Farmers Club SUMMER 2016 • ISSUE 262
INSIDE Brexit seminar p6 Chile tour p8 Charitable trust p10 St George’s Lunch p11 Crop technology p14 Pinnacle Awards p16 Chef’s notes p18 Eurodairy p19 U30s Spring Dining p20 On-farm brewery p21
INSERTS Annual Accounts Committee Nominations Wiltshire Tour Giselle Opera Statoil Tennis
Club Restaurant Newly refurbished Club Restaurant is a hit with members (p12)
www.thefarmersclub.com for the latest Club news
Farmers Club Over 170 years of service to farming
3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EL Patron – Her Majesty The Queen
FRONT COVER RESTAURANT – refurbishment creates a wonderful place for members to enjoy fine British food from our new kitchens. Photography: Tim Scrivener www.agriphoto.com Disclaimer: The articles published in The Farmers Club Journal do not necessarily reflect the views of The Farmers Club. No responsibility for the quality of goods or services advertised in the magazine can be accepted by the publisher. Advertisements are included in good faith’. All rights reserved.
3 Chairman’s Comments
Summer Club events to lift downbeat mood of farming
4 Club News
Project CREST refurbishment making great progress
Lively Club debate considers how the EU in/out vote could affect the food and farming sectors
8 Chile tour
Stunning Chile was the destination for three tailor-made Club tours earlier this year
10 Charitable Trust invests over £11,000
Supporting agricultural educators is the goal of these bursaries
11 St George and the rugby CEO
Excellent St George’s Day lunch hears from rugby union CEO
12 New Club Restaurant opens to acclaim
Vibrant recreation of Club Restaurant offers a refreshing new decor, more tables and a window into our revamped kitchens
14 Crop technology
Another successful Club Monday Evening Lecture, this time focused on plant genetics and crop protection
16 Pinnacle of business prowess
Club awards focus on business management skills of students
18 Farming figures
Insight into the depth of difficulties in the farming industry
18 Chef ’s notes
Head Chef Paul Hogben heads to New Covent Garden Market
19 Eurodair y
Pan-European dairy project had Farmers Club beginnings
20 Under 30s
Spring Dining evening and a member’s on-farm brewery
22 Club Information and Contacts
02 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Chairman’s Comments • Richard Butler over 1000 delegates was addressed by Secretary of State Liz Truss. Debate focused on Britain’s relationship with the EU and the payment delays to farmers from the Rural Payments Agency. Meurig Raymond was re-elected as President and will be speaking at the lunch following our Farmers Club AGM on July 5th. This is of course open to members to attend. Building work at the Club has been progressing well with the new kitchen and dining room opening in mid-April. Staff at the Club have coped magnificently while building work takes place around them.
Chairman’s Comments “It will require an immense effort over many years, and political commitment, to eradicate Bovine TB from our national cattle herd.”
MY year as Chairman seems to be going all too quickly with a quarter of the year already passed as I write. Since the last Journal my wife and I travelled to Chile with a dozen other Club members. This was an unforgettable trip and there is a full report in this Journal. The three parties from the Club who made this trip all experienced wonderful hospitality and were fortunate to be accompanied by Hughie Arbuthnot who was an excellent guide. A reunion for all those who made this trip has been arranged at the Club in November. Returning home to very wet cold weather on the farm after the Chilean sunshine proved challenging. NFU Conference I attended the NFU AGM at the end of February at the ICC in Birmingham. This conference with
The Club has been delighted to announce the appointment of Commodore Andrei Spence as Club Secretary. He will start work after Stephen Skinner leaves us at the end of June. I know from meeting Andrei that he is very much looking forward to taking up this role and is keen to meet Club members in the coming months. I would like to record my thanks to Julian Sayers who chaired the Appointment Committee and all the panel members who generously gave their time during the interview process. Summer events There has been strong demand from members for tickets to attend forthcoming events. The Brexit debate for example closed to further bookings with a capacity of 230 registered. The July summer visit to Wiltshire is also likely to prove popular. This has visits to the famous Lockinge and Ramsbury Estates as well as an evening across the Berkshire border at Newbury races. TB Restrictions At home on my farm spring planting went very well, in good dry conditions. However, sadly, not such good news on the cattle enterprise. Our herd is, like many in our area, once again under restriction from Bovine TB, after just one animal failed a recent test. It is tragic that this disease has been allowed to become so extensive in recent years in Britain, with the rest of Europe largely clear. It will require an immense effort over many years, and political commitment, to eradicate it from our national herd.
Wiltshire Tour Club Chairman Richard Butler is hosting a special tour to see some of the best of his home county of Wiltshire this July. Accommodation will be at Mercure Newbury Elcot Park Hotel, where members can arrive from 11am on Thursday 7th July for a sandwich lunch. At 1pm a coach will take the group for a tour of Lockinge Estate, which is managed by Club Chairman of Trustees Julian Sayers. The coach
then takes us all to Newbury Racecourse, in time for dinner and a splendid evening of racing. On Friday 8th members make their own way to the remarkable Ramsbury Estate for a tour of the 19,000 acre farming operation. Lunch will be taken on the estate before members depart for home. Booking form enclosed with this Journal or visit www.thefarmersclub.com/events
www.thefarmersclub.com • 03
Stephen Skinner • Club News
Club News Club refurbishment update As Phase 1 was completed according to plan, I have every confidence the next phase will be too.
The Restaurant is open – and on time too! As you will see elsewhere in the Journal, the refurbished Restaurant is open for members once again and we are all delighted with the end result. Indeed the feedback from everyone who has used it has been very positive, not only for the décor, but also for the quality and variety of food being produced by Head Chef Paul Hogben and his team. We are also very pleased with the quality of the new Committee Room, the new offices and the new Business Suite (currently being used as a temporary Reception), all of which are now on the Ground Floor. From the preceding paragraphs you will have realized that Phase 1 of Project CREST is now complete and we are in fact well into Phase 2. The current programme of works includes all our offices on the Upper Ground floor, the Cumber Room, the Shaw Room, Reception and the Gents toilets.
At this point, we will move the lounge and the bar to our soon to be created large function room (known as The Farmers Suite). This will allow us to finish the refurbishment of the Lounge, the Bar and the Ladies toilets. We anticipate that this latter part of the work, effectively Phase 3, will be complete by the end of July. I really should take this opportunity to thank all of our Team here who have done so much to make life as normal and pleasant as possible for you the members. If the feedback is anything to go by, they have certainly succeeded. I should also thank all of those involved in the actual refurbishment work too. They have been amazingly sympathetic to the needs of the members, our operations here at the Club and the other tenants in Whitehall Court too. The fact that noise and other complaints have been few and far between is a minor miracle. Finally, as this will be my last Club News, I do believe these refurbishment works will make a very significant difference, and improvement, to your Club and far better position it for the future. But don’t take my word for it, come and try it!
In at the Deep End I have been privileged to receive one of the very early copies of David Richardson’s autobiography “In at the Deep End”. As so many of you will know, David is a farmer, businessman, and communicator whose skills have been recognized over the years by both peers and admirers alike. During more than 50 years of writing and broadcasting about farming, food and the countryside he has earned a reputation for straight talking and common sense. 04 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
His criticisms of officialdom are penetrating (as I was often to experience as Secretary of the Club!), and his recognition and exposure of humbug are instinctive and incisive. The book is now available from Poppyland Publishing – www. poppyland.co.uk
Queen’s 90th floral tribute Club member Pat Turnbull is assisting in the floral arrangements at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 90th Birthday of our Club’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, from 10-12 June 2016. Members of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies will be creating nine special floral designs to be displayed outside the Abbey’s North Door and within the Cloisters. The displays will highlight and celebrate in flowers some of the many events that have taken place over the past nine decades, from the roaring twenties, through to the Second World War and right up to the present day.
Jill Willows It is with very great sadness that I have to inform you that on Sunday, 24th April, long-standing Club Committee member Jill Willows passed away. She will be greatly missed by many for all that she did, particularly in her role as Committee’s liaison with the Under 30s section.
Clubs and Informal Arrangements Many of you will be aware that the Club has informal arrangements with the East India, Caledonian and Civil Service Clubs. These INFORMAL arrangements are there primarily to help us out, if they can, with bedroom accommodation when we are full. However, this does not allow Club members to use these Clubs as if we had full reciprocal rights, allowing full use of all their facilities. What we ask is that if we are full, we will provide the contact details of the East India, Caledonian or Civil Service Club, which we ask you to contact and request accommodation. The ‘receiving’ Club will in due course check with ourselves that you are a member and your membership is up to date!
Club News • Stephen Skinner
Andrei Spence The new Club Secretary and Chief Executive of the Farmers Club is retired Commodore Andrei Spence. He officially takes the helm from July 1st, but will attend some Club events during June. Andrei joins the Club from the Royal Navy, where he served for over 32 years as a Logistics Officer specialising in law, being called to the Bar in 1993. His legal appointments culminated in his assignment as Commodore Naval Legal Services (the senior lawyer for the Royal Navy), based in Portsmouth. He is a qualified barrister and studied strategic relations at the Royal College of Defence Studies.
Club Calendar Diary Dates Please check the dates carefully as they sometimes change and new dates are added for each issue. Details of Club events circulated in the previous issues are available from the Secretariat on 020 7930 3751. For more information on Club events, including further details on these events and new events as they are added to the Calendar, visit the Events area of the Club website www.thefarmersclub.com
JUNE Royal Bath & West Show Wednesday 1st June Afternoon tea and drinks reception at the show Application form with Spring Journal Royal Bath & West Show
Supper at Club and coach transfer to magnificent Swan Lake
Royal Cornwall Show Friday 10th June
Andrei holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics/ Psychology from Aston University and is vice-chairman of governors and chairman of the finance and estates committee at St John’s College, Southsea. Married to Alison, he has two grown up sons.
Sunday 25% off
Royal Cornwall Show
In order to try to increase Sunday night occupancy in the Club the following special offer is now available for a limited period to members only. A 25% discount on the normal room rate will be applied to bedrooms booked for a Sunday night.
AUGUST OPENING!! Project CREST refurbishment of the Club is due to finish at the end of July, so why not take the opportunity to come and see the Club, relax and discover London this August. As has been the case for several years, all areas of the Club will be fully open, including the restaurant, bar, bedrooms, business suite, lounge, and function rooms. A children’s menu will again be available.
Swan Lake Ballet – FULL Friday 3rd June
Afternoon tea and drinks reception at the show Application form with Spring Journal
Royal Highland Show Dinner Wednesday 22nd June Dinner with guest speaker Allan Bowie, President NFUS and after-dinner speaker Dr David Purdie
JULY Club lunch with NFU President Tuesday 5th July Luncheon in the Club with NFU President Meurig Raymond as our guest speaker Application details due soon
Royal Highland Show
Wiltshire Tour & Newbur y Races Thursday 7th - Friday 8th July Visits to key farming estates and Newbury Races Application form enclosed
London by foot, boat and coach Wednesday 13th/Friday 15th July Meurig Raymond
A three day tour of some of the most interesting sites in London. Final few places available.
Royal Welsh Show Reception Monday 18th July London Tour
Drinks reception on the showground Application form with Spring Journal
SEPTEMBER Visit to Holland Monday 19th - Thursday 22nd September Royal Welsh Show
Farming and cultural visits around Amsterdam Application closed April 7th. A few places available.
www.thefarmersclub.com • 05
Charles Abel • EU Referendum
Emotional Brexit debate The Farmers Club’s exclusive members-only EU referendum debate attracted vigorous discussion. Charles Abel reports RARELY since the inception of the Farmers Club in 1842 could there have been such a pivotal debate. On Wednesday 27th April, in front of a packed audience of over 230 members, the implications for farming of the EU in/out referendum were aired. Proposing the motion that ‘UK Agriculture would be better if the electorate voted for the UK to leave the EU’ were the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and Kate Hoey MP, with the motion opposed by former NFU President Sir Peter Kendall and former MEP George Lyon. The heated exchanges were expertly chaired by Charlotte Smith, BBC Radio 4 Farming Today Presenter.
“EU markets would be unlikely to buy UK farm produce if it was grown to standards other than their own.” Sir Peter Kendall
Farm support A UK farm support regime could be targeted at the specific needs of the nation’s farming industry and environment, he said. “We would also benefit globally, getting our seat back on world bodies, which is where the bulk of policy is made now, so we could guide world regulation to benefit our industry.” Current EU policy was wholly opposed to technology, he added. “We could make the UK the centre of world research for farming and the environment. Vote leave and give power over your industry to people who you can boot out by voting,” he concluded.
A hands-up poll after the debate seemed to suggest more keen to leave than remain, with a smattering undecided. That split was reflected the day after by a Farmers Weekly poll of almost 600 UK farmers, showing 2:1 keen to leave. The Farmers Club has no political stance.
Trade barriers Sir Peter Kendall disagreed vehemently, focusing strongly on trade barriers. “No one can predict what our trading position will be, but it is plain wrong to suggest the UK market is more important to the EU, than their market is to us.”
Opening the discussion Mr Paterson insisted the UK was destined to assume an ill-defined associate status if it stayed in the EU, out-voted in the parliament and the council. “And on the money you are not safe staying in. In 2021 there is no certainty where the CAP will go. There will be enormous pressure to reduce support. Leaving is far safer, economically.”
“We as farmers are a tiny part of society, with urban swing seats crucial,” he continued. Agriculture was emphatically better served by EU policy than an NGO-driven UK government – Conservative, Labour or otherwise. He also noted that many EU countries demonstrated world-leading farm technologies, contrary to Mr Paterson’s claim.
06 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
EU Referendum • Charles Abel
EU is dysfunctional – Kate Hoey
UK politicians bow to NGO pressure – George Lyon
More funds for farming outside EU – Owen Paterson
Trade barriers an issue – Peter Kendall
Kate Hoey felt farmers could succeed without the support of 27 other countries. “The only certainty about staying is that your CAP isn’t very certain for very much longer. The EU is a dysfunctional organisation, with a shrinking share of the world market, year on year. Why remain part of it?” But George Lyon countered that as part of the EU the UK led the biggest economic block in the world, and was itself growing faster than America or Germany. EU membership helped the UK achieve that, by giving unfettered access, on a level playing field, to the biggest market in the world. Stuart Agnew, UKIP MEP, asked if the glyphosate ban agreed in Strasbourg for seven years from now was a good idea. Mr Lyon corrected him, noting that the licence was renewed for seven years, and Germany was backing it. He stressed that MEPs had power and were well able to influence Commission policies. “Absolute tosh” Mr Paterson felt that was “absolute tosh”, with UK MEPs routinely outvoted. Why couldn’t UK politicians be advised by UK scientists, as happened with neonicotinoids, to justify a derogation [forced to be only partial by the EC], he argued. Mr Kendall countered that EU markets would be unlikely to buy UK farm produce if it was grown to standards other than their own. Lord Plumb, who helped negotiate EEC entry in 1973, noted that only one country was now
A full report and photo gallery of the Debate can be viewed at www.thefarmers club.com/news To see our exclusive video of the debate, and post your views, visit the members-only ‘In Debate’ section of the Farmers Club website. Registering is easy, using your Club membership number (on statements, your Journal envelope or contact membership secretary Mark Fairbairn e-mail: membership@ thefarmersclub.com tel: 020 7925 7102).
recommending the UK leave the EU – Russia. He raised the fear of no financial farm support whatsoever within five years if the UK left the EU.
Farmers Weekly poll •5 8% leave, 31% remain, 11% undecided
Furthermore, Whitehall bureaucrats would gold plate UK-only regulations, added NFU deputy president Minette Batters. UK politicians had a track-record for bowing to consumer/ environmental pressure, which would only be exacerbated outside the EU, added Mr Lyon, attracting strong applause from the audience.
• Small farms and those under 45y and over 65y most likely to vote leave • Regulation/policy seen as far more important than farm support or trading/market access
A government committed to science was key, said Mr Lyon. But agriculture had been bottom of the list for the past two UK government spending rounds. Julie Robinson, lawyer, asked how farm trade could best be optimised. Mr Paterson said the EU was poor at negotiating trade deals, as seen with TTIP, whereas many countries achieved far better results, far more quickly, by negotiating bi-laterally. The EU worked ‘at the speed of the slowest handicapped donkey’.
• Confidence in farmer-friendly policies outside EU not high
By contrast Mr Kendall felt comforted that EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan was representing beef interests in the Mercosur trade discussions, whereas a UK-only negotiation led by the Treasury would see agriculture as a last priority.
Source: Farmers Weekly poll of 577 UK farmers, 20th April
Finally, Mr Lyon wanted the UK to move from a ‘defensive crouch’ position within Europe, to more of a leadership role, to make the EU work.
www.thefarmersclub.com • 07
Chris Monk • Club Visit
Chile tour The stunning destination for three Club visits this year was Chile. Chris Monk provides the words and Martin Shirley the photos OUR two-week Farmers Club adventure in Chile exceeded all expectations. Spectacular scenery, fascinating excursions and wonderfully hospitable locals made for a truly memorable trip. After a comfortable flight, our 14-strong group were met in Santiago by Hughie Arbuthnott, our Spanish-speaking guide whose sense of humour and encyclopaedic knowledge of the country greatly added to the experience.
We spent the first two days acclimatising and enjoying the sights of Santiago, which is home to almost half of Chile’s 15 million population. Led by Hughie, we enjoyed a tour of the capital’s most significant buildings, including the Presidential Palacio de La Moneda, Catederal Metropolitana and were given a detailed account of the city’s dramatic and chequered history. There was also time for a spot of shopping and dinner at a restaurant where we rubbed shoulders with Sir Mick Jagger who was in town for a Rolling Stones concert! Colchagua Valley On day three we moved down to Vina La Playa, a privately owned Hacienda-style lodge at a vineyard in the famous Colchagua Valley. We were shown new grape growing techniques, visited the winery and ended up at the processing and bottling plant to see how the same product is packaged and priced differently for markets throughout the world. Next we visited a museum in Santa Cruz which included a tribute to the rescuers in the 2008 mining disaster, before heading to the home of the Callejas family in the heart of the Curico fruit growing area. After a wonderful barbeque, our warm & welcoming hosts Jose and Consuelo explained with great emotion how their land had been confiscated in the 1970s by the Russian-
08 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Club visit • Chris Monk backed government of Salvador Allende. This had a devastating impact, with the land laying idle for years until the family bought it back. For me, the moving story and generosity of this remarkable family was one of the highlights of the trip. Later Jose arranged for us to visit a very successful fruit processing plant which was exporting high quality, local, traceable fruit to Europe, China and other parts of the world. We then moved to Mapuyampay, the comfortable, eco-friendly gastronomic lodge and home of Ruth, master chef for Concha Y Toro, Chile’s largest wine producer. Ruth treated a number of us – including the Chairman – to an impressive hands-on cooking demonstration for a typical three course Chilean meal later enjoyed by the whole group. Patagonia After three relaxing days we flew to the remote and beautiful northern Patagonia and had an occasionally bumpy six-hour journey in an old bus along the Austral Highway described by one wag in the party as the longest farm track in the world. As we travelled towards Malin Colorado on Lake General Carrera there were breath-taking views of glaciers, the Andes and the amazing light blue mineral coloured waters of the deep lakes – a real contrast to the lush valleys of the central fruit and wine growing region. We had four fantastic days in the area, inspecting the unique marble caves from boats on the lake, riding horses over the hills, fishing, and visiting the confluence of Baker & Neff Rivers. The more adventurous of us also squeezed into wetsuits and rafted down the Barker River rapids under the guidance of our young and energetic tour guide. Sadly our trip was coming to an end and it was time to return to Santiago and a final meal on the roof terrace of an exceptional fish restaurant. As some of the group were flying off to tour other parts of Latin America, we said our goodbyes to our inspirational guide over a cold glass of Chilean wine and toasted an unforgettable Farmers Club fortnight.
www.thefarmersclub.com • 09
Charitable Trust Awards AFTER careful consideration five excellent UK farming educators have been selected to receive special support from the Farmers Club Charitable Trust in 2016. Over a period of more than thirty years the Trust has provided well over £0.5M of funding to help university and college lecturers develop their knowledge and skills. The Trust was originally conceived and set up in 1981, by the late Trevor Muddiman, and underpinned by donations and covenants from Farmers Club members, generously matched by the late Sir John Eastwood. In the late 1990s Mrs Stella Muddiman very generously transferred land and property assets from a private family trust to the Famers Club Charitable Trust. This year’s applicants were scrutinised by a panel comprising Prof Ian Crute, Chairman of the selection panel and former chief scientist at the Agricultural and Horticultural Development
Board, Vic Croxson, former chief executive of Landex, the organisation for Land Based Colleges Aspiring to Excellence, Farmers Club Charitable Trust trustee James Cross, and Farmers Club Journal Editor Charles Abel. Commending the wide range of project topics, the judges noted that the Trust was particularly keen to see a stronger focus on primary agriculture. Applicants were allocated a mentor, drawn from the FCCT selection panel, to provide a point of reference throughout their period of funding. Summary reports will appear in future issues of the Journal and full reports are accessible via the Club website. • Donations and enquiries should be directed to Club Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) or FCCT chairman (stephen@fletcherbarton. co.uk)
This year’s successful candidates:
Dr Nick Prince
Mr Richard Rudge, Hereford & Ludlow College – working with manufacturers and equipment suppliers in the UK to develop new ways of teaching tractor engine management, with a particular focus on re-flashing to balance emissions, economy and power.
r Nick Prince, SRUC D Aberdeen – travelling to North America to investigate alternative approaches to land ownership and use, with a view to developing new teaching modules for land use students in Scotland, as the debate over land ownership intensifies.
Mr Richard Rud ge
Applications Awards totalling up to £25,000 are made each year. Applications are invited from those employed in agricultural education and training, especially those early in their careers. Projects should aim to widen and develop the applicant’s technical expertise, through study activities either inside or outside the UK. The closing date for applications will be early February 2017. See: www. thefarmersclub.com/ awards
Recent FCCT Projects Dr Jonathan C ooper Dr Jonathan Cooper, Harper Adams University – travelling to Nova Scotia, Canada to study the impacts of recent changes to incentives for renewable energy development, and draw comparisons with the UK.
• Novel food processing • Teaching precision farming • Knowledge transfer in grass production • Sensory perceptions in artisan foods • Barriers to females entering dairy/ equine industries
Dr Wendy Fernandes, Writtle Agricultural College – travelling to Norway and Hungary to assess fish farming techniques and establish collaborations, so new course content can be created around aquaculture.
Dr Wendy Fernandes 10 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
St George’s Day
St George’s Luncheon AN enthusiastic audience of 111 members and their guests celebrated St George’s Day at Stationers’ Hall with a superb luncheon, followed by an entertaining talk from Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the all-conquering Rugby Football Union. The event was hosted by Club Chairman Richard Butler and sponsored by Drummonds Bank, with a grace given by Malcolm Stansfield and a loyal toast to Club patron Her Majesty the Queen proposed by the Chairman, in the week of her 90th birthday. A Champagne reception in the elegant Court Room was followed by a fine three-course luncheon of black ash goat’s cheese starter, an excellent herb-crusted rack of lamb, and lemon brulee tart to finish, accompanied by Gerard Bertrand 6eme Sens Blanc 2013 and Le Campuget Syrah Voignier Chateau de Campuget 2015.
Joining the RFU in 2011, at a very difficult time for the game, it was clear it needed to refocus on its values, he said. “Teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship – they are enormously important and something we cherish.” Do not underestimate the impact of being great ambassadors, and symptomatic of those values, he continued. In sport doing the decent thing, often with humility of approach, had a great impact. Investing in the future was important too. “Every pound we get goes straight back into the game, through regional development officers, for example, or grass-roots club facilities, or the 700 schools where we have introduced rugby for the first time, with striking results for discipline and academic performance. “ • Photos from the event can be viewed from the Club News page at: www.thefarmersclub.com
Above left: Splendid Stationers’ Hall, London Above right: Fine dining to celebrate St George’s Day in the week of the Club’s Patron Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
“Do not underestimate the impact of being great ambassadors.”
The Club could not have had a more appropriate guest than Ian Ritchie, who led English rugby to its most successful year since 2003, noted Mr Butler. “While Saint George may have slayed dragons in history, it was a Welsh dragon that England overcame at Twickenham, to win the Triple Crown, before going on to Paris to win the Grand Slam.” Rejoicing in that Six Nations success, Mr Ritchie drew strong comparisons between rugby and The Farmers Club. He commended the Club’s principles of debate, fellowship and good food, recalling all three were very much in evidence at the post-match dinner in Paris, where French and English teams dined together until well past 2am. “It all builds a sense of camaraderie, which is so important.”
Guest of honour Ian Ritchie, with Club Chairman Richard Butler (left) and Secretary/Chief Executive Stephen Skinner.
www.thefarmersclub.com • 11
Virginia Masser • Club Refurbishment
The Restaurant is open! Fabulous new decor and best of British food from the extended Kitchen makes the new Restaurant a hot topic amongst members, as Club Manager Virginia Masser explains
“It’s very stylish, light, and the pictures are great.”
12 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
THE much praised colour scheme introduced to the Eastwood Room last year forms the basis of the new colour scheme throughout the whole of the Restaurant. New comfortable chairs have arrived and of course, the Club table remains! Club pictures have returned, some reframed, but all beautifully displayed giving real impact. Included amongst the wonderful farming and agricultural artwork is a black and white photograph of the Restaurant many years ago and an Upper Ground floor plan from 1969, both highlighting historical features which have now been reinstated. The antique mirrors are a nod to those that adorned the walls in a bygone era and will also be returning in the newly refurbished areas of the Club. Provenance is a key priority for our simply cooked, seasonal, quality, British food. The picture window into the kitchen provides a fascinating glimpse of great British produce being prepared and the kitchen service in action.
Club Refurbishment • Virginia Masser
Menu Highlights LUNCH & DINNER PICK Goats Cheese Soufflé, Beetroot & Balsamic (v) £5.75 Smoked Salmon, Watercress Cream £9.25 Asparagus, Woodland Mushroom Tart (v) £6.25 Scallops, Polenta, Vanilla Apple small £8.75 large £16.50 Homemade Soup £5.00 Boiled Egg & Soldiers £6.75 Woodland Mushroom Fritter, Charred Vegetables (v) £5.50 Marinated Mackerel, Caramelised Onion, Pickled Vegetables £5.50 Rabbit, Heritage Potato Salad, Smoked Mushroom Mayonnaise £5.75 Smoked Eel, Root Vegetable Cake, Horseradish Cream £6.75 Farmers Club Scotch Egg £5.00
“The new Restaurant is lovely, a great credit to everyone.” Why not start your meal with a warm bread roll that conjures up those homely, often early years memories – I understand that the hazelnut and raisin sourdough is the favourite choice so far! Chef then continues with his simply cooked, seasonal quality British food theme, with some hidden surprises. Jelle van Esseveld, Restaurant Manager says “The Restaurant is a pleasure to work in and makes the whole Restaurant team feel proud to be a part of The Farmers Club. Hopefully, members will feel the same and take the opportunity to show it off to their friends.” Member feedback is excellent; “the new Restaurant is lovely, a great credit to everyone,” “It’s stunning, so elegant.” “It’s very stylish, light, and the pictures are great.” “Love the colour scheme and the picture window is brilliant.” • Whilst the Restaurant has more space, please do still make your reservation by calling 020 7930 3557, option 3 or emailing Jelle or Elvis; on either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Love the colour scheme and the picture window is brilliant.”
Moons Green Cured Meat Platter small £8.75 large £16.50 Comprising: Marmalade Glazed Ham, Pork Loin, Ham & Stichelton Tart, Nduja & Sausage Meat Scotch Egg, Wild Fennel Salami, Red Wine & Cobnut Salami Inverawe Smoke House Platter small £9.75 large £18.50 Comprising: Salmon & Goats Cheese Tart, Smoked Eel Pate, Kipper Scotch Egg, Smoked Mackerel Fritter, Smoked Salmon, Smoked Cods Roe
FEAST Fish & Chips with a Twist £16.95 Braised Duck Leg, Sweet Young Vegetables £16.50 Skate, Citrus Butter & Capers, Spring Vegetables, Almonds £16.25 21 Day Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak, Béarnaise Sauce £21.50 Bream, Tomato Butter, Celeriac, Spinach Vanilla Oil £16.00 Braised Lamb Fillet, Pine Nut & Wild Garlic Crust £18.75 Lemon Sole, Flavours of Fish Pie £16.50 Beef Fillet, Pine Nut & Basil Pesto £19.25 Chicken & Woodland Mushroom, Glazed Vegetables £15.50 Spring Vegetable Pearl Barley Risotto (v) £14.50 Aubergine & Goats Cheese Pasta Parcels (v) £14.50
COMBINATIONS 3 courses for £23.50
To Begin Homemade Soup Woodland Mushroom Fritter, Charred Vegetables (v) Rabbit, Heritage Potato Salad, Smoked Mushroom Mayonnaise Farmers Club Scotch Egg
Feast Braised Duck Leg, Sweet Young Vegetables Aubergine & Goats Cheese Pasta Parcels (v) Bream, Tomato Butter, Celeriac, Spinach Vanilla Oil Dish of the Day
Indulgence Tonka Bean Crème Brulee, Milk Cocoa Cream Apple and Apricot, Walnut Crumble Chilled White Chocolate Rice Pudding, Mint Jelly Selection of Water Ices & Ice Creams
Plus Coffee or Tea Chef’s Treats
www.thefarmersclub.com • 13
Louise Impey • Club Seminar
Cropping seminar Boosting and protecting crop potential was the focus of the latest Farmers Club Monday Evening Lecture. Louise Impey reports
“Bacillussubtilis, a broadspectrum fungicide and bactericide, with anti-fungal properties.... needs to be used in conjunction with other techniques to get the best from it.”
GENETICS can boost crop potential and chemistry can protect it. But both sectors face challenges as well as opportunities as they strive to lift farm productivity, delegates heard at the latest Farmers Club Monday Evening Lecture held in the National Liberal Club in London. According to Dr Tina Barsby, CEO of NIAB, there have been enormous advances in plant breeding in recent years, with technology being used to transform processes and bring faster results.
New sources of wheat genetic diversity come from mutants, related species and synthetics, with all sources being used to add to the genetic melting pot, Dr Barsby explained. “There were two chance events that occurred in the long history of modern wheat. Both involved hybridisation with wild relatives, emmer and goat grass.” Pre-breeding lines have been resynthesised with wild goat grass at NIAB, to create more diversity, she reported. “Wide crossing works well. With our synthetic wheat crosses, we have seen yield increases of around 30%.”
“Things have changed,” she stressed. “That’s due to an increased emphasis on using natural variation to find diversity, as well as the advent of cheaper genome sequencing. In addition, IT can now deal with much of the mundane work.”
While some of that yield potential will be lost once it is in a commercial line, which can take up to ten years to produce, there are other benefits too, she said. “They seem to hold yield at lower nitrogen levels.”
As cheaper and faster methods of sequencing genomes have been developed, publication of genome maps has occurred and knowledge has expanded, she pointed out.
Work with MAGIC wheats is also on-going. “This involves crossing and crossing to get lots of variation, so it really stirs the pot and improves the speed and efficiency of wheat breeding.”
“The first draft of the wheat genome was published in July 2014, and although the full sequence is only available for one of the three chromosome sets, it was a huge achievement. Remember that the wheat genome is massive – five times the size of the human genome.”
Hybrid wheat However, Dr Barsby highlighted hybrid wheat as the next big development, with FI hybrids already in the UK testing system. “They give improved performance over conventional wheat, with lower inputs used and when under stress,” she said.
14 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Club Seminar • Louise Impey
John Peck, Technical Manager at BASF
Dr Tina Barsby, CEO of NIAB
“The first of these is likely to be sold in France, but the UK is not far behind.”
Mr Peck. “It is becoming very difficult to get new seed treatments registered.”
But the step change will come from genome editing, she forecast. “This is like using a pair of molecular scissors to remove, insert or replace a genetic sequence, without leaving a footprint.” As such, it can be used to make targeted changes, with the resulting plants being indistinguishable. “It isn’t the same as GM, so it’s unlikely that the same crop regulation will apply.”
Other developments with a good future include biological products, involving the use of pheromones, parasitic wasps and bacteria, to name a few. “There has been success with some of these. Entomopathogenic nematodes are a good example – they are specific in infecting slugs and some insects, and they act as a vector for bacteria.”
Crop protection In contrast, new active ingredients to use in agrochemicals are becoming few and far between, reported John Peck of BASF, who pointed out that the scrutiny that plant protection products are subjected to means that they have to meet 800 requirements.
Once the nematodes penetrate the target pest’s body cavity, the bacteria they carry destroy the pest. “It’s a system which works well, but it is expensive and the nematodes have a shelf-life of 3-4 months. So it’s not the same as having slug pellets in the store, in case you need them.”
“As a company, we’re testing more than 100,000 molecules every year,” he revealed. “It’s a long-term process, with a new product taking ten years to develop. The European market can be particularly challenging, which is why there’s been a fall in the number of substances targeted at Europe.”
“With our synthetic wheat crosses, we have seen yield increases of around 30%.”
Finally, Mr Peck mentioned Bacillus subtilis, a broad-spectrum fungicide and bactericide, with anti-fungal properties. “It improves plant health and promotes growth, but needs to be used in conjunction with other techniques to get the best from it.”
This initial screening looks for various factors, he continued. “Very reliable action is a major requirement, but the molecule must also be welltolerated by cultivated and beneficial organisms. “In addition, it must have favourable toxicological properties and strike the right balance between rapid degradation and length of activity. Finally, it needs to come in a user friendly formulation and bring added value to producers and users.” Alternatives to new agrochemicals include diagnostics for better targeting, precision application and seed solutions, such as coatings, he suggested. “With the latter, regulatory aspects have to be taken into consideration,” highlighted www.thefarmersclub.com • 15
Charles Abel • Pinnacle Awards
Pinnacle Awards Farm management excellence was the focus as judges quizzed students in the 19th Pinnacle Awards. Charles Abel reports
“With most commodity sectors losing money farms need to look outside the box, and that means looking at alternative land uses to help maintain a viable business.”
HARPERS Adams University student Katie Woolliscroft triumphed over stiff opposition to secure top honours in the prestigious 2016 Pinnacle Awards run by the Farmers Club and ADAS, with generous sponsorship from the Cave Foundation. Her diversification plans for a tenanted farm in Derbyshire showcased innovative thinking, entrepreneurial flair and sound management skills on a day when the judges were seeking practical solutions to help farming endure one of the sharpest downturns for decades. “Industries that are in difficulty are industries that innovate, and change, and this year’s finalists recognised that,” commented Prof Bill McKelvey, chairman of judges. “With most commodity sectors losing money farms need to look outside the box, and that means looking at alternative land uses to help maintain a viable business.” The Pinnacle Awards, in their 19th year, assessed the business management skills of finalists through detailed scrutiny of a course-work project, followed by a panel interview and then a formal presentation at the Farmers Club in London. Katie impressed the judges with her innovative thinking, confident presentation skills, keen
16 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
business acumen and recognition of the practical realities of making a diversification work in a competitive marketplace. “Katie had explored the opportunities for grant funding, worked hard on her unique selling points, and responded particularly well to questioning,” noted Farmers Club Chairman Richard Butler. Realistic returns on capital invested were crucial. “The easiest place to make a profit is on paper,” as one finalist noted. Industry awareness was particularly important, said ADAS senior consultant Tony Turner. “Projects need to take full account of the real world, and this was an area where some big pitfalls let some candidates down.” Honorary guest Anna Hills of BBC Radio 4’s early morning Farming Today programme commended the enthusiasm of the finalists, and urged them to think about speaking up for their industry. Farming had not been that good at getting its message across so far, she said. “I want to talk to people, like you, in the field in their wellies. Real stories about real people. You need to be able to step up and answer questions about being a clean industry, producing food with care and looking after the environment. If you can’t, you really shouldn’t be in the industry.”
Pinnacle Awards • Charles Abel
Katie Woolliscroft Harper Adams University
Heather Kerr SRUC Ayr
Harry Holt Bridgwater College
Pinnacle Gold Award Nickerson Cup and a cheque for £2000.
Pinnacle Silver Award and a cheque for £1000.
Pinnacle Bronze award and a cheque for £600.
Three possible diversifications for a tenanted farm were explored and a plan for creating an on-farm brewery chosen and developed into a sound commercial proposition. Good market research recognised strong local competition, but differentiation through provenance, including a signature festive rye beer using home-grown grain underpinned a feedback-for-a-free-swap system of enabling product fine-tuning, backed by keen early pricing to encourage local pub uptake. Realistic borrowing, good labour planning, a sensible limited company structure, Leader grant application, exit strategy and keen awareness of regulatory requirements demonstrated a robust approach to business planning.
An innovative low-risk plan to develop a green burial site with stunning sea views beside an attractive woodland was backed by a coherent marketing plan to attract interest from the growing proportion of the almost 1million people living nearby who research showed felt a connection to nature and the environment, and wanted a burial with minimal impact, or preferably a positive impact. Realistic costings, and finance from farming profits, with no borrowing, were allied to a sound understanding of the target audience’s ethos.
Together with a colleague a plan was developed to help a tenanted dairy farm cope with the reality of an unprofitable milk price. A revised budget based on rigorous cost control saw arable operations and their overheads ditched, with realistic on-farm solutions to boost dairy output detailed, so the business could survive sector rationalisation and hopefully reap better prices in the future. A pragmatic approach, backed by determination and good industry knowledge.
Georgina Barratt, Nottingham University
Nicola Blowey Harper Adams University
Joe Campbell Newcastle University
John Sansome Reading University
Daniel Taylor SRUC Edinburgh
A business plan for the first three years of a new tenancy on an arable operation focused on more efficient arable cropping and contracting, a fascinating diversification into a 20 day/year simulated driven game clay shoot and opportunistic turkey rearing to use spare labour and buildings.
Developing a goat kid meat enterprise on a tenanted farm with direct meat marketing experience focused on sales over the internet and at farmer’s markets, supplemented by local restaurant supply. High risk was traded off against low entry costs and a planned exit strategy.
A plan to transition out of dairy into suckler beef was the challenge Joe’s team had been set. Alternatives were considered and a closed spring calving commercial suckler herd, plus pedigree Angus enterprise resulted, with detailed costings. Sheep opportunities were discussed.
Detailed financial planning with colleagues to exploit untapped potential on a large, well-structured estate with major diversification projects already in place. Major borrowings would finance an on-farm gin distillery, premium beef and sheep enterprises, on-farm butchery and solar PV energy.
Together with colleagues a plan to manufacture, market and distribute a Scottish Thistle branded vodka made from milk whey from a local cheese producer. Market research identified demand, with sales planned via social media, farm shops, farmers markets and high-end stores and bars.
www.thefarmersclub.com • 17
Fresh produce supplier impresses
A look at… one of the severest downturns in UK farming for decades… told through a few key statistics
Crash in 2015 UK Total Income From Farming to £3.77bn, lowest since 2010, down £931m dairy, £432m wheat, £186m pigs, £142m s.beet
Double whammy ‘Horn down, corn down’ – low prices across the board make the situation especially difficult
BPS 2016 Late payment fiasco has thrown cashflows into crisis across UK, bringing desperation to many
79p per 1€
Trend towards strong Sterling and weak Euro has hit exports and support payments hard
11p/litre Crash in ave milk price since Nov 2013. Many farms now well below cost of production
50p/kg Extent to which Irish beef has undercut UK beef, fuelled by currency differential
Annual rise in debt to Sept 2015, up 9% to total £17.5bn. £2bn more expected to be needed by Sept 2016.
Interest rates have been historically low, thankfully, but a rise to 1% is expected in 2016
8,500+ TB herds Annual number of GB herds officially not TB free in each of the past three years
Under £100/t Value of feed wheat and feed barley Sources: Andersons, Defra, Farmers Weekly
18 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Head chef – Paul Hogben FIRST Choice, owned by Daniel McCullough, is a refreshingly British fruit and vegetable supplier in New Covent Garden Market, south-west London, which supplies some of the fine food served in our newly refurbished Club Restaurant. Daniel established First Choice in 2001, as demand for seasonal British produce increased within the M25 circle. He initially supplied businesses directly from the back of his van, until demand became such that he set up a business which now employs 110 staff. Close links have been established with UK farms, with consideration to mileage and journey times, so chefs get the freshest produce in the shortest time from farm to fork, without involving third party wholesalers. Just some examples of the foods available are micro cress, edible flowers and baby vegetables from Norfolk; tomatoes from West Sussex; soft fruits from Essex and Kent; heritage potatoes from Northumberland; and brassicas and leaf vegetables from Kent and Cambridgeshire. First Choice has British Retail Confederation and Red Tractor
accreditation, and grabbed my attention with the lengths its team goes to, to source fresh British produce throughout the seasons. I also liked their direct links with farmers and the effort spent producing weekly updates on new products, what’s coming into season, what’s good, what’s excellent, and what’s coming to an end. They also offer open days where we can meet and discuss requirements and see what’s new with farm suppliers. We try to mention as many of our suppliers as possible on the Provenance page of our Restaurant menu, and we are arranging farm visits so team members can see for themselves the great produce grown in this country. Hopefully, that will all encourage more ideas into the dishes we create at the Club. • Paul Hogben, Head Chef To book a table in the newly refurbished Club Restaurant call: 020 7930 3557 option 3 OR email: restaurantmanager@ thefarmersclub.com or asstrestmanager@ thefarmersclub.com
Find out more about First Choice Produce at: www.firstchoice-produce.com
Research • Ray Keatinge
– a pan-European network for dairy knowledge exchange AN event at the Farmers Club in 2011 was the catalyst ultimately leading to a successful bid for EU funding for a thematic network to share information across the European dairy industry – EuroDairy. That event was the brainchild of Richard Holland, then chairman of the Farmers Club. With funding from BioSciences KTN, farmerfunded levy bodies from across Europe were brought together to discuss the potential for closer collaboration. As a result, the European Cattle Innovation Partnership (ECIP) was formed under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in June 2012, by partners in Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, France, GB, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Italy and Israel. Focussing on farmer requirements, the aim is to work more closely in the co-ordination of applied research, to ensure better value for money for levy-funded research and development, by sharing knowledge, avoiding duplication, and ensuring better translation of research results into practice. Taking collaboration to the next level, ECIP partners are key players in a new EU Horizon 2020-funded project coordinated by AHDB Dairy. ‘EuroDairy’ aims to increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability of dairy farming by sharing information, best practice and technical innovation across member states.
(e.g. farm profitability, resilience to volatility, labour use, succession and quality of life) and biodiversity (e.g. integrating profitable dairy farming with care for the environment).
Ray Keatinge Head of Animal Science Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board
Farmers are at the heart of EuroDairy. The approach revolves around the use of ‘multi-actor’ groups, drawing in relevant parties (e.g. farmers, vets, researchers, commercial companies –appropriate to the topic), so that practical knowledge is exchanged, rather than being driven top down, or from a research-led agenda.
Ray.Keatinge@ ahdb.org.uk T. 024 7647 8687 M. 07969 837 909 www//eurodairy.eu
The project will identify, develop and demonstrate best practice on 120 pilot farms, located across Europe and costed according to the European Dairy Farmers cost of production model. These farms will be deliberately chosen to be pushing at the boundaries of good performance, but still have some room to progress along their chosen development path. The project will run for three years to February 2019. If you are interested in finding out more, or discussing participation as a pilot farm, please get in touch. • Ray Keatinge
“EuroDairy will identify, develop and demonstrate best practice on 120 pilot farms, located across Europe and costed according to the EuropeanDairy Farmers cost of production model.”
From Ireland to Poland, and from Sweden to Italy, 19 industry partners span 14 countries, representing 40% of dairy farmers, 45% of cows and 60% of milk output in Europe. The project focuses on four main topics – improving resource efficiency (e.g. precision feeding, soil fertility and nutrient management, water and energy efficiency), animal care (e.g. reducing antimicrobial use, improving welfare, and optimising the housed environment for dairy cattle), socio-economic resilience
EuroDairy spans 14 EU countries – including 40% of dairy farms, 45% of cows and 60% of milk production in the EU Left: The European Cattle Innovation Partnership, a Farmers Club initiative, led to today’s EuroDairy Main image: Pan-European collaboration aims to improve dairy farming prospects
www.thefarmersclub.com • 19
Mary Bell, Chairman; Charlotte Harris, Vice Chairman; Lisbeth Rune, Secretary • U30s
Emily McVeigh, Edward Earnshaw and Florence Wolfe
On 18th March we were very lucky to hold our Spring Dining event in the newly renovated Farmers and Fletchers Hall, with guest speaker Michael Whitehead, who was brilliant company and gave a very interesting talk (see story right). I am delighted to announce that the Oxford Farming Conference Scholarship will be offered to a member of the Under 30s for the second year running, thanks to the generosity and support of the Main Club. This is a real opportunity for any U30s member to attend the Oxford Farming Conference on 3, 4 and 5 January 2017 at Oxford University. Last year’s scholar, Will Wilson, said the conference ‘was an amazing experience’ so I hope this will inspire many of our U30s members to apply. The application form will be available on the Farmers Club website and will be distributed to all members by email later in the year. Our next event is the Spring Farm Walk, based at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle. Steve Stubbings of the Northumberland Estate has kindly agreed to give a tour of the estate, and in the afternoon we will have a guided tour of Alnwick Castle before dinner at the Northern Counties Club. Our weekend will finish with a visit to Newcastle University’s NU-Food Research unit, by kind permission of Karl Christensen. Full report in the next issue. Finally, as part of my U30s Chairmanship, Jonathan Waterer (Higher Biddacott Farm Centre for Heavy Horses, North Devon) and I will be cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End in aid of the Addington Fund’s Housing Scheme and Devon Air Ambulance at the end of the summer. We would be delighted if anyone wishes to sponsor us at: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ teampoldarkendtoendcycle2016
Contact Mary for more information Mary Bell U30 Chairman Job Title: PA to Lord Malloch-Brown Where: Piccadilly, London www.thefarmersclub.com /under-30s email@example.com
20 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Jonny Hawking and Sam Mason
Spring Dining Event IT was an honour to be joined by Michael Whitehead, Assistant Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and his girlfriend Charlotte BalfourPoole, for an intimate dinner at the Farmers and Fletchers Hall in the City of London on 18th March 2016. The evening began with a Champagne reception followed by a wonderful three-course meal. Mr Whitehead read Rural Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, ready to take over the family farm in Wiltshire. He is a long-standing member of the Army Reserve and completed multiple tours of Afghanistan, where he worked on agri-economic and counter-narcotics projects. Since 2013 he has worked for their Their Royal Highnesses with particular responsibility for natural environment, food, farming and rural affairs. Mr Whitehead extended a personal apology from His Royal Highness that he was unable to be with us, due to a current tour of the Balkans. He went on to explain the current challenges facing UK agriculture, in particular the significant drop in commodity prices and its impact across all sectors. Thus, Agri‘Culture’, as highlighted by Mr Whitehead, is facing unprecedented cashflow challenges.
Despite this, he felt farmers held a huge responsibility for shaping our land and our cultural heritage. The Prince’s Countryside Fund invests in significant changes at grassroots level, to support the future of farming and aims to identify gaps in the industry. One example is its Dairy Initiative, which provides an environment for small farmers to benchmark their enterprises; another is a research project at Exeter University looking into the sound economic value of small family farms. Ultimately, the future lies with our generation, he said. It requires innovation and hard work, and he felt the U30s generation had the ability to rise to the challenge. He concluded that British farmers had wonderful traits and made hard-grafting, adaptive and compassionate people, with particular entrepreneurial zeal! We were very lucky that most people had the chance to speak with Michael and Charlotte throughout the meal. It was extremely kind of them to give up their evening for the U30s. I would like to thank the Farmers and Fletchers Hall for hosting us and to one of our newest members, Florence Wolfe, for all her help. John Jaques Immediate Past Chairman
U30s • Mary Bell, Chairman; Charlotte Harris, Vice Chairman; Lisbeth Rune, Secretary
The Rampant Horse pub – open for 472 years
All-British brewhouse at Home Farm, Coddenham Green, Ipswich
Calvors Brewery founder Alec Williamson
Lager-brewing farmer LIKE many I wanted to return to the family farm, but needed another enterprise to make it viable. In my case this led to the idea of starting a lager brewery, named Calvors.
English lagers, I needed to invest in a brewery that would give the ability to make money, as the lager process was not viable using a 1000 litre brewhouse.
This was a little unique compared to the normal ale microbreweries and I believe I was just the third lager-only microbrewery in the UK. Despite knowing the production process is considerably more expensive and longer than ale, and that drinkers are more brand loyal to their lager, I decided it would be worth trying to see if a niche existed.
Lager comes from the word ‘lagerung’, which means to store in German. All of our lagers are stored for five weeks longer than our ales, which of course takes a lot of tanks. In late 2012 I started to install my new 6500 litre brewhouse, which I am pleased to say was all built in England.
Lager is renowned in the UK for being poor quality. However, few know that it is more complicated to make than ale. A significant reason people believe lager tastes of very little is due to mainstream brands brewing them to high alcohol percentages, then watering them down to make the production process cheaper. I wanted to make lager in a genuine, more Continental way, which would mean it also has flavour, albeit delicate. I embarked on the journey in 2007 by securing planning permission for change of use of a building and had a 1000 litre brewery installed. I had learned the basics, and over many months eventually overcame the added difficulties of brewing lager on a small scale. In 2008 I started selling a 5% bottled lager and then set up the ability to fill kegs. More lagers followed, including two dark in colour, and then in 2012, after proving there was a niche for craft
In early 2012 I purchased a local pub ‘The Rampant Horse Inn’ which now promotes our beers along with fresh food made on-site. It is a pleasure to run a pub that has been open for 472 years! My quest for efficiency continued, and unfortunately it meant the end of my lager-only status, as I would have been silly not to utilise the distribution we already had and make the far easier, less expensive, and quicker ‘Ale’. I purchased a number of casks and now sell two permanent ales in casks, kegs and bottles.
Alec Williamson Founder Calvors Brewery Ltd Home Farm Coddenham Green Ipswich Suffolk IP6 9UN M. 07796 626105 T. 01449 711055
“It is a pleasure to run a pub that has been open for 472 years!”
The craft beer movement seems to have happened around me, which has been fantastic. However, it means a lot more people to compete in a market that sees declining beer sales year on year and a declining number of pubs. So, here’s to Calvors!. • Calvors Brewery sells to a wide variety of outlets and is available on-line – see www.calvorsbrewery.com
www.thefarmersclub.com • 21
The Farmers Club • Club Information
020 7930 3557 • www.thefarmersclub.com Office Holders Patron – Her Majesty The Queen HONORARY VICE PRESIDENTS Peter Jackson CBE, Roddy Loder-Symonds, Sir David Naish DL, John Parker THE COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT OF THE CLUB 2016 VICE PRESIDENTS Barclay Forrest OBE, Mark Hudson, Norman Shaw CBE, Mrs Susan Kilpatrick OBE PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN Richard Butler TRUSTEES Jimmy McLean, Mrs Nicki Quayle, Julian Sayers (Chairman), Paul Heygate VICE-CHAIRMAN Tim Bennett HONORARY TREASURER George Jessel DL IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN Anne Chamberlain CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND SECRETARY Stephen Skinner CLUB CHAPLAIN The Reverend Dr Sam Wells COMMITTEE Elected 2014: Allan Stevenson (Chairman – Communications Sub-Committee), Alison Ritchie, Robert Lasseter, Martin Taylor, Campbell Tweed OBE Elected 2015: Tim Bennett, Matt Dempsey, Richard Maunder, Gerald Osborne Elected 2016: Robert Alston, Andrew Brown, Lindsay Hargreaves (Chairman – Membership Sub-Committee), Nick Helme, Peter Jinman OBE (Chairman – House Sub-Committee) Co-opted: Mary Bell (Chairman Under 30s), Charlotte Harris (Vice Chairman Under 30s) THE FARMERS CLUB CHARITABLE TRUST TRUSTEES Stephen Fletcher (Chairman), John Kerr MBE DL, James Cross, Vic Croxson DL, The Chairman and Immediate Past Chairman of the Club (ex officio)
NEXT ISSUE The HARVEST issue of the Farmers Club Journal is due out in late-July, with all the latest news, including reports from the Cereals Event, and Farmers Club Charitable Trust, and features on the human cost of farming’s downturn, on-line trading of farm commodities and enhanced soil management.
22 • The Farmers Club Summer Journal 2016
Statoil Masters Tennis
Giselle at Eno London Coliseum
Friday 2 December 2016 Watch the greatest players on the grandest stage! Grand Slam Champions, former World Number 1s and national icons return to the Royal Albert Hall for a dazzling display of high quality tennis and entertainment during the festive season. Now in its 20th year, Champions Tennis is the season-finale to the ATP Champions Tour. Former World No.1 and two-time US Open Champion Pat Rafter is headlining the star-studded field for the fourth time, in a bid to win his third title. Our programme starts at 5.00pm with a 2-course supper with wine in the Club, before departing by coach for the Royal Albert Hall at 6:30pm, ready for the tennis starting at 7:30pm. After the tennis ends, at 10.15pm (approx.), the coach returns to the Club. This event is limited to 40 places only. Cost per person is £115.00. All applications should be received by 24th June 2016. If oversubscribed places will be decided by ballot. Apply online at www.thefarmersclub.com or complete the booking form enclosed with this issue. Please only book accommodation when your place has been confirmed.
Friday 20 January 2017 Giselle is a haunting story of innocence, betrayal and the redemptive power of love. A young peasant girl, Giselle, loves the handsome Duke Albrecht, who conceals his nobility and engagement to another. Discovering his deceit, Giselle is driven to madness, and dies of a broken heart. The vengeful spirits of abandoned brides gather to welcome Giselle into their fold – and force men to dance to their death. Will Giselle’s love protect Albrecht? Mary Skeaping’s production features some of ballet’s most dramatic scenes and otherworldly images. Our programme starts at 5.00pm with a 2-course supper in the Club, before departing by coach for the London Coliseum at 6.30pm. The ballet begins at 7.30pm and ends at 10.00pm (approx.) when the coach returns to the Club. This event is limited to 40 places only. Cost per person is £120.00. Applications should be received by 24 June. If oversubscribed, places will be decided by a ballot. Apply online at www.thefarmersclub.com or complete the booking form enclosed with this issue. Please only book accommodation when your place has been confirmed.
Reciprocal Clubs UK City Livery Club, London (No bedrooms) Royal Overseas League, Edinburgh Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh The New Club, Edinburgh Northern Counties Club, Newcastle Note: We have informal agreements with the East India and Caledonian Club for bedroom bookings if we are full. Reception also holds a list of hotels within a 15 minute walk that might be considered ‘good value for money’.
OVERSEAS The Western Australian Club, Perth, Australia (Bedrooms not reciprocated) Queensland Club, Brisbane, Australia The Australian Club, Melbourne, Australia
Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland (Bedrooms not reciprocated) Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club, Dublin, Ireland The Muthaiga Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya The Harare Club, Harare, Zimbabwe The Christchurch Club, Christchurch, New Zealand (operating from The George Hotel www. thegeorge.com and able to offer reciprocal visitors preferred accommodation rates) The Canterbury Club, Christchurch, New Zealand Members wishing to use any of the above Clubs should obtain an introductory card from the Secretariat.
Club Information • The Farmers Club Deaths It is with regret that we announce the death of the following members: Mr D Chapman Yorkshire Mr W Clark USA Mr D Goodwin MBE Kent Mr D Lewis London Mr H Neilson Perthshire Mrs M Older Kent Mr J Page Essex Mr E Robertson Lincolnshire Mr S Scott Dorset Mrs J Watson Lincolnshire Mrs J Willows Yorkshire Mr R Young Wiltshire Mr P De La Fargue Greece New Members The following were elected: UK Members Miss A Anderson Mrs B Barbour Mr T Barnes Mr J Bird Mr D Bowerman Mr I Buchanan Mr J Burnett Mr T Dick Mrs C Downes Mr M Faulkner Mr C Flint Mrs S Gaden Mrs H Hancock LVO Mr H Harper Mr R Harris Mrs K Jackson Mr M Jarman Mr G Jones Mr J Kaye Mr R Lawrence Mr P Lukas Mrs J Maughan Mr R Pascall Mr R Platt Mr H Pring Mr R Ramsay Mr M Riches Mr M Robins Mr B Shaw Mr H Stratton Mr A Topping Mr B Turnbull Mr N Von Westenholz Mr R Whitelock Overseas Mr S Heasman Under 30s Mr K Arvidsson Mr J Brewer Miss B Easterbrook Mr J Fisher Miss P Fromant
Northumberland Roxburghshire Cornwall Glamorgan Wiltshire Londonderry Nottinghamshire Aberdeenshire Shropshire Warwickshire Yorkshire Gloucestershire Yorkshire Hampshire London Yorkshire Oxfordshire Northamptonshire Yorkshire Suffolk Surrey Hampshire Sussex Staffordshire Lancashire Angus Staffordshire Berkshire Hertfordshire Wiltshire Kent Cheshire Hertfordshire Durham USA Kent Norfolk Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire London
Mr J Griffiths Miss A Howarth Mr T Magness Mr M Pendrey Mr T Schwier Mr S Scott Mr K Shearer Mr P Whitehead
Devon Cheshire Essex London Essex Hampshire Gloucestershire Gloucestershire
Corrections Sincere apologies to the following new members, who were incorrectly listed in the last Journal. Their correct details are: Special Associate Rt Revd Dr J Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield Yorkshire Rt Revd L Lane, Bishop of Stockport Cheshire Shaw Room The Shaw Room may be used for meetings of two or three people for up to an hour without booking. iPads, laptops and mobile phones may be used but phones should be set to silent ring. Mobile Phones, Briefcases and Business Meetings Mobile phones must not be used in the Public Rooms (except the Shaw Room). Briefcases should be left in the Cloakrooms and Business meetings must be conducted in the Shaw Room or designated and pre-booked meeting rooms. Members should speak with the Meetings Manager, Mrs Lynne Wilson for details on 020 7925 7100 or firstname.lastname@example.org Parking The Club has no private parking at Whitehall Court. However, the Club is pleased to be able to offer all its members discounted parking with Q-Park, our preferred parking partner. Discounts of 20% are available on the day and on prebookings. The nearest Q-Park is situated in Spring Gardens off Cockspur Street, approximately 5 minutes walk from the Club. Details of this can be obtained by phoning the Club Reception on 020 7930 3557 or by visiting the website at: http://www.thefarmers club.com/news/parking -5-mins-from-club Business Suite The Business Suite provides PCs, printing and WiFi for members. Shaw Room The Shaw Room may be used for meetings of two or three people for up to an hour without booking. iPads, laptops and mobile phones may be used but phones should be set to silent ring. Club Closures Members may book a bedroom to stay when the Club is closed on the understanding that it is on a room only basis as no other facilities are available. Storage of Shotguns Members are reminded that the Club does not hold a licence for the secure storage of shotguns. There are however a number of “Registered Firearm Dealers” in London who offer this service. Details are available from Reception. Television There are no TVs in the Club bedrooms however the television will be situated in the Shaw Room at Weekends. Members can of course use iPads, tablets, laptops to view TV programmes utilising the Club WiFi in their bedrooms.
Club Contacts THE FARMERS CLUB
Over 170 years of service to farming 3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EL
Chairman 2016: Richard Butler
Chief Executive and Secretary: Stephen Skinner
Club Number 020 7930 3557 Reception ext: 200/201 email@example.com Bedroom Reservations ext: 204 firstname.lastname@example.org Restaurant Reservations Option 3 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Conference & Banqueting Liza Keoshgerian ext: 109 or direct line: 020 7925 7100 email@example.com Events & U30s Lisbeth Rune ext: 103 firstname.lastname@example.org Club Manager Virginia Masser ext: 102 email@example.com Head Chef Paul Hogben ext: 111 or direct line: 020 7925 7103 firstname.lastname@example.org Financial Controller Zarreena Neeson ext: 106 or direct line: 020 7925 7101 email@example.com Membership Mark Fairbairn ext: 107 or direct line: 020 7925 7102 firstname.lastname@example.org PA to Secretary Claire White ext: 104 or direct line: 020 7930 3751 email@example.com Bedrooms ext: 3+ [two digit room number] eg. ext 301 for Room1 Whitehall Court Porters 020 7930 3160 Fax 020 7839 7864 Website: www.thefarmersclub.com THE FARMERS CLUB JOURNAL Editor and Advertisement Manager: Charles Abel 07795 420692 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Designed and produced by: Ingenious, www.ingeniousdesign.co.uk No film or film processing chemicals were used. Printed on Lumi Silk which is ISO 14001 certified manufacturer. FSC® Mix Credit. Elemental chlorine free (ECF) fibre sourced from well managed forests
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Diary Dates CLUB CALENDAR
Apply for tickets online or use forms included with the relevant Journal
JUNE Royal Bath & West Show Wednesday 1st June
Afternoon tea and drinks reception at the show Application form with Spring Journal
Swan Lake Ballet – FULL Friday 3rd June
Supper at Club and coach transfer to magnificent Swan Lake
Royal Cornwall Show
Royal Bath & West Show
London by foot, boat and coach
Wednesday 13th / Friday 15th July A three day tour of some of the most interesting sites in London – by foot, boat and coach from your base in the Club. Final few places available. Applications closed April 7th
Royal Cornwall Show
Royal Welsh Show Reception Monday 18th July
Drinks reception on the showground Application form with Spring Journal
Royal Highland Show
Friday 10th June
Afternoon tea and drinks reception at the show Application form with Spring Journal
Royal Highland Show Dinner
Wednesday 22nd June Dinner with guest speaker Allan Bowie, President NFUS and after-dinner speaker Dr David Purdie Application form with Spring Journal
JULY Club lunch with NFU President Tuesday 5th July
Luncheon in the Club with NFU President Meurig Raymond as our guest speaker Application details due soon
Wiltshire Tour & Newbur y Races
Thursday 7th – Friday 8th July Visits to key farming estates and Newbury Races Application form enclosed
SEPTEMBER Visit to Holland
Monday 19th-Thursday 22nd September
Farming and cultural visits around Amsterdam. A few places available. Applications closed April 7th
Har vest Festival Ser vice Tuesday 11th October
Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields and supper at Club after Bookings open later in 2016
New Year’s Eve Supper Party
Royal Welsh Show
Saturday 31st December Supper party in the Club with great view of fireworks. Bookings open later in 2016
Visit to Holland
Details of all Club events are constantly updated in the Events section of the website www.thefarmersclub.com/events where tickets are easy to book. Equal priority is given to traditional booking methods.
Holiday & Weekend Opening
Harvest festival Service
Holidays and Weekends are great times to visit The Farmers Club, with good bedroom availability, especially on Sundays, a relaxed dress code and the sights of London on your doorstep. Book online at www.thefarmersclub.com/accommodation New Year’s Eve