Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is celebrating the county’s wildlife-friendly food producers, with its Wildlife-friendly Food Project highlighting 12 independent businesses and recognising their dedication to protecting the environment.
Whether it’s maintaining animal welfare standards, minimising their carbon footprint, or championing local and organic ingredients, the independent producers are all mindful about their manufacturing methods.
Diners can expect to see some of the produce featured at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust cafés, including Crickely Hill, offering the chance to sample the delicious, local ingredients.
Meanwhile, aside from the project, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is passionate about supporting independent producers who maintain environmentally- friendly practices.
This includes award-winning business Cotswold Beef, which with acres of grass, wildflowers and herbs on its farm, offers the ideal setting for its cattle and other wildlife. What’s more, cows and calves will remain together during their lives, being weaned naturally and grass fed all year round.
For more information visit gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk directly.
Simon Weaver creates award-winning cheese at its farm in the Cotswolds, taking care to ensure that the delicious produce reflects its place of origin. The cheese is produced exclusively from the farm’s own cows, and by maintaining welfare standards that go beyond standard farming practices.
What’s more, the farm encourages and promotes wildlife, no artificial fertilisers or chemicals are used to grow crops, and the creamery is powered using renewable energy sources.
A well-established producer which has been part of the local food community since the 1970s, The Cotswold Farmer prides itself on environmental responsibility. The business works hard to keep transport miles low; use minimal packaging; adhere to assurance schemes; and avoid non-hydrogenated fats.
Meanwhile, with a team of keen naturalists, The Cotswold Farmer maintains its land with wildlife in mind, welcoming species such as barn owls, kestrels and buzzards.
Family business, Bensons, works to keep the country’s endangered orchards flourishing, sourcing only the best British apples for its products. The juicers also take care to extract the most product possible to reduce waste; use simple, informative and recyclable packaging; and minimise the use of water in its production plant.
Sharing its Gloucestershire farm with resident bats, sheep and foxes, Bensons helps the surrounding wildlife to survive, whilst actively promoting their values by educating about the important of local and natural produce.
Boasting a strong Cotswold heritage which dates back to 1938, Cotteswold Dairy is known for producing milk and dairy products with the belief that happy cows result in top quality and best tasting milk. The business’ environmental pledge extends to its packaging, using reusable and recyclable glass bottles.
Working closely and ethically with its farm suppliers, Cotteswold Dairy sources its milk from within a 50-mile radius, not only reducing food miles but supporting dairy farming in the local community.
Award-winning producer Day’s Cottage has been making apple juice for more than 20 years, managing hundreds of fruit trees – which span 20 acres of orchards – without chemicals. The producer also champions using solar power on the farm and avoids using excessive water to grow its apples.
What’s more, the family-run business keeps its carbon footprint to a minimum by carefully planning routes and delivering within a 15-mile radius, as well as packaging its juices in recyclable materials and using reusable glass bottles.
Dedicated to making everything by hand using entirely natural ingredients, Kitchen Garden Foods was founded in the 1980s by Barbara Moinet, who made blackberry and apple jam at her kitchen table – signalling the birth of the environmentally-friendly producer.
Maintaining strict quality control and traceability procedures, Kitchen Garden Foods is dedicated to preserving its ethics and natural products to the same level as in 1989, having retained its organic certification for nearly 20 years.
Known for its portable porridge pots, Wolfy’s is part of the Kitchen Garden Foods family, offering a product which is delicious and nutritious. Blended with love in an artisan kitchen, the porridge consists of only natural ingredients, with a small pot of honey, marmalade, jam or maple syrup inside.
Taking care to sources ingredients as locally as possible, Wolfy’s packaging is made from recyclable, reusable or compostable materials, with a number of the porridge pots also certified as organic.
Making award-winning cream and organic milk products, Jess’s Ladies is run by the Vaughan family who milk 80 cows on a farm which is looked after with wildlife in mind, while the family also takes care of the surrounding woodlands and hedgerows.
Also known as ‘the Ladies’, the cows are not pushed to produce milk and are allowed to live naturally on the farm. What’s more, the products are as fresh as possible – un-homogenised, pasteurised on site, and taken straight to local shelves to ensure the best possible flavour.
Taynton Farm Foods is known for baking homemade sweet treats spanning cakes, sponges and tray bakes in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside. The business has been operating for more than 20 years and champions quality, organic ingredients and free range eggs.
The family-run bakery takes care to reduce waste, keep packaging to a minimum, and regularly review product quality. Meanwhile, the producer supports local, supplying to the community and independent retailers within a 50-mile radius.
The Artisan Kitchen cooks up a range of award-winning jams, marmalades and preserves in a small Gloucestershire kitchen, all of which are handmade and homemade using quality, seasonal, hand-picked produce from the county’s orchards, allotments, farms and hedgerows.
Along with using donated and recycled packaging, The Artisan Kitchen also donates any products which don’t pass quality control to local charities and food banks.
Demonstrating great environmental consciousness which includes the use of biofuels, minimal packaging and efficient delivery, The Severn Project produces quality salad leaves and herbs, using its food production to create job opportunities for those who face significant barriers to the workplace.
There is a strategic wildlife policy in place for managing The Severn Project’s land to ensure the presence of foraging and nesting spaces for birds. The company also refrains from using herbicides and harmful fertilisers, in addition to harvesting rainwater.
Gloucestershire bakery and chocolatier Yum Yum Fine Foods is a seasonal producer, making goods such as puddings, cakes and chocolates during the Christmas season, all of which are handmade to order at the end of summer.
The bakery is dedicated to working with Fairtrade and organic products, making sure that only natural preservatives are used, in addition to championing local – such as flour milled in the county, free range Cotswold eggs, and carefully sourced fruits – and preserving wherever possible to avoid wastage.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Thursday 18 May 2017
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