For more than 50 years, County Londonderry milkman Robert Kincaid has been sharing the goodness of Dale Farm, delivering farm fresh milk to doorsteps throughout the community, ensuring local people experience the joy that is waking up every morning to Dale Farm milk, fresh from local farms across the country.
Robert, 73, grew up in Muff, County Donegal, and began helping on the local milk run while he was still in school, before eventually taking up his own full time run in 1970.
“I was maybe only 13 or 14 when I started lending a hand at the weekends,” Robert explains.
“I moved to Derry in my early 20s and the only thing I wanted to do was to be a milkman!
“I just love getting out to meet people. Over the years you make some great friends, meet some great characters and get a great satisfaction in delivering the freshest Dale Farm dairy products that people need and love every day.”
Robert typically starts his run at 7am and finishes up in the afternoon at 2pm.
So busy was his job at times he even enlisted some very special extra hands to help: “Back in the busiest times years ago, my three daughters, Carol, Louise and Helen, would have joined me on my milk runs.
“It was lovely to have the extra help during the school holidays and at weekends – I think they would have joined me every day if I had let them!” Robert adds.
Milk delivery was a major part of the Dale Farm business throughout the 1980s, when over 75 per cent of Dale Farm’s milk was sold through doorstep delivery, distributed by around 700 drivers delivering fresh products across Northern Ireland.
Whilst its milk delivery service had been declining in recent years as consumer shopping patterns moved towards in-store purchasing, last year Dale Farm responded to a huge increase in demand for milk delivery amidst the early Covid-19 lockdowns.
Through creating the My Milk Delivery service, Dale Farm matched people in communities across Northern Ireland with their local milk delivery drivers, enabling them to get fresh dairy delivered direct to their homes in a safe way.
During lockdown, Robert was one of the milkmen who noticed this major increase in services as people isolated, a trend that Brian Lynch, Area Sales Manager for Dale Farm, says has continued since.
“Before the pandemic, we were witnessing around a 10 per cent decline in doorstep delivery,” he said.
“Since then, it has experienced substantial growth – with volumes currently running ahead of pre-pandemic levels by 10 per cent.
“The re-emergence of milk deliveries underlines the important role people like Robert play in local communities – and what an incredible achievement that he has been part of the fabric of the local area for over 50 years.
“We’re incredibly proud to have Robert delivering our farmers’ milk to homes every day in the North West.
“To Robert – and to all our independent delivery partners – thank you for sharing Dale Farm goodness with local families bright and early every day.”
Dale Farm’s team of independent local milk delivery partners currently deliver to around 30,000 homes every day across Northern Ireland.
n To find a milk delivery service in your area, visit dalefarmbrand.com/contact-us/home-delivery
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