Launch of first Cornish duck farm
brand new business has been launched in Cornwall, rearing
and supplying duck to high quality restaurants. The Cornish
Duck Company is the only commercial duck farm in the Duchy
and can already list two Michelin starred restaurants amongst
Whilst setting up the company, Roger Olver and his partner
Tanya Dalton received help and support from Business Link
enabling them to buy equipment for the meat processing unit
and to adapt existing facilities on their farm at St Stephen
near St Austell. Business Link's Food and Drink Programme
also helped fund a 'business mentor' to provide
them with advice on the business and marketing plan.
The company aim to rear the unique breed of ducks as free
range, although as a precaution against bird 'flu scares,
farm buildings have been converted to enable them to enclose
the birds if necessary.
Manager of Business Link Devon and Cornwall's Food
and Drink Programme, Graham Woolcock said the business'
strength lies in the successful identification of a niche
market. "After talking to local chef Nigel Tabb,
Roger and Tanya realised that there were no facilities in
Cornwall for breeding and supplying local duck. Food sustainability
issues and demand for high quality local produce is something
which is now vitally important to the food industry, so from
the start, the product is entering a very receptive market.
"The great thing about the Cornish Duck Company
in particular, is that there is absolutely zero food miles
involved in the production of the meat. The ducks are bred,
hatched, reared and processed on the farm and so the only
travel which takes place is the final transportation of the
meat to the customer – it's the perfect scenario."
The Cornish Duck Company currently supplies whole duck and
duck portions to quality restaurants in Cornwall and Roger
said they have no plans for mass expansion: "We
want the 'Cornish Duck' brand to be associated
with a select, quality product. In the future we would like
to see it being served up in top restaurants throughout the
country but we have no plans for supplying shops or supermarkets.
"We are also interested in broadening its appeal,
with the development of some new products like duck eggs,
smoked duck breast, duck burgers and sausages, which would
be excellent for good food pubs. We are very fortunate to
be joined by Joseph Smith who has brought with him his knowledge
of ducks and skills of processing and Ben Beagley who attends
to the day to day rearing. This gives Tanya time to concentrate
on the hatchery and bookwork while I can attend to the sales,
delivery and promotion side of the business."
Roger continued: "It has been a complete change
of direction from my previous line of work as an agricultural
contractor and setting up production from scratch has been
very hectic, but we have had excellent support from Business
Link. They have been absolutely superb throughout; in fact
there were times when I think we may have given up if it hadn't
been for their encouragement. The business has obviously benefited
from the input of outside expertise but on a personal level,
it has been a real help to have someone to turn to for advice
and moral support when things get tough."
'Cornish Duck', with its unique flavour, is
now being served at a number of restaurants in Cornwall, including
Tabbs and Saffron Restaurants, Truro, St Ervan Manor, Padstow,
The Abbey, Penzance and Fifteen Cornwall at Watergate Bay.
The Cornish Duck Company will also be exhibiting at the Cornwall
Food and Drink Festival, Lemon Quay in Truro from 29th September
– 1st October.
For further information please contact press officer Maxine
McAdams on 01566 771862 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Business Link Cornwall
Food and Drink Programme through the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). The Objective One Programme
has also invested in Business Link through the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) to help companies improve performance
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 635134 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.
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service
via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk
and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and
those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides
impartial business advice and support through a network of
partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register
of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon
and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to
the region under contract from the South West RDA.
Business Link has received Objective One investment (European
Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve
performance and grow.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439