An Inishowen man couldn’t deny he has been ‘milking’ his job for the past 50 years.
That’s how long Robert Kincaid (pictured above) has been delivering milk for.
Now Dale Farm has paid tribute to Robert who was born and reared in Muff but who later moved to Derry.
For more than 50 years, Robert Kincaid has been 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.
Robert, 73, began helping on the local milk run while he was still in school, before eventually taking up his own full time run in 1970.
He said: “I was maybe only 13 or 14 when I started lending a hand at the weekends. 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 at 7 am and finishes his deliveries at 2 pm.
So busy was his job at times, he even enlisted some 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.”
Milk delivery was a major part of the Dale Farm business throughout the 1980s when over 75% of Dale Farm’s milk was sold through doorstep delivery, distributed by around 700 drivers delivering fresh products across the North of 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.
Brian Lynch, area sales manager for Dale Farm, said: “Before the pandemic, we were witnessing around a 10% decline in doorstep delivery. Since then, it has experienced substantial growth – with volumes currently running ahead of pre-pandemic levels by 10%.
“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.”
Dale Farm’s team of independent local milk delivery partners deliver to around 30,000 homes every day across NI.
“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,” added Mr Lynch.