What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Dairy Processor and Supplier
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
Harry Workman bought a 30 gallon per day milk round from his brother-in-law, who was a dairy farmer and didn’t have time to farm and deliver milk. Harry purchased a Morris 8 van, milk churns and bottles and on May 1st, 1938, he started his door-to-door delivery by bucket and ladle. Quality, Service and Cleanliness were values instilled in Harry at a young age and to this day these values are still forefront; delivering real service to the customer and top quality products.
Following in Harry’s footsteps, his son Roger joined the company officially in 1963 and built up the business. George Workman, his son joined the business in 1991 and in 2010 became managing director. Roger is semi-retired but remains Chairman and still very actively involved. Gill, Roger’s wife acts as a non-executive director. Roger’s daughters Louise Woodward and Roseanne McEwan are also involved with Louise taking the role of Customer Development manager and Roseanne as Brand development manager but heads up all aspects of Marketing. Louise’s children Lucy works as HR and marketing assistant, Harry and Tom her two sons, work in the laboratory when they are not at university or school. Sadly Harry passed away just recently on the 22nd January 2016, up until that point he still took an interest and was very proud of what he had achieved.
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
Winning the Family Business of the Year award at the premier Food & Farming Industry Awards, which was held at the House of Commons in December 2015 was a great honour. Roger and George received it on behalf of the business and took it to show Harry the next day, who said it was the ‘icing on the cake’. The Judges commented on how the business had been founded by Harry Workman from humble beginnings adhering to strict quality and service and how it had grown through both Roger and George, still retaining the family’s tradition and values. All the family members and staff felt proud to receive this. Roger commented at the time ‘This is a very great honour and recognition to not only us as a family but to all of our staff past and present. It is the hard work and commitment of our staff that help keeps our business successful.’
Also since Harry passed away, he has been recognised for ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards’ at the Western Daily Press Awards and Punchline Awards in association with Gloucestershire Business Show. These were very proud moments for the family and the business. As a business we have been recognised for numerous awards and Roger, our Chairman felt very honoured to receive a ‘lifetime’ achievement award at the Red Ribbon Awards last year.
What do you love about being a family business?
Cotteswold Dairy continues to be a thriving independently owned family business, now run by the third generation of the Workman family. They have a strong work ethic and have loyal staff, employing over 350 staff. 26 members of staff have been with the company for 15 years or longer. As a Christian family, they run the business on Christian ethics and treat everyone with respect and as part of an extended family. They want the working environment to be happy and for staff to feel proud to work for Cotteswold Dairy with a set of core values that are put in the staff handbook to strive to abide by.
Working with 47 local farmers is important to the company to ensure the supply of milk is fresh and of the highest quality. Milk is sourced from farmers within a 50-mile radius of the site in Tewkesbury, where the milk is processed. It is collected by the companies own tankers to allow continuity & ensure a regular point of contact with the farmers that supply us. Farmers attend producer meetings on site which aim to provide a better understanding of the business and technical and quality requirements. These are well supported and continue to thrive. They have a large custom base and serve within an 180-mile radius. They have added to the sustainability of the local economy.
The relationships with farmers, suppliers, customers and staff are so important to the business and they retain good working relationships with them, and they have always retained a good reputation.