A milkshake vending machine set up by a 17-year-old has been credited with saving her family's dairy farm.
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Jess Bailey said her family had been "really struggling" because of low milk prices

Jess Bailey said the price farmers receive for their milk from supermarkets made it hard to justify the long hours.

However, she said the decision to set up the automatic machine at the entrance to the farm had given the family “that extra bit of money”.

She said the family had been surprised how popular it had proved.

Ms Bailey had seen the vending machines used at a number of other farms and said the family had initially only joked about doing something similar.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking when we first opened, because we didn’t know if it was going to be a popular thing or not,” she said.

“We can’t believe how busy we’ve been.”

Milk shake vending machine
Image caption, The milk shake vending machine started operating on Good Friday

The machine, which serves four flavours of milkshake, alongside regular milk, was set up in a shipping container at Wickenstone Farm, in Biddulph Moor, and started operating on Good Friday.

She said the money they were getting from the vending machine milk was closer to the price they expected to be paid.

“It’s really helped us because we were struggling.” she said.

“If it wasn’t for this we probably wouldn’t be doing dairy any more.”

Falling dairy prices are a double-edged sword that benefits consumers and manufacturers, but pinches farmers’ margins and threatens additional challenges later in the year, cautioned Mike McCully, independent dairy consultant for The McCully Group, shared during a recent Dairy Deli Bakery Association webinar.

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