, moved from Shropshire and settled at Hinxden Farm with just 6 Shorthorn cows. During World War 2, by order of the Ministry of Agriculture, siblings John and Tam were instructed to plough-up their grass and corn fields to grow vegetables as part of the Home Guard/ Dig For Victory campaign.
Guernsey cows were bought as they were cheap, available, docile, low input and output but produced rich creamy milk. After the sad loss of first husband Ron; Winnie Westacott, with 5 year old son Graham Westacott, moved to Hinxden Farm. Winnie married John Manford and, shortly after, Sally and Richard Manford were born.
1950's & 60's
No more churns
The milk lorry stopped collecting milk from churns and instead collected from the first bulk milk tank.
The milking parlour was upgraded from a Somerset Milking Bail (in photo) to a 10/10 herringbone parlour (5 cows on each side). In 1981 John Manford died, leaving Winnie, Tam and the youngsters Graham, Richard and Sally to run the farm. Richard also attended Hadlow Agricultural College, gaining an OND in Agriculture. 1984 EU milk quotas were introduced meaning they could only produce the same amount as 1983 minus 9% which was the catalyst for processing the milk and selling it direct to the customers. They started trading officially as WG and TA Manford.
Late 80's & 90's
20 Friesian cows were bought as not everybody wanted the rich, creamy Guernsey gold top milk. We also bought a milkround from Trewint Farm Dairy in Hawkhurst and a cream separator to separate milk to sell the full range of gold, whole, semi skimmed and fully skimmed milk and as a result; sell double cream too. Milk is available in glass 1pint bottles and also 1pint, 2pint and 2Litre plastic bottles.
The parlour was upgraded again to our current milking parlour which can fit 12 cows on each side (24 in total). The cows wear a collar which is automatically read as they walk into the parlour, recording the milk the cows produce and controlling the amount of food the cows eat. ADF (Automatic Dipping and Flushing) was installed to the clusters which self-clean between each use. A backing gate was installed to encourage the cows to walk into the parlour which helps the milker.
Graham and Sally retired from the business partnership and Dee (Richard’s wife) joined the partnership. This all happened while the Corona virus pandemic hit. The doorstep customer numbers increased hugely to well over 1,300. Semi skimmed sales soared while our restaurant customers were forced to close, causing wholesale cream sales to plummet. As a result of this huge imbalance we started making butter.
Work with us
This page will advertise any vacancies we may have.
Currently, we are fully staffed but roles could become available on the farm working the cows, driving tractors, in the dairy or delivering milk, as well as potential administrative, marketing and sales roles.
Watch this space!
- We employ Harper Adams University students for their placement year, which is compulsory part of their degree course.
- We also provide work experience for veterinary and agricultural students.
- We also welcome speculative contact from prospective candidates who may have interesting skills or experience.
You can email your CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org