‘Field to fork: on the trail of local produce’
This article was first published in the winter 2020-21 issue of our magazine Surrey Voice.
HRH The Countess of Wessex visited Surrey Hills producers and retailers recently to experience first-hand their ‘field to fork’ collaboration, following the path from Coverwood Farm near Peaslake to Squires Food Hall in Frensham. The Royal visit highlighted the importance of local food production, the challenges and opportunities facing farmers and food producers due to Covid-19 and the opportunities to meet the growing interest in supporting and buying locally and sustainably.
The importance and popularity of locally produced food and ‘field to fork’ tracing has never been higher – ticking all the boxes of sustainability, reduced carbon footprint, high-quality local collaboration and exceptional taste.
The Royal visit began at Coverwood Farm near Peaslake where the Countess met Bill Biddell, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, and farmer Tim Metson, his family and staff who produce pasture-fed beef. Mr Metson spoke about the key challenges and opportunities faced by farmers as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and other issues facing farmers, including pasture-fed meat production. The Countess officially opened the farm’s new ‘Provenance Cuts’ building, a new facility purpose built to process and butcher locally farmed, sustainable meat.
Next on the itinerary was the Food Hall at Squires Garden Centre in Frensham where she was introduced to Sarah Squires, Chairman, and Martin Breddy, Managing Director, who provided a tour around the Food Hall showcasing local produce and meeting staff who had worked throughout the lock down to provide food for the local community. The Countess also met Simon Taylor of Surrey Hills Butchers and Captain of Team GB for Butchery, specialising in high quality, ethical and locally sourced pasture fed meat.
Surrey Hills Artisan Trail
Surrey Hills is home to an exceptional group of talented artisans who make a wide range of traditional as well as more modern and innovative arts, crafts, food and drink. To celebrate the artisan heritage and culture of the Surrey Hills, Surrey Hills Enterprises have launched a free self-guided Surrey Hills Artisan Trail.
The Artisan trail will enable both visitors as well as residents, to explore the Surrey Hills and meet a wide range of Artisans, sample local food and drink, take part in artisan workshops and experience traditional artisan craft skills. The artisans will offer a range of entertaining and fun experiences and will help visitors to understand more about the culture and heritage of arts, crafts, food and drink in the Surrey Hills.