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Welcome to Farming for Flavour

Development of New Accreditation Scheme

My partner Chris and I have been selling our rare breed, home-grown British Lop pork at Shropshire’s Ludlow Market on a regular basis this past year. We have been asked on countless occasions ‘Are you Organic?’ and ‘Are your pigs free range?’. After explaining that we’re just a small farm and certainly nowhere near the size required for organic or free range certification we’ve become increasingly aware of the huge gap in the market.

 

Small-scale farming is becoming progressively popular and customers are becoming more discerning about where their food is coming from. With this in mind, we decided we wanted to start a movement aimed at giving an identity and credibility to small-scale farmers selling edible products that they grow from scratch. We know from experience that small-scale farmers often make different farming choices from those competing on a large commercial scale. At Middle Farm we make choices for best flavour rather than speed of growth and I’m sure we’re not alone. Breed type or seed variety, space and animal husbandry, feed and ultimately the location of where an animal is slaughtered are all factors affecting the flavour of produce and we would like for this to be easily recognised by the public so they can enjoy the better-tasting end results.

 

Having spent many hours over the past couple of months researching and talking to people involved in food businesses, we’ve come to the conclusion that the missing link in the chain is an accreditation scheme. So, while juggling farming duties, we thought we’d try and develop one! 

 

We are calling it ‘Farming for Flavour’ and it will include a set of criteria that would have to be assessed and attained for those wanting to become members. And while it will need huge amounts of publicity and promotion to get recognised in the UK, and we still need to be sure there’s truly a market for it, especially with associated costs to members of around £220 per year to cover assessment alone, we’ve had enough positive feedback to at least give it a go. 

 

With this in mind, I’m going to ask you for your help. If you think your small farm and food produce would benefit from a nationally recognised identity, will you let us know? Along with any other thoughts you may have on how we demonstrate that the choices we make on a small-scale make all the difference to the flavour of the final product.

 

Contact details: Sam Gray: enquiries@middlefarmcottages.co.uk

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