Rora dairy’s premium yogurt, made fresh on farm at Middleton of Rora, Longside, Peterhead, has been named as one of the ‘Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ by Morrisons. Which means they will now see their yogurt stocked in a Morrisons stores in the north east.

The Mackie family, Jane and Bruce, have been milking cows at the 565-acre Middleton of Rora, in Aberdeenshire since 1966.  Their pedigree herd of 250 cows is made up of mostly Holstein Friesian cows with a little bit of Jersey and Norwegian Red.

The herd produces more than 2.5 million litres of milk each year, approx 8000 litres of milk a day. That’s a lot of milk and the family decided to diversify into yogurt in 2015.

Janes says: “Although it is a busy market many of the products have additives, artificial flavourings and are high in sugar and I thought this didn’t seem to be necessary. What I wanted to make was a quality yogurt with nothing extra added other than local Scottish fruit and honey.  I did discover that I had to put some sugar into our fruit yogurt to get adequate shelf-life, but we have worked hard to keep this to a minimum. One day I would like to have no added sugar in our products, but it is finding a natural substitute which seems challenging.

“One of our aims is for children and the older generation to eat our yogurt as they need the calcium and I want it to be as good for them as possible. We all need dairy products so let’s make them good for you.”

In order to get into the yogurt making business, Jane went on a course at the West Highland Dairy run by Kathy Biss, who teaches everything from cheese making, butter and yogurt as well as other dairy products in a beautiful village near Plockton.

Jane continues: “It isn’t my natural disposition to create in the kitchen but I had to learn and after this course I religiously made yogurt weekly in our kitchen to perfect our recipe and make sure that we were creating the taste/ texture we wanted. After this my husband Bruce and I took a trip to look at other production facilities in England, Wales and Germany to see what equipment would suit best and how we would design our facilities.

“Yogurt is a fairly tricky product so it requires patience and care to get it right, but every production is fun but lengthy and we are enjoying being able to use our own milk to create something healthy and delicious.

“The yogurt making facility itself was a big investment and it had to be done professionally as dairy products are not something one is able to create and sell from your own kitchen. We were awarded SALSA accreditation within a few months and this allowed us to provide product to distributors who are starting to deliver our yogurt throughout the UK and larger retailers.“

Their yogurt is a simple, pure, premium Scottish yogurt, using non-homogenised whole milk direct from their dairy on the day of production, and flavoured using only Scottish fruit and honey.

Already award winning, Rora yogurt is available in 150g and 490g pots. Plus it is gluten free, and free from GM ingredients, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and preservatives. It’s all good stuff.

As well as winning a contract with Morrisons to supply their Peterhead, Inverurie and Aberdeen stores, the yogurt can be found all over the UK in various stockists (check the website for all stockist details).

Rora dairy pitched for the sought-after shelf place in Morrisons as part of the ‘Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign, held last year in Perth.

Local foodmakers were invited by Morrisons to pitch for their place in its supermarkets at regional events across the UK in the supermarket’s quest to feed the nation with a bigger portion of food sourced from local suppliers. The move comes as a report published by leading experts on global food issues led by Professor Tim Benton, from the University of Leeds, says that only half (52%) of food eaten in the UK comes from our farmers. 

Jane Mackie from rora dairy said: “We are passionate about provenance at rora dairy, from the fruit that we add, to the honey that makes our yogurts zing. Everything is local, so working with Morrisons on this campaign is pertinent to our brand. 

“Securing sought-after shelf space within a national supermarket is big news for us as a growing business but also good all round for the community who can buy products from local farmers in their regional supermarket. We have big plans over the coming months and we hope we can grow with Morrisons and become household names in our own right. 

“It is also vitally important to recognise that the yogurts are being delivered to stores with a fraction of the food miles that groceries normally travel.”

The dairy is also celebrating after its premium yogurt recently won the Best New Food Service Product Award at the North-East Scotland Food & Drink Awards 2018. 

Everything is going in the right direct for rora, they wisely invested in a new dairy shed in 2016, and they are rightly very proud of it. It has four Lely robotic milking machines.

Designed by CowSignals, the Dutch cow welfare consultants, around their six core principles of air, light, water, rest, feed and space in conjunction with local architecture practice Shand Building Design ltd. The shed allows the cows the freedom to choose when they are milked and enables them to wander into the milking areas by themselves.

Bruce says: “Because the cows choose when they are milked, they now average just over three milkings per day compared to the standard two in the previous traditional milking parlour.” 

Rora dairy has also designed their shed to have direct access to the fields outside. Once a cow has been milked, the computer at the gate allows the cow to walk outside and enjoy grazing and Aberdeenshire sunshine.

Jane Mackie says: “At the moment we are using just 850 litres of the 8000 litres a day that we produce, but that equates to 1000 pots of yogurt a week.

The aim is simple: “We want to be recognised for making delicious healthy yogurt on our farm where we take pride in looking after our animals to the highest welfare conditions. We are always happy to be visited from those further afield to those nearby.


Natural yogurt: Simple Pure Scottish goodness in a pot. Stirred to give it that lovely velvety texture and easily pourable.

Natural set yogurt: Set yogurt has all the benefits and flavour of natural yogurt but is set into a firm, smooth and spoonable product.

Scottish blossom honey Yogurt: Scottish blossom honey has a distinct flavour as made in the hills near Blairgowrie giving a touch of sweetness.

Raspberry yogurt: Delicious Scottish raspberries give a hit of true fruit.

Strawberry Yogurt: Scottish strawberries give this yogurt that strawberries and cream taste.