Milkman Robert Kincaid, 73, has been making doorstep deliveries for 50 years

Londonderry man Robert Kincaid could be accused of ‘milking it’ having spent the past half century in the same profession.
Milkman Robert Kincaid has been in the job for 50 yearsMilkman Robert Kincaid has been in the job for 50 years
Milkman Robert Kincaid has been in the job for 50 years

For more than 50 years, Robert 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, grew up in Muff, Co Donegal, and 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 7am and finishes at 2pm.

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 Northern 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.

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