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10.03.06
South West farmers provide beef for prestigious London banquet

Five Cornish farmers are supplying quality Westcountry beef for a prestigious annual banquet in London on 17th March.

Four breeders of South Devon cattle, based in South Petherwin, Crackington Haven, Grampound and North Tamerton are supplying the meat, which is to be prepared into larder fillets for the occasion.

The beef has been commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Butchers for their annual dinner held at Butchers' Hall, Smithfield. It is an historic event dating back to 1469 at which London's Lord Mayor is traditionally invited as a guest of honour. The current Lord Mayor, the Right Honourable David Brewer is himself originally from Cornwall and has a keen interest in supporting the promotion of quality produce from his native Cornwall.

Mark Thomas of Treguddick Farm, South Petherwin is supplying cattle for the event. He said it was the Cornish connection that clinched the contract: "I'm aware that London's Lord Mayor has been a staunch supporter of South West produce and I believe he requested that the beef for this particular event should come from Cornwall. It is a great endorsement of the quality of the meat to get that level of approval, and especially to be requested for such a prestigious event as the Worshipful Company of Butchers' annual dinner."

Stewart Ward breeds South Devons at Besowsa Farm, Grampound. He is also supplying beef for the dinner and says the quality of meat from the breed is of an extremely high standard. "The meat is very tender because it has a marbling of fat which runs through it. It's similar in many ways to Aberdeen Angus beef but currently not as many consumers are as aware of South Devon as a brand.

"Breeders in Cornwall are now aiming to raise more awareness about the benefits of buying South Devon beef. At the moment we're working with the South West Rural Enterprise Gateway and independent butchers to encourage shoppers in the South West to find out more about a top quality product which is produced on their own doorstep."

Julie Harvey is manager of Meat South West who, alongside Taste of the West Cornwall part sponsored the deal. She said: "Meat South West is very pleased to support this initiative. We are delighted that the Worshipful Company of Butchers has requested Cornish beef for its annual dinner.

"Meat South West has a vision to develop the South West into a renowned, natural source of beef, lamb and pork that offers consistently good eating quality, together with high levels of traceability, animal welfare and care for the environment, delivered through an industry that works together to provide a quality service to all its customers."

The South Devon breed is thought to have been reared in Devon and Cornwall for the past 400 years but is becoming increasingly popular throughout the rest of the country due to its size and docile temperament. Feeding on natural forage, it is the largest breed native to Britain, with the nickname of 'gentle giants'. More information about outlets currently stocking South Devon beef can be found at www.cornwallfoodfinder.co.uk.

For further information please contact press officer Maxine McAdams on 01566 771862 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Taste of the West and the South West Rural Enterprise Gateway through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Martin Butler, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015, before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

The four beef suppliers are:

Mark Thomas, Treguddick Farm, South Petherwin
Stewart Ward, Besowsa Farm, Grampound
Ken Crocker, Trevigue Farm, Crackington Haven
Bill and Suzanne Harper, Way Farm, North Tamerton

Meat South West is a trade organisation for the South West red meat industry with a membership that covers abattoirs, processors, producers and associated companies and organisations. It was set up in April 2002.

Together with Taste of the West, Organic South West and the South West Local Food Partnership, Meat South West is part of South West Food and Drink. Meat South West acts as an industry focal point with knowledge of most of the red meat activity in the region.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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