Simon Hart MP has visited the UK’s only colostrum factory which is based in Bethesda near Narberth. Colostrum is the milk produced by cows immediately after calving and is rich in functional nutrients and antibodies.
Rather than retire, businessman John Rolfs was inspired to set up the processing plant after the special milk helped him recover from major surgery. Over the last 17 years, he has supplied Olympic medallists, premiership football champions and national rugby squads with this natural superfood. Bethesda colostrum was used by the British and Irish Lions on their recent New Zealand tour.
“I started to use colostrum after I had surgery for an intestinal tumour. I weighed 10 stones and was incredibly weak,” explained Mr Rolfs. “When I went back to my surgeon for review, I was 12 stones and he was so impressed by my recovery of lost muscle that he became my first customer.
“I researched colostrum science but no one seemed willing to make it and I wanted others to benefit from this wonderful thing. I started by importing colostrum powder from New Zealand but we have since expanded the market and can now source it from UK farms.”
The yellow milk arrives at the dairy frozen and is then thawed, pasteurised and spray-dried to make into a powder. It is sold direct to the public via the website neovite.com and to many professional athletes via Pro Athlete Supplementation of Rhymney, Gwent.
“We are looking for more milk producers from west Wales. We can pay £1 a litre for your colostrum instead of pouring it away,” he offers. Interested farmers can contact John at email@example.com The Golden Dairy (Llaethdy Aur) was given an EU grant to help convert a bottling dairy in Bethesda and the automated plant now employs two part time workers.
“There has been a lot of medical research into the benefits of taking colostrum. It’s known to protect and repair the gut so it’s good for those on oral anti-inflammatory drugs and it protects against leaky gut caused by heat stress,” he added.
Mr Hart said: “I had no idea that this ground breaking factory was on our doorstep, I think it’s an amazing product with a very exciting future, not just for those who benefit from taking it but also local farmers who can profit from an overlooked revenue source.”