As a smaller dairy you need to differentiate yourself, and provenance can be absolutely key. That's why we've positioned ourselves as the Dairy On Your Doorstep. Early last year we decided that, in view of the price pressures on local farmers and the burgeoning market for locally produced food and drink, we would start sourcing all our milk from within a 25-mile radius. Our farmers are paid more than their co-operatives could give them, and we can say with absolute confidence that all our milk travels the shortest distance possible before it reaches our dairy. Most of our competitors have at least some balanced supply from elsewhere, whereas we know each supplier personally and can vouch for their quality and animal-welfare standards. Embleton Hall is a family company. It was started in 1984, when we began making cream and selling it to local manufacturers. My grandfather had a bottling plant in Sunderland back in the 40s, and my father was chairman of Sunderland District Creamery in the 70s, so we already had specialist knowledge in the family. As more cream arrived on the market and margins shrank, we realised we needed to develop the business. Even at that time it was obvious that doorstep sales were declining so we targeted our business at shops. We now sell 320,000 litres of milk a week and have a turnover of £6.5m. We sell mostly to c-stores and supply both independents and multiples, including Sainsbury's, although some goes to wholesale markets. A few months ago we launched our first major new product for 20 years - a premium range of 100%-natural yoghurts. They are selling well and we plan to expand the range to include probiotic and low-fat variants alongside our core milk and cream business. All our products carry Embleton Hall labels and we highlight the local provenance prominently on pack. For smaller dairies such as us it's a strong point of difference to highlight our regionality - most consumers would prefer to buy good-quality locally produced food, given the opportunity. However, few would be willing to pay more than the smallest of premiums, if any, for the privilege. Where milk is concerned I would argue that they shouldn't have to anyway. These are interesting times for smaller processors and there are great opportunities out there that did not exist 18 months ago. Hopefully we can make the most of them.