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Stimulating Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector

Supporting Agri-Food Businesses Across Yorkshire

Hesper Farm Skyr

Each month we list an example of an innovative food or drink business.


We're often asked what innovation is and why businesses need to innovate. The simple answer is that all businesses need to innovate... to grow and develop in order to keep going. This could be as simple as updating your marketing strategy or it could be developing a new product or technology. SIAFS can help you to solve problems that your business is facing through workshops, master classes and innovation vouchers. Register for SIAFS here.

Hesper Farm Skyr

Hesper Farm is a great example of innovation through developing a new product, in order for a business to survive and grow.

The Story

In the face of falling milk prices, young farmer Sam Moorhouse, 24, was looking to diversify the family dairy farm. He came across a story about the Icelandic cow and the production of skyr.

Skyr is made by incubating skimmed milk with live active cultures. The water contained in the milk – the whey - is then strained away. Its nutritional values are incredible – it contains no fat and low sugar but is high in protein and calcium.

Sam recognised the potential of a product which, while creamy and delicious, also had impressive health credentials. He believed there was a growing public appetite in the UK for reduced sugar products with high protein and decided to go to Iceland to research it further. There he met dairy consultant Thorarinn Sveinsson, learning the age-old techniques in skyr production.

Bringing Skyr to the UK

Skyr is new to the UK market and Hesper Farm is the first British Farm to make it, using traditional Icelandic methods.

Set off the beaten track, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, Hesper Farm is home to 180 pedigree Holstein Friesians. The cows enjoy a good life in the dales, outdoors in tune with the seasons, to make sure they are healthy and happy.

Once pasteurised, Sam makes the cows’ milk into skyr, onsite in a purpose-built fully-licensed new dairy using an Icelandic heritage skyr culture dating back to 874. It’s as close to Icelandic skyr as you can get, made in the Yorkshire Dales. Thorarrin visited once the dairy had been built to ensure the quality of the skyr produced there was perfect.


Hesper Farm Skyr is stocked in farm shops and delis across Yorkshire. Sam has recently won a contract to supply 16 Booths stores with three flavour varieties across the North of England.

Hesper Farm Skyr has won several awards including: Great Taste Awards, Gold Star 2016 British Farming Awards 2016 – Silver award for Dairy Innovator of the Year Deliciously Yorkshire Taste Awards 2015 - Best Yoghurt & Supreme Champion

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