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April 2019 Volume 20 Issue 3

A nice rise? Margin-boosting recipes and more on our new cafĂŠ page

ALSO INSIDE Should your shop go vegan?

Cheesemaking on the Isle of Wight

Health food round-up

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3





It’s no secret that foodservice (or “having a café”) is a vital part of most retail operations these days


By Michael Lane, Editor


Turn the page (in a minute, not yet!) and you’ll see a full-page picture of last year’s MasterChef champion Kenny Tutt cooking up a storm at Fine Food Show North last month. I’m not over-exaggerating when I say he attracted one of the biggest crowds I’ve ever seen for a demo or talk at a trade show – even more than the ones which feature elusive food hall buyers. Granted, some of it was down to his TV fame. But surely it’s also because the audience of retail buyers wanted to hear his ideas, witness his technique and make note of his flavour combinations. Some people don’t seem to think crowd numbers signify anything these days, but it’s no secret that foodservice (or “having a café” in common parlance) is a vital part of most retail operations these days. Many in our market simply can’t exist without the fatter margins offered by a flat white and a flapjack

consumed in-store or a Parma Ham panini to go. It’s just another story in a perverse world where pubs make their money from serving steak and chips, while restaurants make it from marked-up bottles of wine. While we regularly debate the blurred line between retail and foodservice in the Houses of FFD and we cover café-related matters in various sections across the magazine, they haven’t had a home until now. A new regular section (page 29) will see us explore methods for running the café side of your business – this month it’s a piece on why you should embrace filter coffee – and there will also be a recipe for you, or your chefs, to try out in the kitchen. This time it is foolproof twice-baked soufflés that will use up any unwanted vegetables with a Continental twist. All of the recipes to come have retailers in mind – always considering budget, wastage and ease of execution.

Although FFD hasn’t staged a meaningful vote on it, we’ve created this section because we all think it will prove useful to retailers. Hopefully it will help you pep up your menus and drive some footfall to the shop, so people browse your shelves and counters too. One instance of a definite clear mandate is consumers’ desire for plant-based products. Veganuary was a hit commercially and many delis and farm shops are now looking at how they can make the most of what appears to be a good opportunity. Before you leap though, take a look at Lauren Phillips’ investigation of whether you should go vegan (page 13). It’s not necessarily a meat-free gravy train. Before you turn that page, I’d just like to say that – whatever happens once we’ve committed this issue to print – Fine Food Digest will remain committed to helping your business in 2019.

April 2019 Volume 20 Issue 3

EDITORS’ CHOICE Chosen by Lauren Phillips, Assistant editor

A nice rise?


Seaweed Seasoning

Margin-boosting recipes and more on our new café page

ALSO INSIDE Should your shop go vegan?

Cheesemaking on the Isle of Wight

Cover photography by Sean Calitz

Health food round-up

With the exception of the laverbread-loving Welsh, seaweed has never really been fully embraced by UK consumers. But it’s fast becoming the must-have superfood for




Editor: Michael Lane

Sales director: Sally Coley

Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

Reporter: Andrew Don

Sales executive: Becky Haskett

Editorial director: Mick Whitworth Assistant editor: Lauren Phillips Art director: Mark Windsor

Contributors: Nick Baines, Sean Calitz, Richard Faulks, Patrick McGuigan, Lynda Searby, Mike Searle

Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

ADDRESS Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB United Kingdom

the health conscious and start-up brand Seaspoon’s smart and contemporary repackaging of the sea vegetable (read more on page 45) is exciting. Its new seaweed seasoning pot – pitched as an alternative to salt – will appeal to any consumer looking to reduce their salt intake without compromising on flavour. An honourable mention also goes to Joe & Seph’s new Chocolate Popcorn Bites.

Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200

Published by The Guild of Fine Food Ltd

© The Guild of Fine Food Ltd

Printed by: Blackmore, Dorset

2019. Reproduction of whole or

Fine Food Digest is published 11 times a year and is available on subscription for £50 p.a. inclusive of post and packing.

publisher’s prior permission is

part of this magazine without the prohibited. The opinions expressed

in articles and advertisements are

not necessarily those of the editor

Turn to page 62 for news from the Guild

or publisher.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019



F A M I LY E T H O S -


With nearly 300 brands and more than 3,500 products to choose from, and supplying farm shops, delicatessens and garden centres throughout the UK... make us your one stop shop.


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3


Let’s get cooking Visiting buyers at Fine Food Show North (held in Harrogate last month) were treated to a culinary demonstration from 2018 MasterChef champion Kenny Tutt. Judging by the level of interest, recipe ideas are very much on the mind of the trade as foodservice and retail continue to merge. For those that didn’t catch it (and those that did but want more), FFD has a new café page featuring a recipe designed with deli and farm shop kitchens in mind. Tie up that apron, fire up the hob and get yourself to page 29. Photograph: Richard Faulks

Come and see us at Farm Shop & Deli Show at stand no H99

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

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Independents must cash in on Waitrose branch closures, say analysts By Andrew Don

Independent retailers should be ready to capitalise on Waitrose branch closures, according to analysts, as the chain continues to be squeezed by specialists and discounters. Parent company John Lewis announced the closure of five “underperforming” Waitrose stores last month and some in the industry feel this will not be an isolated incident. “There is no question that the supermarkets are looking at their business on a site by site basis,” said Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of retail and shopper marketing agency Savvy. “We have already seen a switch to a mixed range of retailers, including independents, pinching sales from Waitrose at the top end and value retailers at the bottom.” She added that the locations earmarked for

closure were not typical Waitrose stores and some were former Co-op branches. “It may be that the brand has not got the greatest salience locally.” Contracts have been exchanged for the sale of Waitrose sites in Barry, Teignmouth, Torquay, Ashbourne and Blaby. New owners had not been disclosed when FFD went to press. Danielle Pinnington, consultant partner at insight consultancy Shoppercentric, said the closures would be good news for specialist retailers in the local areas, as long as they made their presence known among their catchment market. “All too often local retailers are an area’s best kept secret and they need to work at changing that. “Engage with the local community to drive footfall, deliver excellent product ranges and service to drive repeat visits and look at




Waitrose announced the closure of five stores at a time when many chains are reviewing their estates

utilising online as a way to broaden their reach beyond the local catchment.” David Riley, who owns Bramhall’s Deli & Café in Ashbourne, was surprised his local Waitrose was closing. “There’s a lot of moneyed people around here,” he said. “There is an opportunity there with the deli side of our business to plug a gap for those Waitrose customers. “We do a good range of local products and Italian products you can’t get in Waitrose and M&S and we

Farmer Copleys, Aubrey Allen and Slate among Shop of the Year winners evening’s final award in the Innovation After an extensive category. countrywide search and All of the 45 judging process, the finalists in this year’s UK’s top independent competition had food retailers have been to pass through a crowned as the Shop of rigorous process that the Year 2019 concluded included two rounds last month. of judging – one was In total, seven an announced visit (L-R) John Farrand, Guild of Fine Food, trophies were presented Robert Copley of Farm Shop of the Year from the Guild’s expert at a ceremony held at judging panel, the other Farmer Copleys, Adam Tynan from Peter’s Yard, and Heather Copley Harrogate farm shop was a mystery shop by Fodder on 11th March, customer experience where fellow Yorkshire Gateshead retailer specialist, Insight6. retailer Farmer Copleys Block & Bottle’s This year’s judges took the title of Best Farm combination of butchery included Edward Berry of Shop and Aubrey Allen and craft beer secured the The Flying Fork, former in Leamington Spa won trophy in the Specialist Fortnum & Mason MD the Delicatessen & Grocer Food or Drink Shop Stuart Gates, awardcompetition. category, while Suffolk winning retailer Tracey The House of Bruar cheese shop Slate won the Colley and food writer in Perthshire claimed the Best Newcomer award, Patrick McGuigan. Food Hall award while which was sponsored by Shop of the Year 2020 Sheridans Cheesemongers Fine Food Digest. is now open for entry at in Dublin was named best The Hammersmith Cheese Shop. branch of Eat 17 took the of-the-year

get returning customers coming in specifically for them.” Nathan Keeble, owner of Food for Thought deli in Barry, called the local Waitrose closure “a doubleedge sword” because the store attracted people to the high street. “About 2,500 houses are being built in the local area so I’m shocked they are leaving. “We’ve a meeting in two weeks with all the high street traders about how to collectively promote ourselves.”

Taking wine to new dimensions

By Michael Lane

We would miss cash. I don’t think there’s an effective tipping opportunity with other payment methods. People pay with cash in the shop and then put a couple of quid in the tip jar if they’ve had good service. We have a lot of elderly customers who pay with cash and the younger customers pay with contactless.



We will always take cash as long as people want to give it to us. We won’t decide to be card-only even though there are businesses around us that are. There will always be people who want to use cash. When we started nearly 10 years ago it was 50:50 card and cash. Now it’s more like 95:5. VICTORIA HOLLAND,


No, there is no need to change your glasses. That wine bottle is flat. What’s more, it’s got eco-friendly credentials. Garcon Wines’ flat wine bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET in the UK by RPC M&H Plastics. The company’s 10 flat bottle case, designed with DS Smith, holds 10 full-sized, flat wine bottles in a compact case that would otherwise carry just four regular, glass bottles of the same 75cl.

It depends on the time of the year but probably about 50% of our customers pay with cash. We pay all our wages in cash and we pay a lot of our suppliers in cash as well – not under the table cash but proper cash with invoices. We do a lot transactions that don’t involve the bank so we don’t have to pay bank charges for cash going in and out. Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019




Balsamic buyers should take note after fake vinegar seizure in Italy By Andrew Don

Speciality food retailers should take extra care sourcing their balsamic after the Italian government seized a large quantity of fake vinegar, made with poor quality grapes. Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture warned last month of the allegedly fraudulent use of “table”, or low-grade, grapes – rather than wine grapes – after seizing 9 million kilos of must and wine products worth about £13m with fake authenticity documentation. Simone Tintori, chief executive and export manager of Acetaia La Vecchia Dispensa, in Castelvetro di Modena, said: “The grape must seems to be obtained from what we call table grape and not wine grape. The IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) rules strictly [requires use of only] seven different varieties of wine grape.” David Harrison, joint chief executive of Italian Real Foods and founder of

FRA award winners revealed The Farm Retail Association has announced the winners of its 2019 awards, with Denstone Hall Farm Shop the biggest winner. The Uttoxeter retailer collected two awards – for Farm Café/Restaurant of the Year and Large Farm Shop of the Year. It saw off four other finalists, including Yorkshire’s Cannon Hall Farm and Farmer Copley’s. Hutchinson Hobbs Farm Shop & Butchers in Stocktonon-Tees picked up Small Farm Shop of the Year. Nigel Chandler, sales and marketing executive at Hilliard Bros, won a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards were announced at the Farm Retail Association’s annual conference and trade show in Oxford. 8

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Seggiano co-founder David Harrison said not every supplier of balsamic vinegar is as scrupulous as his company

Seggiano, which supplies artisan balsamic vinegars from Modena, was not surprised to hear of the fake balsamic because of global demand. He told FFD the only way retailers could be sure they are selling the genuine article would be down to confidence in a supplier’s reputation. “If it’s too good to be true, it ain’t true,” he said. “Not necessarily everyone

is as scrupulous as we try to be.” Andy Harris, “chief vinegar officer” of Vinegar Shed, a fine food business with a large selection of top-end small-batch artisan vinegars, said the scandal could change consumer habits for the better. “I don’t think it will stop people buying balsamic but, for someone like me who is trying to educate people

IN BRIEF away from balsamic and onto better quality wine vinegars, hopefully it might make people have a second look at expensive, good quality wine vinegars.” Sally Colter, co-owner, of Mrs Bumbles Delicatessen in Burford, Oxfordshire, buys 5kg containers of balsamic vinegar from Anthony Rowcliffe & Son, which the shop dispenses in jars and sells by the bottle. Colter said she trusted Rowcliffe’s product. “It’s not like your one-off little bottles where you really have no idea where they are coming from. “You often get the little man who knocks on your door and says they’re selling this and that. Balsamic vinegar is one of those things. I don’t buy from them because I don’t know the provenance of it,” she said. The UK’s Food Standards Agency told FFD its National Food Crime Unit was monitoring the situation but there was “no indication of UK criminality at this stage”.

The European Commission has granted the Vale of Clwyd Denbigh Plum protected designation of origin (PDO) status – the highest form of protection. It is the 16th Welsh product to gain protected status and is the only plum variety native to Wales. Thanks to the closure of the shop next door, WS Rogers, a butcher in Masham, in the Yorkshire Dales, has expanded its offer, with cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti alongside its fresh meat offer. A vegan pie has won the Supreme Champion title at the 11th annual British Pie Awards. Jon Thorner’s curried sweet potato & butternut squash vegan pie was named Pie of Pies at the awards in Melton Mowbray.

Blacker Hall launches click & collect Blacker Hall Farm Shop has launched a click & collect service to offer time-pressed customers an alternative to shopping in store. The West Yorkshire business, which sells seasonal produce from its own and other local farms, was achieving 40 orders a week after just three weeks of launching the service, said MD Edward Garthwaite. Minimum order values are £10 and customers pay online. Same-day collection is available on orders placed before 1pm. Orders are available to collect Monday to Friday between 3.30pm and 7.30pm. “We had discussions about whether it would cannibalise the existing market but customers who really buy into what we do also find themselves

at certain times of the week under extreme time pressure,” said Garthwaite. “We think to keep artisan food as a viable option for people we have to get right on board with the convenience aspect.” He added: “We wanted to know if there was a need for it with our customer base and we think the answer to

this so far is yes.” Garthwaite said he wanted to have as much flexibility on the website as in the shop. So if there was ‘fish of the day’ in the shop, that would also be carried across to the website “rather than it being a static offer”. “It’s got to be as dynamic as the shop would be,” he said.

The farm shop is already taking 40 orders a week

Retail space up for grabs Revo, the organisation that represents the retail property community, has launched a Dragons’ Den-style competition that could lead to budding food businesses trading in established shopping centres. Winners of the Hatch competition will be given rent-free space in one of seven locations around the UK and Ireland, including Westfield Stratford City in London and St David’s in Cardiff (pictured). They will also receive marketing advice and a year’s free membership to the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA).

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


SNACKING GETS MORE EXCITING By Brindisa Spanish Foods Savoury snacking is changing, with some 40% of consumers saying that interesting and unusual flavours are the most influential factor in their packaged product purchases*. Brindisa have seen this with their Torres crisp range which boasts premium flavours, black truffle, IbĂŠrico ham and smoked paprika, made using authentic flavourings, with sales to delis seeing a 34% increase YOY.


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Put beside your till, these handy snack formats offer an easy and tempting add-on to customer baskets. FONA International ** Kantar Worldpanel, June 2018


With almost 1 in 3 food items chosen for health reasons**, this is a big trend in 2019; Brindisa almonds are an increasingly popular snack choice; rich in essential amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins, they are the ideal choice for a health conscious foodie.The same applies to our range of plump, pitted Gordal olives whose combination of good-for-you benefits and crisp, fresh taste has made them a top seller.

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Wales shows England how local food should be promoted By Mick Whitworth

A two-day global meetthe-buyer event for Welsh producers staged in March has underlined the gulf in Government-level promotion for small food businesses between England and the rest of the UK. TasteWales, staged for the second time by the Welsh Government at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport, Gwent, brought together over 200 trade buyers – more than a third of them from overseas – with around 100 Welsh food and drink producers. These ranged from established exporters like Anglesey Sea Salt to recent start-ups such as Cariad Bakery and The Mountain Chocolate Company, with most falling firmly into the ‘speciality’ bracket. Speaking to FFD at the event, Welsh food minister Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s

Goodwill in at Defra

Robert Goodwill, a stickler for more accurate food labelling, has replaced George Eustice as farming minister at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, has been a farmer for 40 years and has served on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. His responsibilities will include better regulation, fisheries, food and farming, and science and innovation. Michael Gove, environment secretary said, Goodwill’s “hands-on knowledge of farming at the sharp end, experience in European politics, great ministerial record and shrewd judgment” were an asset to government.

Organised by the Welsh government, the two-day TasteWales event gave more than 100 producers access to global buyers

too early to say how much new business has been created, but companies have already told me they’ve made more contacts in 24 hours here than they could in 18 months on their own.” The first TasteWales event was held in March 2017, in the wake of the previous year’s Brexit

referendum, and is claimed to have generated over £14m in extra sales and contracts. Buyers attending this year – many of them bussed to Wales from London, where they had been attending the giant IFE food show ­– included major retailers and importers from the UAE,


The latest from farm shops across the country

A new farm shop & kitchen has laid down roots in Cornwall. Tre, Pol & Pen (pictured above) has an on-site butcher and a deli but will also be hosting numerous workshops and themed evenings on its site in the Tamar Valley.

Cobbs Farm Shop has carried out a huge redevelopment and expansion at its latest site – a joint venture with Englefield Estate in Berkshire. Cobbs at Englefield offers a traditional butcher, deli counter and an 80-seater restaurant – with plenty of

Qatar and Japan. Griffiths said her message to producers since the Brexit vote had been: “You need to be looking further afield.” Scottish producers benefit from a similar biannual event, Showcasing Scotland. But there is no equivalent for speciality producers in England. Griffiths said the size of the Welsh food sector made it easier to form direct relationships. “We have around 800 food and drink producers, and my officials probably know them all. In fact, I probably know them all myself. So it’s much easier to have that connectivity.” However, pressed on whether the UK government could be doing a better job to support English producers, she said: “It’s not for me to tell [Defra secretary] Michael Gove what he should do. But this event just would not happen in England, with the level of Government support and ministerial visibility you have here.”

IN BRIEF Brindisa has appointed two regional account managers for retail and foodservice customers in Scotland and the North. Gayle Swan will take responsibility for Scotland while Joe Whittick covers the North of England. Irish gin Dingle has won the title of World’s Best Gin at the World Gin Awards Ceremony 2019 in London, beating 400 entries from all over the globe in blind tastings. It is produced in The Dingle Whiskey Distillery from locally-foraged botanicals. The UK wine industry enjoyed a recordbreaking harvest last year – doubling sales both home and abroad, Wines of Great Britain has reported. A survey with Wine Intelligence confirmed that last year 15.6m bottles were produced – 130% up on 2017.

job opportunities. estate-news/cobbsenglefield-farm-shop

be running educational workshops and a cookery school.

Shropshire Council has given the green light to a £50m leisure venue, devised by investment group FCFM, that will include a farm shop on the Astbury Hall Estate, near Bridgnorth. The redevelopment of the estate, previously owned by Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing, is slated for completion by the end of summer 2020.

Rumwell Farm Shop – in between Taunton and Wellington – has raised nearly £3,000 for Headway Somerset, one of its charities of the year for 2018. Headway provides rehabilitation for braininjured adults.

After years of planning and refurbishment, The Farm Stratford will be opening its doors on 6th April. Features at the shop include a butchery, a fresh fish counter and a florist. It also has a sustainable and zero-waste station and will

Plans have been unveiled for a huge £250m agri-food attraction in North Yorkshire that would be run by Italian food hall chain Eataly. Proposed by developer Fallons and scheduled to open in 2022, Future Park would feature 160,000 sq m of retail, commercial and leisure space set in 188 hectares of countryside by the A1.

In association with

Fabulous Farm Shops

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019



VEGAN ,VEGETARIAN, DAIRY FREE. For information and recipes, please visit: email: Tel: 07732266502

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Dark Woods Coffee is a Yorkshire based coffee roaster, providing the very best retail and wholesale coffee to the independent trade, with equipment and hands-on barista training support.


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3





veganism CYBER CRIME

Is there profit in plant-based? It’s transformed from a fringe food movement into a multi-million pound industry, but should farm shops and delis be getting behind the vegan craze and its principles? By Lauren Phillips

56% of UK adults have eaten vegetarian/ meat-free foods in the

six months to July 2018 Source: Mintel

THERE’S NO MISTAKING that veganism’s surging popularity in the last 18 months has put it front and centre in the mainstream market. No longer do we think of vegans as the sandalwearing, lentil-eating bohemian of yesteryear. Today, the majority of consumers buying vegan products are not activists on the fringe of society – they are a broader group of healthconscious, environmentally aware and ethical shoppers. They are not all committed vegans, either. According to research conducted by IGD, only 2% of British grocery shoppers claim to follow a strict vegan diet, compared to the 52% that say they are either following or are interested in a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet. This rises to 68% among 18 to 24-year-olds. But when you cut through the fanfare of articles, trend pieces and Greggs’ divisive vegan sausage roll, does this growing market presents a genuine lucrative opportunity for farm shops and delis? And are there ethical pitfalls a fine food retailer (traditionally known for its cured meats and artisan cheeses) might face when deciding to sell faux-meat and dairy alternatives? Independents are fortunate enough that, unlike the supermarkets, they don’t have to cater to the mass market, says Edward Berry, owner of food and retailing consultancy The Flying Fork. But they should make sure they have genuine interest from their customers before stocking vegan products. Otherwise, he says, it will be a waste of food, shelf space and, ultimately, margin. “Farm shops and delis are based on tradition,” says Berry. “They’re aren’t trendsetters; they never have been. Their role is to bring customers closer to the producer. It’s about running a business and responding to customer demand.” When FFD got in touch with Wally’s Delicatessen – a long-running traditional retailer in Cardiff known for its displays of Continental charcuterie – about the rise in veganism, owner Steven Salamon said this was the first time he was seriously considering taking on more vegan products after receiving daily requests since the

start of the year. “This is one of the strongest and fastestgrowing customer-led movements I’ve seen,” Salamon tells FFD, “far surpassing gluten- or sugar-free.” The majority of requests have come from younger consumers who are adopting veganism from an ethical perspective, but Salamon says he’s looking at it from a business perspective as a chance to get these new, potential customers through the door. “They may be the younger generation, but they will become the older generation one day, and it’s about catering for them now,” he says. While gratifying younger consumers with vegan products may look like an easy sell, independents will still have to differentiate themselves from the supermarkets, which are also increasing their own plant-based ranges in an attempt to grab a meat-free slice of this growing market. Former deli owner and restaurateur Jim Anderson blames supermarket competition CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 for the closure of his vegan-only shop, Acorn Veggie Deli, which shut its doors at the end of January after one year of trading. “We were competing with supermarkets like Waitrose, Tesco and even Marks & Spencer, who have all developed their vegan lines,” Anderson tells FFD. “And online, Ocado and Amazon were selling the same vegan brands as us.” The deli, which is based in Southend-onSea in Essex, has since been turned into a vegan pie & mash restaurant, Kate Forbes, owner of Trading Post Farm Shop

We sell a vegan raw chocolate tart. It’s one of our bestsellers. Repeat purchases come down to taste. That is the most important factor.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


ANALYSIS which Anderson says has seen much more success. “If people want to buy packaged vegan food they will buy it from a supermarket or order it online. They won’t come to a small deli to buy it,” he says. “We have to offer something that a computer can’t do and that is providing foodservice and a food experience.” While hype in the press, online and through social media can only drive demand for so long, it is ultimately taste that will keep customers returning to vegan products. It’s only recently that vegan food has become judged on its own merit and not as a substitute, with new and innovative plant-based food products entering the market in the last few years. More than half (52%) of new product launches in the UK in 2017 were vegan, compared to 28% in 2014, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD). The Trading Post Farm Shop increased its vegan food selection four years ago. The Somerset shop now stocks sweet treat items like vegan chocolate from Chocolate & Love and savoury products like vegan pies, pasties and even a vegan scotch egg from Hotchpotch. Many of its vegan products are from established brands that have only recently turned their attention to the vegan market, and which owner Kate Forbes believes can hold their own against their nonvegan counterparts. “We sell a raw chocolate tart, which happen to be vegan,” Edward Berry, The Flying Fork she says. “It’s one of our bestsellers with all our customers, but they buy it because it tastes good, not because it’s vegan. Repeat purchases come down to taste. That is the most important factor.” Yet, Forbes admits she is still unsure whether vegan cheese (which can be made out of soy protein, nutritional yeast, and nuts) matches the standard of artisan cheeses. Berry agrees with Forbes, commenting that cheese made with another product may not convey the sense of craft that goes into real cheese made in a dairy. “Cheese made from local milk has terroir and affinage. I don’t see how you can replicate that in a vegan alternative,” he says, adding that if retailers are looking for vegan cheeses then they should make sure it is “the best tasting vegan cheese out there”. No retailer, however, can ignore some of the contentious debates around veganism in the food industry. A plant-based ‘cheesemonger’ called La Fauxmagerie, which opened in February this year, incurred criticism from Dairy UK. The industry body said the Brixton-based shop was “misleading” consumers by calling its coconut oil and blended cashew products “cheeses” – a term only used for dairy-based products, according to EU law. On the flip side, a fine food retailer traditionally known for its cured meats, patés

Farm shops and delis are based on tradition. They’re aren’t trendsetters; they never have been.


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

veganism and artisan cheeses that decides to stock vegan alternatives may also be opening itself up to criticism from vegan activist groups. Brighton-based independent supermarket HISBE (How It Should Be) has already fallen victim to this when it recently came under attack for selling meat and cheese alongside vegan products under the “ethical” banner. The protests escalated in January this year, when vegan radicals stormed the supermarket with megaphones and “meat is murder” placards. Although few and far between, what these protests and challenges indicate is how the principles associated with veganism (in particular the practice of not eating meat) have the potential to conflict with everything that a farm shop or deli appears to stand for. “A big drive to a farm shop is the butchery counter,” says Berry. “Customers want to buy local meat, speak to the butcher and know they’re supporting the local ecosystem. Non-meat eaters may not necessarily consider a farm shop or deli as their first port of call for vegan products.” On the Trading Post’s social media, Forbes says she regularly posts images of the farm shop’s vegan selection. Images of vegan products gain huge hits with the strong vegan community online. However, she admits to being cautious when it comes to posting images of other products in the shop. “We are proud to be an ethical retailer, but I am hesitant to post an image of a steak or our farmer’s lovely calves in a field on our Facebook page in case it’s picked up by a militant vegan group,” she says. “At the end of the day I don’t want bad press. I have seen what’s happened to other retailers and butchers. It only takes one comment to start a huge barrage of online abuse.” Fortunately, her loyal vegan customers (some of whom, she says, have been vegan for over 40 years) have no issue with her shop’s fresh meat selection and cheese counter. “They might not eat meat themselves, but they understand that we do the best we can ethically,” she says. “They know our meat is locally-sourced and that I can tell them which farmer it has come from.” The ethical mine field surrounding veganism means it can’t just be a quick buck for retailers. It’s certainly not for everyone and the question of whether a shop should buy in vegan products comes back to genuine customer demand. And that means deli owners need to speak directly to their customers (even the sandal-wearing lentileaters) about what they want.

The meat-free


is forecast

to reach


billion by


Source: Mintel

22% of shoppers

are interested in


with different

vegan re c i p e s Source: IGD

Since 2014 we have been awarded 24 Stars in the Great Taste Awards for our outstanding products

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Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


SHOP TALK IF I’D KNOWN THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW... RUTH HUXLEY, owner, The Great Cornish Food Store, Truro, Cornwall This store came about as a result of a planning condition. Consent for a new Waitrose development in Truro was subject to 5,000 sq ft of retail space being dedicated to regional produce. Waitrose needed someone to roll out the project and approached me – I was, and still am, MD of Cornwall Food & Drink. I had six months to design, build, stock and staff the store before opening in June 2016 – a tough challenge that taught me the importance of having good advisors. My solicitor and accountant were invaluable in guiding me through the unchartered territory of negotiating a lease with a major supermarket, and I will be forever grateful to Jane Sanderson, my project manager on the build. I would advise anyone in a similar situation to get the best professional advice you can afford – think about the cost in terms of the impact of failing rather than as an expense. It only made sense for me to take on this store if it was to be more than a place to shop. I saw it as a permanent showcase of Cornish produce, a means of developing the region’s suppliers and a space that could be used for educational purposes. In an industry that is not known for treating its employees or suppliers well, I was determined to set higher standards. We pay our suppliers on time, we test-market products for them, give honest feedback and never pressurise on price – we let the market decide. We employ 35 staff and have a strong team ethos. We create opportunities for everyone to enhance or develop themselves or their career. Our staff all believe in what we are trying to achieve and understand that they are critical to our success. Turnover is around £2m – in line with our expectations. Net profit is higher than projected. My first job was with Coutts Bank so I was trained to err on the cautious side. I review figures daily to spot any gremlins before they become a problem. In addition, we invested in a comprehensive EPoS system and use it to conduct ongoing detailed analysis of our performance. Ultimately though, I think controlling waste and managing staff and overhead costs is just as important as pricing and sales volumes. I learned that lesson in the first three months after opening when we lost a lot of money due to excessive waste and labour while we were finding our feet. The different sections were working in silos, whereas now everyone talks to one another and works as one team, working out how to divert potential waste when necessary and using staff flexibly between different sections. Interview Lynda Searby Photography Mike Searle


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

CONFESSIONS OF A DELI OWNER ANONYMOUS TALES FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT the star system. Don’t worry I’m not getting all cosmic on you. I’m referring to the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. You know? The scheme that “helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards”. Have you ever sat down and worked out how they calculate it? It is intensely complicated – the records, condition of equipment, the systems, everything contributes in a huge matrix. But, I guess there has to be a method, so fair enough. That’s not what gets me. The problem is what the customers think the stars mean compared to what the ratings actually denote. In case you didn’t know, here’s what each star rating means according to the FSA: 5 – hygiene standards are very good 4 – hygiene standards are good 3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory 2 – some improvement is necessary 1 – major improvement is necessary 0 – urgent improvement is required The bottom line is that ‘3’ is fine. That is what “generally satisfactory” means. Even ‘2’ is


Back off, EHOs. You should be necessary, not paranoia-inducing business gurus. sort of okay, so long as you are on it and get it back to ‘3’ ASAP. But, here is how customers interpret those same star ratings: 5 – Minimum to be expected 4 – Having a bad day but trying (but customers should not eat every 5th chip) 3 – Food will likely kill you 2 – Food has already killed someone. You’ve probably missed the articles in the local paper 1 – Curiosity destination showing how food was prepared during the Black Plague


JUST ANOTHER SLOW MONDAY MORNING… Did you watch that documentary about snakes last night?

I’ve got a tip for any EHOs reading this: most of us businesses see internal food standards as required to achieve an appropriate threshold, not some endless climb to the bonny heights of perfection. Yet EHOs always – and I mean always – leave you with some extras to do even if you have five stars. If “generally satisfactory” is good enough what is the point of 4 or 5 stars? It’s lost on me but if you don’t have them, it scares the customers. I’ve got to the point of not putting the stickers up – they are not Michelin stars after all. The FSA are so sure that what they do is help businesses improve, they think their advice should go beyond food safety. The problem is that this makes them blur the lines between what is actually required and what is just general advice, leaving us not quite sure how much trouble we are in. Their parental attitude over good hygiene practice (fair enough) carries over into how we should run our businesses, design our menus, use wooden boards instead of plates… Back off. You should be necessary, not paranoia-inducing business gurus. Excuse me, I must go and check the chiller temperatures, again.


And it was this big!

No I missed it. Was it any good? I only came in for 100g of cheddar

FFD says: Just because it’s meant to be a quiet day, that doesn’t mean you – or your employees – should slacken your standards. It’s great to chat and have a friendly atmosphere but never at the expense of customer service. Inattentive staff are a massive deterrent to customers and nobody likes to be kept waiting – especially on a Monday. With kind permission of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, Germany. PLAYMOBIL is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, for which also the displayed PLAYMOBIL toy figures are protected.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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APPLEBY’S MAKE ARTISANAL DAIRY PRODUCTS T R A D I T I O N AFROM L C H E ETHEIR SE HANDCRAFTED O N O U R FA M I LY FA R M ABBEY FARM MILK From our family farm in West Limerick, we produce a range of handcrafted, artisan, award winning cheeses, including: Cahill’s Original Irish Porter Cheddar, follow: Cahill’s Irish Whiskeyapplebyscheese Cheddar with Kilbeggan Whiskey, Cahill’s Ardagh Red Wine Cheddar, Cahill’s Blueberry and Vodka Cheddar. The cornerstone of our business is that each cheese is individually made and handcrafted thus retaining the subtlety of flavour that is invariably absent from the mass produced product.

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3


news & views from the cheese counter

Scottish cheesemakers taking FSS to court over new raw milk tests By Patrick McGuigan

Legal action launched by five Scottish cheesemakers to fight the latest government guidance on unpasteurised cheese production could be the first of many such cases, according to some in the industry, as cheesemakers fall foul of new food safety testing techniques. The raw milk cheesemakers – Errington Cheese, Isle of Mull Cheese, Galloway Farmhouse Cheese, Cambus O’May and Finlay’s Farm – crowdfunded over £15,000 last month to pay for a judicial review into the legality of new guidance on raw milk cheese production from Food Standards Scotland (FSS). The producers said the guidance, introduced in December, was contrary to

EU standards and would “effectively make raw milk cheese production in Scotland unviable”. The case comes after a long legal dispute between FSS and Errington in which the cheesemaker was blamed for an E-coli 0157 outbreak in 2016, but was then cleared of breaching food safety laws in court. Under the new guidance, raw milk cheesemakers must be able to control all types of Shiga Toxin E-coli (STEC) in their cheese. This covers a large group of different STEC bacteria, some of which are pathogenic, while others are not. Cheesemakers often test for harmful E-coli 0157, but there are few UK laboratories able to test for all

Production of raw milk cheeses in Scotland, including those from Errington and Cambus O’May, could become “unviable” under new guidance

types of STEC. “There’s the Catch 22,” said Wilma Finlay, co-owner of Finlay’s, which trades as the Ethical Dairy. “We need to eliminate all STEC but we can’t even test for them to know if we’ve got them.” These kinds of disagreement could become more common as new testing techniques are introduced, according to dairy consultant Paul Thomas. He said 10-30% of raw milk cheeses show up as being STEC positive using the DNA testing technique Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). “There is a move towards PCR methods because they’re more rapid and more sensitive,” he said. “We’re seeing them used more in France, Germany and Ireland. It is possible that we may see more cases of enforcement action on the back of this kind of testing in the long term. There has been some debate around the interpretation of results, which are going to be difficult to crack.” As FFD went to press, the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association (SCA) and FSS had met to discuss possible changes to the guidance, but the Scottish cheesemakers who were present at that meeting had not been reassured and so were continuing their legal action.

Paxton & Whitfield has listed new Spanish cheeses, including three-month aged Mahon from Menorca; a semi-hard, raw, goats’ milk cheese from Andalucia called Sujaira; and Rey Silo Massimo – a semi hard, creamy cows’ milk cheese from Asturias. The range also includes raw milk Manchego Semi Curado and Curado. Dairy Crest, which makes the UK’s number one cheddar brand Cathedral City, is set to be bought by Canadian company Saputo in a £975m deal. The company’s Davidstow creamery in Cornwall processes 500 million litres of milk from 330 dairy farms each year. Hip-hop improves the flavour of cheese as it matures, according to Swiss researchers at Bern University of Arts. Nine wheels of Emmental were exposed to different styles of music during the experiment, including A Tribe Called Quest, Mozart and Led Zeppelin. The hip-hop cheese was ranked top in taste tests, with a strong, fruity flavour.

Jesper Anhede


The Fine Cheese Co has listed Almnäs Tegel after the Swedish cheese won the inaugural Ann-Marie Dyas Award for Best Artisan Cheese at the 2018 World Cheese Awards in Norway. The new award was set up in memory of The Fine Cheese Co’s founder, who passed away in 2017, with the company planning to stock the winner each year. Almnäs Tegel is a 20kg Alpine-style cheese inspired by the clay bricks (‘tegel’ means brick) historically manufactured in Almnäs. These would often be marked with children’s footprints as they ran across them drying in the sun – a motif that is also stamped onto every cheese.


Wyfe of Bath Made by the Bath Soft Cheese Co in Somerset, this organic cows’ milk cheese is similar to gouda, but the curds are not pressed so it has a moister texture. Aged for around four months, the cheese is mild and moreish with sweet dairy notes.

Tempus Foods achari salami There’s a natural affinity between spices and gouda – Dutch cheesemakers often add cumin seeds to their cheese – which is why Surrey-based Tempus’ achari salami works so well. Made with pork from the rare breed Large Black pig, the salami has a fragrant flavour thanks to the addition of Indian pickle spices, including fennel seeds, Talicherry black pepper, and fenugreek. The succulent texture of the charcuterie also complements the springy cheese. Irish black butter It might be called butter, but this glossy conserve from Northern Ireland is actually made with Bramley apples, brown sugar, treacle, cider, spices and liquorice. Almost black in colour with a runny consistency, it’s wonderful drizzled over pretty much any type of cheese, but does a particularly good job of adding pizazz to the buttery Wyfe of Bath. Beremeal oatcakes Bere is a heritage barley that has grown on Orkney for many hundreds of years. Stockan’s developed a new oatcake with it back in 2016, adding around 15% of the milled grain to their oatcakes. They have an earthy and nutty flavour, which coax subtle hazelnut notes from the cheese. Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019



news & views from the cheese counter

Abondance in liquidation just months after £100k upgrade

BEHIND THE COUNTER TIPS OF THE TRADE Nicola Beardmore, deli supervisor at Brown & Green, Trentham, & 2018 Young Cheesemonger of the Year

By Patrick McGuigan

London cheese shop and wholesaler Abondance, which previously traded as Androuet, has gone into liquidation just a few months after rebranding and investing £100,000 in a major restructure. Owners Leo and Alex Guarneri blamed the shock news on a combination of rising costs, the fall in the value of sterling and staffing problems. The brothers started the business in Old Spitalfields Market 10 years ago, trading under licence from the famous Parisian fromager Androuet, but cut ties with the French business in November to rebrand as Abondance. The shop was refurbished at the same time with a new dining and events room, plus a greater focus on British cheeses to offset rising prices for French cheeses and counteract the possible effects of Brexit. The maturing and wholesale business was moved to a space at the headquarters of premium fruit and veg wholesaler Mash

CHEESE IN PROFILE with Dorset Blue Vinny What’s the story? Woodbridge Farm, near Sturminster Newton, is home to the Davies family and their herd of 270 Friesian dairy cows. Since 1980, they have been making Dorset Blue Vinny to a 300-year-old recipe. Historically, the cheese was made to use up skimmed milk left over from butter production, and its only remaining producer upholds tradition by producing a delicious low-fat, firm-textured, spicy blue 20

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Spitalfields-based Abondance cited cost and currency pressures as part of the reason for its decision to wind up the business

in Acton, with plans to work with Mash to expand the cheese company’s wholesale operation, which included 100 restaurants in the Capital, such as Brawn, Galvin and Roux at the Landau. Instead, Abondance was forced to shut its doors at the beginning of March and called in business recovery service Leonard Curtis, which put the company into Creditors’ cheese. In 1998, Dorset Blue Vinny Cheese was awarded PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status. It won Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2018. Milk: Pasteurised cows’ milk How is it made? The fresh pasteurised milk is left to stand for two hours,

Voluntary Liquidation. “Last year has been very hard, due to basic cost increase [sic], lower sterling value, and staff recruitment difficulties,” said the Guarneris in an emotional post on social media. “We grew so much in this big city, took many lessons, made hard mistakes and experienced invaluable moments during this journey.”

before being skimmed. After starter cultures and rennet are added, the curd is cut, stirred and heated. The resulting curds and whey are kept warm overnight. The following day, the whey is drained and the curds cut into blocks, which are stacked on top of each and turned every 20-30 minutes. They are then broken up, salted, filled into 6kg moulds and lightly pressed. After four days, the cheese is taken out of the moulds and the sides are rubbed down to allow brown mould coating to develop. The cheeses need to be turned by hand every day for the first few weeks and then once a week after that. The cheeses are pierced with long narrow pins at four weeks to allow air into the cheese, which helps the

Cutting and wrapping are the nuts and bolts of cheesemongering, but everyone has a different technique. Nicola Beardmore, who was named Young Cheesemonger of the Year at the British Cheese Awards in 2018, is a great advocate of the cheese wire. “I use the wire for a hell of lot of things,” she says. “With really runny bries, I’ll use a knife, but for young bries the wire gives a really clean straight line. I even use the wire for Parmigiano Reggiano, but always score the rind with a knife first.” Whether you are using cling-film or waxed paper, ensuring a tight wrap is key, so the cheese doesn’t dry out, she adds. “Just as important is how people store it at home,” she says. “I always advise them to use foil for blue cheese and not to put things like cheddar next to Stinking Bishop in the fridge.”

mould grow and flavour to develop. Appearance & texture: The cheese has a firm texture and uniform colour with irregular blue-green veining and a rough, dry brown mould coating. The flavour is piquant and peppery. Variations: Dorset Blue mini 500g Cheesemonger tip: If you keep getting asked for a low-fat cheese, suggest Vinny. It is made with skimmed milk. For more decadent customers, suggest serving with buttery Dorset Knob biscuits and a sweet cider.

Chef’s recommendation: Use it as an alternative to Blue Stilton in any recipe, especially mushroom, leek & Dorset Blue Vinny soup. Pair with a sweet wine such as the ‘Cuvee Tradition’ Jurancon Moelleux: Domaine Bellegarde.

Whether you have a professional or personal interest in cheese, the Academy of Cheese is a not-for-profit organisation, providing a comprehensive industry recognised certification. Level One courses are available across the UK. Visit to start your journey to Master of Cheese.



whole cheese Blacksticks Blue in its purest form, straight from the mould. This 2.5kg wheel is a perfect part of any cheese lover’s celebration cake or for the serious cheese fanatic.

Baby whole cheese Bright like the early morning sun, this baby whole cheese dazzles as a centrepiece - top with pistachios, chopped figs, raisins and drizzle with honey.

150g With just enough blue bite to tingle your taste buds, this stunning little wedge looks amazing sitting on your cheese board, serve with fresh pears and sticky fig chutney.

cheese shot The perfect portion of ready to melt Blacksticks Blue goodness. Melt and ooze over your favourite meals - perfect for nachos or steak.

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YOU CAN FIND BLACKSTICKS BLUE IN ASDA, BOOTHS, Co-OP, M&S, MORRISONS, sainsbury’s, Waitrose & INDEPENDENT DELIS or on our online store Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019

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news and views from the cheese counter

It made more sense to buy the farm and stay than to set up somewhere else

Welcome to the Isle of plenty When its milk supplier was selling up, Isle of Wight Cheese Co took the plunge and bought the farm. It’s a move that has paid off. Interview by Patrick McGuigan

Dairy farmers becoming cheesemakers to add value to their milk is a familiar story in FFD, but a cheesemaker moving into farming is a tale of the unexpected. The woes of small dairy farms are well known, with businesses closing at a rate of one every other day in the UK due largely to rock-bottom milk prices. To put it politely, you’d have to be very brave to buy a dairy farm in the current climate. But that’s exactly what Richard Hodgson, owner of the Isle of Wight Cheese Company, did in 2017 when he purchased Queen Bower Dairy, complete with 88 acres and a herd of 45 milking Guernsey and Jersey cows. What makes the story even more unusual is that Hodgson had no previous farming experience. “I literally didn’t know how many teats were on an udder,” he admits. The cheesemaker had been producing his flagship Isle of Wight Blue at rented premises on the farm in the east of the island since 2006. But when the farmer decided to retire and put the land up for sale, the farm could easily have become yet another statistic in the decline of British dairies. “I had to decide whether I wanted to continue making cheese here or move, but I worked out the costs and it made more sense to buy the farm and stay than to set up somewhere else,” Hodgson says. He wisely brought in an agricultural consultant at the start to answer his many questions – including how many teats are on an udder (usually four) – as he got to grips with his new occupation. 22

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

One of his early decisions was to discontinue the farm’s milk round, which delivered old fashioned pint bottles to 250 homes. “I tried to push it for the first six months. We rebranded the milk and set up a website, but I was selling a bottle at 75p and each one was costing me money when I actually needed the milk in the vat.” With the bottling business gone, Hodgson could focus on improving milk quality. The best cows were identified and bred on at the expense of underperforming animals, which meant the herd fell to just 35 milkers. Improvements were also made to their diet with fields drilled with different grass varieties, more water troughs installed in the paddocks and the cows given higher protein feed. “We had fewer cows but saw milk yields almost double in a year from 2,800 litres a week to more like 5,000 litres,” he says. “We also got better yields because the fat and protein levels were higher – an extra 30 cheeses on top of a normal 300-cheese batch.” The company now makes around a tonne of cheese a month, across five products, including the ultra gooey Blue Slipper and Borthwood cheeses, Isle of White Soft and the cheddar-style Gallybagger, which are sold through the island’s independents and restaurants, and to mainland wholesalers, including H&B. Sales are growing at 3-4% a year and Hodgson is happy to expand steadily rather than chase supermarket deals, although there are plans to open a shop and café at the farm to make the most of the island’s tourist trade. In the meantime, he is enjoying his free-range life. “For years I was cooped up inside the cheese room looking out the window,” he says. “So I love getting out in the fresh air and feeling the sun on my face.” Spoken like a true farmer.



Isle of Wight Blue 1

The 200g cheese is sold from 3-4 weeks when it is relatively firm and mild, but it becomes softer and spicier in flavour as it gets closer to the end of its eight-week shelflife.

2 The golden paste comes from the use of pasteurised Guernsey and Jersey milk, which is high in butterfat and carotene.

3 The cheese is brined rather than dry-salted, which promotes good yeast coverage on the exterior and allows white, grey, green and blue moulds to naturally grow on the wrinkly rind.

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MeetAffineur AffineurWalo Waloand andfind find Meet out outmore moreabout abouthis hischeese cheeseat: at: Find out more about Affineur Walo London Meet AffineurSpeciality Waloand andfind find Meet Affineur Walo International Food Exhibition, and Fine Food Fair cheese on The Fine Cheese Co out more about his cheese out more about his cheeseat: at:

Excel. Stand No N2900, London Olympia 2.9.18 – 4.9.18. stand at the following events: London Speciality International Food Exhibition, The Fine Cheese & Stand No 1530, and Fine Food FairCo Farm Shop and Deli (8-10 April) The Fine Cheese & –Co Excel. Stand No N2900, London Olympia 2.9.18 4.9.18. The Fine &Cheese Co Stand No Speciality Fine1530, Food&Fair The Fine Cheese & Co Awarded original Swiss cheese (1-3 since fiveSeptember) generations presented by cheese Awarded original Swiss Awarded original cheese Affineur vonSwiss Mühlenen. sinceWalo five generations bypresented since five presented generations Walo von Mühlenen Affineur Walo von Mühlenen. by Affineur Walo von Mühlenen. Walo von Mühlenen

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

CHEESE WHICH SELLS ITSELF We’re making it even easier to introduce your customers to the fabulous Le Gruyère AOP Cheese from Switzerland.

Sign up to stock Le Gruyère AOP and you’ll receive everything you need including: A high quality counter-top sampling tray


Recipe leaflets, product info sheets and other branded POS


A cash allowance for up to £30 to cover the cost of the Le Gruyère AOP cheese for customer sampling



HOW DO I APPLY? This fantastic promotion is open to all independent retailers and takes place between May-July 2019. You can run it at any stage during that period. Get ahead of the game and contact us now!

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

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making more of British & Continental charcuterie

Primitive Project to pinpoint unique flavours of different rare breeds By Mick Whitworth

A Cumbrian farmer aims to pin down the distinct flavours of meat from different primitive sheep breeds in a project that could lead to similar work on native breed pigs. The diminutive size of ancient British sheep types like Soay and Manx Loaghtan, which have never been ‘improved’ by selective breeding, means they are rarely chosen for meat production. But those who rear them say their flavour is hard to beat, with each having its own distinct taste. The Primitive Produce project was the idea of

Primitive breeds including Shetland and Castlemilk have been wintering alongside Cheviot lambs on Maria Benjamin’s farm

Lake District hill farmer Maria Benjamin, who chairs Cumbria’s Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) support group. She plans to identify the real flavour differences

US breakthrough for chorizo crisps maker Charcuterie crisps maker Made For Drink is breaking into the North American market this Spring following a tie-up with US natural products brand Union Whole Earth Snacks. Three products – chorizo crisps, sopressata crisps and Genoa crisps – were launched under the Union branding at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, California, last month. Made For Drink will also launch into the US under its own brand this summer, positioning itself alongside the country’s thriving craft beer market. The line-up will include Mangalitza salami chips, chorizo thins and duck fritons. Founder Dan Featherstone described its push into the US a “massive moment” for the Berkshire-based business.

between breeds by ruling out the effects of the rearing environment, and to unlock their “untapped potential” in retail and restaurants. RBST has brought together wethers (castrated

males) from all seven British primitive breeds – Boreray, Castlemilk Moorit, Manx Loaghtan, North Ronaldsay, Soay, Hebridean and Shetland – to be raised on Benjamin’s upland farm near Coniston. This will remove any impact from different grazing or husbandry. Benjamin has already found a regular outlet for 18-month old Castlemilk Moorit wether meat, and said: “I’m convinced there’s an opportunity to promote the varied flavours and high quality of primitive hogget [meat from sheep between one and two years old]. “To do this, we have to show that the flavour is inherent in the meat,

Katsuobushi, a Japanese seasoning made with fermented, smoked and dried skipjack tuna, has inspired a new charcuterie product based on an under-used cut: beef heart. Northern Irish chef and farmer Jonny Davison, an advocate of nose-to-tail eating, worked with Jonny Cuddy of Ispini Charcuterie to develop his new Koji-cured beef heart. He is using it to add flavour and texture to a classic beef tartare. Half the heart is fermented, smoked and dried to create a katsuobushi-style product, while the rest is left in a softer bresaola style. Davison told FFD: “The Bresaola style was diced and added through the tartare, adding depth of flavour and real meaty texture, whereas the Katsuobushi was shaved very finely over the top to act as a seasoning.” Look out for more details in The Cure, FFD’s annual guide to charcuterie, published in July.

irrespective of the land it is grazed on or the way it is raised.” RBST field officer Tom Blunt told FFD a similar programme could follow to pinpoint the differences between native pig breeds like Saddlebacks and Large Blacks, whose distinctive flavours are already appreciated by many artisan charcutiers. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this project which is something that, with the support of breeders, could be replicated with our native pig breeds.” The Primitive Project wethers will grow on until next autumn when speciality butcher Andrew “Farmer” Sharp – an advocate of native breeds and slowgrown meat – will butcher the carcasses ahead of a special tasting event.

Southover unveils premium retail range Last month’s IFE show at ExCel in London saw the launch of Southover Sussex Cured, a new cooked meats brand from Southover Food Company. It is the long-established supplier’s first range specifically for retail, and comprises five 200g packs: New York-style pastrami (RRP £4.48), honeyroast farmhouse ham (£2.30), farmhouse plain ham (£2.23), cooked topside of beef (£5.17) and cooked back bacon (£3.38). The bacon is cooked and sliced, ready to eat, but intended for reheating. Southover says the sleeved vac-packs are designed to appeal to “middle and high-end retailers”.


Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


Since 2003



April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3


the secrets of smarter foodservice

Do you do filter coffee? Michael Lane discovers the merits of serving filter coffee, instead of espresso-based drinks, with Dark Woods’ Paul Meikle-Janney

REQUIRED KIT FILTER BREWERS Low-cost: A domestic sized MoccaMaster (£200-250) will do 6 cups High-cost: A batch brewer (£850£1,000), like those made by Bunn GRINDERS Low-cost: Wilfa grinders cost around £100 High-cost: Retail grinder. The Mahlkonig EK43 (£2,500) is considered the best

The whoosh of the espresso machine has become such a common soundtrack to people’s lives that it might seem odd to suggest a different method of serving coffee in delis – but here goes. Filter coffee has a fallen out of fashion but it could be just the ticket for independent retailers who are looking to start serving coffee but on a tight budget, or for those looking for something to sit alongside their menu of espressobased drinks. It even has queuebusting and milk-reduction benefits. It might surprise you to know that Paul Meikle-Janney – a man who sits on the education committee of the global Specialty Coffee Association and devises the exams for its barista qualifications – is a big advocate of filter coffee. “The reason why filter has bad press is because you’ve got people doing it badly,” says Meikle-Janney,


also a co-director at Dark Woods Coffee. “It’s associated with that tarlike stuff you see at the end of the pub counter.” He says that, too often, those preparing filter coffee are steeping the wrong grind of poor quality, dark roasted coffee in too little water for too long. “Imagine you were going to make an espresso and have already made one an hour ago with preground coffee. That’s the equivalent of what people are doing to filter coffee.” However, if the coffee is a light-medium roast, ground fresh and the quantities are right (55-60g per litre of water) you can produce a “fragrant, tasty, well-balanced cup of coffee”. It’s the kind of brew that many consumers are looking for when they ask for a black coffee but end up with an Americano. Plus, it only needs topping up with a drop of

Simple recipes to boost your margins. Sponsored by Tracklements This soufflé is a perfect base recipe and the addition of blitzed vegetables make it great for using up any leftover produce. You can substitute the squash for other veg, too. If you want to up the flavour, add some herbs to the mix. Beetroot & dill, carrot & basil and butternut & thyme are some of our favourite combinations here.

Sean Calitz

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins, plus cooking of veg Makes: 4 soufflés

Beetroot, Carrot & Butternut Soufflés

milk, unlike espresso drinks which will get through a lot more pints each day. At Dark Woods’ roastery in West Yorkshire, the team serves cups from 4-litre batch brews of two types of coffee on busy Saturday mornings and it has proved to be popular with customers. They have also helped Leeds University install a filter brew bar in one of its new facilities. Customers just choose from a craft beer style menu (with flavour profiles of each coffee) of batch- and hand-brewed drinks. Retailers could take the individual cup idea further – grinding coffee to order and serving it with a filter and hot water for the customer to brew themselves – to add more theatre in their cafés. “People are realising that filter’s not just a poor man’s coffee,” says Meikle-Janney. “A lot of big brands are looking at it and if Costa is, then there’s a market for it.”

300g puréed roasted butternut squash or carrot, or 250g puréed beetroot Breadcrumbs, to line the ramekins for the soufflés 75g butter 75g plain flour 250ml milk ¼ tsp grated nutmeg 75g grated mature cheddar (or half Parmesan, half cheddar mix) 4 eggs, separated

To finish: 100ml cream 40g parmesan cheese, grated 2 spring onions, sliced You will need: 4 ramekin dishes, 9cm deep (300ml) Method: • Blitz the butternut squash until a rough puree. • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease the ramekins with a little butter and line with breadcrumbs. • Heat the butter in a pan until melted, stir in the flour. When bubbling, slowly pour in the milk. Keep whisking until the mixture is thick and cook for a minute on the stove. • Stir in the nutmeg and cheddar. Allow to cool for 5mins. • Beat the egg yolks into the cheese sauce. Stir in the pureed veg mix. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into the veg sauce. • Divide the mixture among

the ramekins or dishes and place in a bain marie in the oven for 20-25 mins, until risen and golden brown. • Remove and allow to cool. • To serve, turn the ramekins out onto a baking dish and pour over the cream and grated parmesan. Then bake for 10-12 mins until risen and golden. • Top with spring onions and serve with a green salad. Recipe by Fine Food Digest

For your tables… ...from our kitchen

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


Visit us at Farm Shop & Deli on stand B96


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

SHOW PREVIEW Now in its ninth year, the Farm Shop & Deli show returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 8th-10th April

Six reasons to visit… Farm Shop & Deli Show




Find food products…

…and gift accessories

Get industry insight

Visiting buyers from farm shops and delicatessens will be able to see products from more than 450 exhibiting producers, including Beech’s Fine Chocolate, A Little Bit Food Company, Boost Drinks and Monty Bojangles. Register at farmshopanddelishow. for free entry to the show.

Visitors won’t just discover food products at the show. Other areas of the speciality market including candles, furniture and home goods will also be present including Apples to Pears and even Anco Dog Treats. Equipment, labelling and packaging specialists will also be exhibiting.

The Farm Shop & Deli Live stage will host advice seminars and talks on the latest industry topics, including a ‘plastic to palm oil’ discussion for retailers looking to address consumers’ eco-worries, advice on how to tap into the wellness market, and a session on improving your store environment.




The greatest thing since…

Farm Shop & Deli Awards

Sister events

Britain’s Best Loaf 2019 will return to the show and culminate in a live judging event, where judges will decide who will take home the overall title as well as category winners including Best Sourdough and Best Gluten-Free.

The winning retailers of the Farm Shop & Deli Awards will be announced live at the show on Monday 8th April. Winners will be crowned from across 12 categories including Butcher, Cheesemonger, Delicatessen as well as the overall title, Retailer of the Year.

Farm Shop & Deli Show is co-located with the National Convenience Show, The Forecourt Show and the second instalment of The Ingredients Show, allowing visitors to meet suppliers exhibiting across all these free-toattend shows with just one badge.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019






FOR JUST £150 Just one of the straightforward business-improving resources you can benefit from by joining us. or call our membership team on @guildoffinefood +44 (0)1747 825200 |

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19/03/2019 15:45:28 Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


Mediterranean Deli Pr oducts LOVELY FEEDBACK AND COMMENTS FROM VISITORS AT THE FINE FOOD SHOW NORTH “These olives have changed my opinion of olives! I absolutely love them and so do all that try them.”

“This is THE BEST Extra Virgin Olive Oil I have ever tried! I should know I’ve been in the trade for years.”

Mrs N. Quirk Pitted Greek Olives with Mediterranean Herbs & Garlic or Medium Spiced Chilli & Garlic

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Continental Meat Technology Gluten free rusk substitute from CMT CMT introduces a revolutionary new gluten free crumb, which can replace conventional rusk in sausages and burgers or can be used as a coating for meat and poultry products.

CMT gluten free crumbs:

• Are suitable for celiacs • Replace rusk without the need for recipe changes • Are also available as ready made CMT sausage mixes • Are available in two natural colours (pale and golden brown) • Do not contain any e numbers • Are made from GMO free ingredients. Juergen Maurer, 31 Salford Road, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8HT T: 01908 584489 F: 01908 584317

No compromise on quality 34

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3


A good kind of different

natural, organic & health foods


Brighton’s BeFries has extended its fresh mayo line-up with a vegan Samurai variety, described as a “mild spicy mayo with tomato and North African spices”. The vegan mayos started life as accompaniments to the eaterie’s Belgian fries, and now come in four flavours with an RRP of £3.50-3.95 per jar and a refrigerated shelf life of 6-18 weeks.

Offering a ‘clean’ alternative in the caffeinated drinks space is newcomer Lean Caffeine. The company says lab tests have verified its “super clean” range of coffees and Ceylon true cinnamon tea as being free from pesticides and mould toxins. Nicaragua Microlot, high caffeine and Swiss water decaf are all available in 227g pouches in ground and bean form.

London-based snacks company Abakus Foods claims to have introduced the world’s first chocolate coated red dates or ‘jujube fruits’. This high fibre, gluten-free, vegan snack is the company’s eighth product with red dates, which are said to have a natural caramel flavour and high vitamin C content. RRP £1.49 per pack.

Yorkshire husband and wife team Chris and Rose Bax are harnessing the teetotal trend with two botanical brews that are made in the same way as gin – in craftsman-made copper stills – but without the alcohol. Bax Botanics verbena and sea buckthorn are distillations of organic herbs and botanicals. RRP £17.99 for 500ml.

Alice Morgan says her new venture, Alice’s Pantry, was created out of desperation to find something natural and free from but also indulgent when on the go. The Scottish Borders producer offers snack bars such as raw billionaires shortbread and raw banoffee pie that are free from gluten, dairy, egg, soya, refined sugars, additives and preservatives. RRP £3; trade price £2.

Amid a raft of protein snacks sweetened with date and brown rice syrup, Nibble Protein Bites use dried plum purée for a lower sugar content and point of difference. Made with gluten-free oats, protein crisps, pea protein and seeds, its dairy-free, high protein pucks are available in four flavours: mocha, lemon, sour cherry and choc chip cookie.

Last sawitsgluten-free Aftermonth reaching first year of bakery Pourtoi launch its new business, Hungry Squirrel vegan cakemaple slices in Whole Foods has added pecan to its and several delis. There are flavoured nut butters. Madethree with ‘slices’ choose from: pecans,toalmonds, mapledouble syrup chocolate, velvetspices, and carrot, and a hint red of mixed the with an RRP of has £3 per portion smooth butter a trade price of (wholesale pricejar £9(RRP for 6£5-6). units). £3.95 per 150g

Green Origins has revamped Womersley Foods is now its organic superfood powder selling its fruity jams in a newly pouches, out a new designed rolling gift box. The balance of look sizes. Four newjams herbsand andnew chilli in the three products join the line-up this – raspberry & chilli, blackcurrant spring: organic ceremonial & rosemary, and strawberry & matcha organic bee mint – ispowder, said to intensify the pollen, organic acerola powder flavour of the fruit. and organic royal quinoa.

Whether you’re looking to satisfy organic shoppers, appeal to vegans or offer something to your more health-conscious customers, this round-up will have a product or two for you. Compiled by Lynda Searby

Just Wholefoods’ Peckish Kitchen has 19-strong rebranded product has been its rhubarbportfolio jam to become treated to new livery and isjam, now Yorkshire rhubarb & custard vegan certified and palm oil using local rhubarb grown within free. The plant-based producer the rhubarb triangle of West says the rebrand has secured Yorkshire. It is also launching a newRaspberry listings with Ocado, Planet new Collins gin jam, Organic Whole Foods made withand raspberries steeped in Market. Divine Gin.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


natural, organic & health foods

>> Stroud producer Kitchen Garden is building on the success of its Wolfys instant porridge pot range with the launch of a vegan version. Already listed with major multiples, the vegan porridge comes in three flavours – strawberries & cream, lemon & poppy seed and rhubarb & ginger – made from oats, soy milk powder and jam. RRP £1.99.

Alternative Foods has developed a new vegan cake range using the naturally occurring plant protein aquafaba instead of egg. The company has been working with the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds to stabilise the natural proteins in aquafaba. This has yielded a bake-stable egg replacer that is being used in the new lemon drizzle, salted caramel, chocolate

Two new organic, vegan, gluten-free, no-refinedsugar breakfast options from Primrose’s Kitchen launched in March. Pear & apricot bircher combines air-dried pear with apricot, oats, linseeds, chia & cinnamon, while ‘My Special Porridge Mix’ is a blend of oats, air-dried carrot & beetroot, coconut nectar, coconut oil, cinnamon and ginger. Trade price £2.79; RRP £3.99 for 300g.

fudge, carrot and Victoria sponge cakes, with a 30% reduced sugar children’s fairy cake range also under development. Alternative cakes have an RRP of £2.49 for a 2-pack, £4.75 for a 4-pack and £4.95 for a 5” cake. Their packaging is made from recycled plastic bottle tops and 100% recyclable. The egg replacer will also launch as a standalone liquid egg substitute called Alternative OGGS.

Phil Taylor

How we stock it…

Slow food and convenience don’t usually go hand in hand, but Helen Browning has married the two in her new range of slow-cooked organic pork ready-meals. Organic British pork is cooked sous vide for 12 hours to produce dishes such as BBQ spiced pulled pork and cider, apples & thyme pork belly. RRP £8.49-8.99. helenbrowningsorganic.

Last month, Lake District producer Ginger Bakers expanded its café cake menu with two new freefrom tray bakes. Brazil nut & sour cherry boost bar is a vegan and gluten-free “energy booster”, while vegan lemon & blackcurrant cake bake contains fresh organic blackcurrants. Trade price £24 for a 25 x 33cm tray bake (18 portions).

Organic apple & raspberry is Eva’s Organics’ first blended juice. The Cumbrian growerproducer says it hopes to bring out other new flavours later in the year, including apple & rhubarb and apple & ginger.

The popularity of raw chocolate is showing no signs of abating as Raw Halo introduces three new 70g bars. The salted caramel, pink Himalayan salt and 85% raw dark chocolate bars are all vegan, organic, gluten-free and sweetened with coconut milk. RRP £3.

Raw energy balls made with allnatural ingredients

Tiger nut – the high fibre plant tuber that is also the newest superfood on the block – is the star ingredient in The Tiger Nut Company’s new range of raw energy snacks. The organic, vegan, gluten- and nut-free balls are packed with seeds, dates, coconut oil and spices and come in two varieties: ginger & date and chocolate & orange. RRP £3.45 for a pack of six balls. thetigernutcompany.

HUGH FINK co-founder Fink Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire Owner Hugh Fink sees food for special dietary requirements as increasingly important. But rather than having a dedicated section for these lines, he prefers to treat them as part of the shop’s main range. “We find a lot of people who don’t have an intolerance like these products but if we put them in a free-from fixture they won’t look at them,” he says. The exception to this approach is dairy-free; Fink has a dedicated vegan 36

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

chiller section to “provide visibility” of its options. He says gluten-free in particular has been a “continuing and increasing theme”, with biscuits, crackers and bread leading the charge. In terms of what free-from products to stock, Fink is led by its shoppers. “We try to understand what conditions our customers are trying to address and look for products they specifically ask for or undertake our own research,” says Fink.

Home bakers looking for natural ingredients are the target audience for Steenberg’s new organic coffee extract. Free from artificial flavourings, this natural, organic baking extract comes in a 60ml pack and has an RRP of £4.

Marnie Searchwell Handmade Cakes

Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake Organic ingredients Gluten-free Dairy-free l


“Beautifully baked – exactly the right sweetness” “Rich and well made” “Decadent mouthfeel”

% 020 7735 1444

Organic All Butter Biscuits from the Hebrides Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


Not Just Another

Spice Company

Creating food and bringing the best out of the ingredients used has always been a passion of ours. Having lived in Mauritius and travelled extensively, we have tasted the delights of many cuisines and appreciate the true intensity and flavours of authentic cuisine and strive to give as much of this passion and authenticity to the spices we provide. We do not believe in cutting corners and this is apparent in the blend of spices we create. No Artificial Colours. No Artificial Flavourings

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Based in Northern Ireland we are growers of eco bio fruit and vegetables, we forage wild herbs and fruit. We make raw unpasteurized fermented kimchi, 5 types of sauerkrauts, kombucha, water and coconut milk kefirs. We also make diabetic cordials, syrups and fruit confitures with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners- just natural fructose . All products are gluten free, dairy free, vegan friendly and low GI. 07935 915 000 t how s a li S it u De Vis op & M61 Sh nd m Sta


New for 2019 Gluten Free Bake-off Loaves Continuing our innovation in Bake at Home Benefit from higher bakery margins with our handmade part-baked loaves and pastries

For further information please call us on 01989 741010


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

natural, organic & health foods

A creamy, tangy, fermented dairy drink packed with good bacteria

With kefir continuing to trend, Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk has added the fermented health drink to its organic dairy portfolio. The kefir is made on the Gloucestershire farm from unhomogenised milk and has a shelf life of 2-4 weeks. So far, the farmer-producer reports that uptake has been “staggering” and says that a low fat version made with skimmed milk will be available from this month. RRP £4.50 for 750ml. theladiesorganicmilk.

Peckish has rebranded Devon’sKitchen Rod & Ben’s has itsadded rhubarb jamvegan to become a new fresh soup Yorkshire rhubarb & custard jam, to its family of organic, dairyusing localgluten-free rhubarb grown within free and soups, the rhubarb triangle of West the stews and dips. It describes Yorkshire. is alsodahl launching thick redItlentil soup asa new Raspberry jam,   “warming butCollins not toogin spicy”. made with raspberries steeped in Divine Gin.

Creative Nature has added two new recipes to its allergen-free baking mix line-up. Like its existing chia & cacao chocolate chip brownie and chia & mulberry mixes, the chocolate chip muffin and wholegrain banana bread mixes offer an organic, gluten-, nut-, soya- and dairy-free alternative. Trade price is £2.99 (RRP £3.99). creativenaturesuperfoods.

Like No Udder, an organic and dairy-free chocolate bar, is Montezuma’s response to growing demand for milk chocolate alternatives. The chocolatier says it has achieved a creamy taste without cows’ milk by using rice powder. The bars are available in two flavours: Like No Udder and Like No Udder with sweet orange. RRP £2.99 for 100g.

A Colombian refined sugar alternative is about to hit Europe as Sheffield-based Pura Panela unveils its new 454g retail pack made from 100% biodegradable materials (sugar cane and corn PLA). Made by artisans in Colombia, Panela is the juice from the sugar cane, dehydrated to produce a natural sweetener that is free from chemicals and additives. RRP £4-5.

Vegan ice cream is mooted as a big trend this summer and, in preparation, Yee Kwan has developed five vegan flavours for scooping counters and foodservice. Available via Stratford Fine Foods, the matcha green tea, salted caramel, chocolate miso, toasted coconut and mango flavours are all coconutbased and gluten-free.

Following on from its Great Taste two-star white flour and three-star-winning wholegrain spelt flour, Craggs & Co has added three ancient grain flours to its range. The British grain producer’s wholegrain Rye (RRP £2.20), Emmer (RRP £3.50) and Einkorn (RRP £3.40) flours are all naturally packed with protein and fibre, as well as vegan and gut-friendly.

Cocofina’s latest coconut creation – a creamy Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Spread – is made with organic hazelnuts, cocoa, sunflower oil and sweetened with unrefined, low-GI coconut sugar. Soil Association certified and vegan-friendly, this thick spread (200g, RRP £4.99) contains no hidden ingredients, preservatives or additives and no unnecessary fillers.

Greek artisan food label Odysea has introduced three new organic products made in a traditional dairy in the Drama region of northern Greece. The kefir (RRP £1.95 for 330ml), sheep’s milk yoghurt (RRP £2.20 for 250g) and goats’ milk yoghurt (RRP £2.20 for 240g) are all listed with Abel & Cole.

The Bay Tree has introduced a trio of reduced sugar accompaniments for deli and farm shop cafés wanting to cater for those watching their sugar levels. The reduced sugar strawberry jam, orange marmalade and spicy tomato & onion chutney contain 25% less sugar than The Bay Tree’s standard range. Trade prices are £6-7 for 1.1/1.2kg catering pails.

After reaching year of Luscombe saysitsitsfirst new sparkling business, Squirrelto fruit waterHungry range responds has added pecan water to its demand formaple a flavoured flavoured Made with made withnut realbutters. fruit and no added pecans,There almonds, maple syrup – sugar. are three varieties and acherry, hint ofraspberry mixed spices, the sour and passion smooth butter has a trade fruit – each containing justprice fruit of £3.95 per 150g jar (RRP and water. RRP £1.20 for£5-6). 27cl.

Womersley Foods is now SW9 cake maker Marnie selling its fruity in a newly Searchwell hasjams conceived designed gift box. Thedairy-free balance of two new glutenand herbs and the three&jams recipes. Thechilli newinchocolate –olive raspberry chilli, blackcurrant oil and&vegan fruit cakes are & rosemary, and strawberry & both made using Searchwell’s mint – is said intensify the own blend of to organic, gluten-free flavour flours. of the fruit.

Cardamon, pumpkin seed & almond granola is the latest addition to Bonallack Great Granola’s breakfast cereal collection. Vegan and gluten-free, the handmade granola is also very low in sugar. Trade price £5 per 400g bag; RRP £6.50.

World food distributor Top Op is carrying a range of Asianinspired dipping sauces that are vegan and gluten-free. Flavour Boat sauces come in four varieties: coriander chilli, Thai Eastern sweet chilli, sweet chilli and black pepper. Trade price £6.30; RRP £1.79. Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


COULD YOU BE THE NEXT YOUNG CHEESEMONGER OF THE YEAR? Entries for this year’s Young Cheesemonger Award are now OPEN Open to all Cheesemongers under the age of 30 Download an Entry Form from the British Cheese Awards website! WWW.BRITISHCHEESEAWARDS.COM The Guild of Fine Food’s training arm, the School of Fine Food, sees over 1,000 delegates a year learn everything from the basics of cheese and deli products to the detail of running an independent retail business. BUSINESS Our Retail Ready two-day training programme is designed to equip managers or owners of prospective, new or developing delis & farm shops with the business essentials of fine food & drink retailing CHEESE RETAIL Our one-day course is designed to help independent retailers capitalise on customer interaction, ensure they have the correct range and guarantees that you and your team talk intelligently about cheese to your customers ACADEMY OF CHEESE The Guild is a founding patron and training provider of the Academy. It’s trusted and structured learning provides an academic pathway for anyone in the business, and equally cheese-loving consumers. It does for cheese what the Wine & Spirits Education Trust does for wine

ACADEMY LEVEL 1: £195 inc VAT 6 April London 20 June London 18 September London 8 November London NEW FOR 2019 We will be running this course as a 3-part evening course at 18.30-21.00 on these consecutive Tuesdays: 11, 18, 25 June RETAIL CHEESE: MEMBERS £100 plus VAT NON-MEMBERS £195 plus VAT 28 May Birmingham 30 May Gillingham, Dorset | 40

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3


12 23 10 17 8 29 12

June July September September October October November

London London London London London London London

DELI COURSE: MEMBERS £100 plus VAT NON-MEMBERS £195 plus VAT 11 June London 28 October London RETAIL READY: Contact Jilly Sitch for further info

Organic, Vegan and Gluten Free


e at Meline’s strive to produce the best quality, freshness and flavour possible in our sauces. All our produce is gluten free and vegan made by hand in small artisan batches, using the finest organic ingredients. Chinese sauce: A new recipe developed by chef Thomas Middleton from traditional Chinese cuisine, drawing on his three starred Michelin experience as a chef. Chilli Sauce: Based on an old Sichuan recipe, more of a classical Chinese sauce, with a stronger chilli flavour.

Visit us online or contact us to discover our great range of juices. We supply good food shops, hotels, pubs and restaurants.

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Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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DovesFarm_Halfpage.indd 1 April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

19/03/2019 15:37:43

SHOW PREVIEW Europe’s biggest natural and organic trade event, Natural & Organic Products Europe, returns to London ExCeL on 7th - 8th April. Here’s why you should attend:

Six reasons to visit… Natural & Organic Products Europe

1 New and returning exhibitors There is plenty to discover at this year’s show with more than 700 producers exhibiting. Returning exhibitors include GreenVie Foods, Marigold Health Foods and Hodmedod, while among those new to the show include Great British Bee Company and Holy Lama.




Discover what’s new in food It’s a vegan’s world The show will also give retailers a chance to discover the latest launches in food. Planet Organic’s Nut Butter Cups and Monari Federzoni’s Bongiorno organic vinegar drink are just two ranges that will see additions launched at the show.


Organics galore

Natural Food Talks

The Organic Hub, hosted by the Soil Association and the Organic Trade Board, will be showcasing over 40 certified organic brands for 2019 including Sweet Revolution, The Green Milk Company and Raw & Wild. SA’s Clare McDermott will also be hosting a panel on ‘the Conscious Organic Consumer’.

Three dedicated theatres will be at the show hosting Keynotes, interviews, retail seminars and panel discussions. Among those confirmed for the Natural Food Talks theatre are nutrition expert Patrick Holford, Soil Association trade relations manager Lee Holdstock, and MD Cliff Moss of Healthy Sales Group.

A Vegan World area will be at the show allowing buyers to sample food from brands in the UK, Europe, Southeast Asia, Canada and USA. Showcased products will include plant-based seafood, dairy-free smoked gouda, vegan custard powder and jackfruit.

6 Do business with the right people With regular annual visitors including independent stores, restaurants, cafés and caterers as well as senior buyers, wholesalers and distributors, there will be plenty of networking opportunities at the show.

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019



Seaweed seasoning launches as “alternative to salt” By Lauren Phillips

A new seaweed-based seasoning, which has a salt content of just 6.5%, has hit the market and is being pitched as an “alternative to the salt pot”. The new product is the creation of Seaspoon, a producer of seaweed-based products which harvests the plants on the south Devon coast between Salcombe and Dartmouth. It was set up by former property professional Tim Buckley with childhood friend and Cordon Bleu chef Kate Tullberg, wife of Tracklements MD Guy Tullberg. The mixture of four seaweed products – dulse, sea spaghetti, sea greens and sea lettuce – with tomato, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, comes in a 25g seasoning pot and has a trade price of £2.77 (RRP £3.95). It joins the producer’s other seaweed products, including a boost (trade £3.57, RRP £5.95, 30g), umami blend (trade £3.45, RRP £5.75, 30g), and a herb mix (trade £2.97, RRP £4.95, 30g). “Consumers want food that tastes nice but is also nutritionally good for them, and we see Seaspoon sitting right in the middle between health and taste,” Tim Buckley told FFD. He said consumers were more aware of the health benefits of seaweed – high in protein, omega oils, fibre and a natural source of iodine. “But they don’t quite know how to use it or what they can it eat with,” he added. The different varieties aim to cater to different uses, the umami blend sits firmly in the cooking category and can be added to stews,

Seaspoon’s Tim Buckley says the range was created to show how seaweed can be included in the diet

marinades or omelettes to enhance flavour, while the boost is a much finer powder which can be added to smoothies or salads for a nutritional hit. “We’re all about creating ways you can include seaweed into your diet, and isn’t a new fad, it’s been consumed as food and medicine for hundreds of years,” he said. Seaspoon is seeking stockists in both the independent retail sector and foodservice. The products are currently only available to retailers directly but Buckley said the company is already in talks with wholesalers. “We started out selling our products online only, but now we have grown and established ourselves we are now looking at the independents and distribution nationally,” he said.

Fudge Kitchen boosts ranges following 100k rebrand By Lauren Phillips

Confectionery producer Fudge Kitchen has launched a range of new products and flavours in new packaging following a £100,000 rebrand across its seven shops, bags, packaging and website last year. The Bath-based company unveiled its new lines and rebrand at IFE last month, which includes five new flavours of caramels and brittles and a sharing selection of flavoured fudge inspired by retro ‘tuck shop’ sweet flavours. The new flavoured caramels and brittles joining Fudge Kitchen’s Delectables range are all said to be based on developing trends including vegan and east Asian flavours. These consist of: lemongrass &

chilli brittle; a dairy-free peanut brittle; a chocolate nut pave; and pumpkin & sunflower seed brittle (RRP £6.50, 125g), and rose and cocoa nibbed caramels (RRP £8, 125g). The Tuck Shop Sharer collection joins a recently repackaged range of ninethemed butter fudge selections such as the Salted Sharer, Boozy Sharer and Traditional. It includes retro sweet flavours such as Pear Drop, Parma Violet, Lemon Sherbet, Blackcurrant & Liquorice and Rhubarb & Custard (RRP £15, 330g).

The new lines follows Fudge Kitchen’s £100,000 refurbishment after celebrating its 35th birthday last year. “Fudge Kitchen is in the midst of a radical overhaul of our ranges and our packaging,” said MD Sian Holt. “The products and flavours across all our ranges have also been carefully curated to offer a wider span of targets in design, price points and flavours, and represent our continued focus on innovation and on developing and initiating emerging trends.”

Displays that pay PEP-UP YOUR SHELVES WITH THE GUILD OF FINE FOOD’S RESIDENT MERCHANDISING QUEEN JILLY SITCH It’s not always bad to think like the supermarkets do. Before you tell me to bog off, just consider their approach to aisle ends. Whether you like it or not, the multiples have conditioned us all to be drawn to these areas of the store. So, if you have them, you need to make the most of what is effectively a hot spot. Display and promote that new range of chutneys you’ve just brought in, merchandise the ingredients for a meal or just get a blackboard up there to signpost some new lines you’ve got on the counter. Whatever you do, don’t leave it unused or make it the bargain bin for that old range of chutneys that you couldn’t shift. Supermarkets might use it to cheapen their offer but you shouldn’t. I’d never advise you to BOGOF.

WHAT’S NEW Brindisa says its new Ortiz pouches offer retailers a convenient way to get a taste of a classic Spanish dish in the UK. Ortiz fried mackerel in escabeche (RRP £4.75, 215g) and Ortiz Marmitako fisherman’s stew (RRP £4.95, 300g) pouches are now available from regional producer Conservas Ortiz. The Artisan Olive Oil Company has introduced a new range of EVOOs from Andalusian producer Oro Bailen to the UK market. The new monocultivar oils include an intense green fruity early harvest oil (Reserva Familiar Hojiblanca) and a medium green fruity (Reserva Familiar Frantoio). RRP £16, 500ml. Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


SHELF TALK My magic ingredient

WHAT’S NEW Soft drinks producer Cawston Press has developed two new flavoured sparkling water drinks as an alternative to high-in-sugar mass market soft drinks. The ginger & lemon and raspberry flavoured drinks are available from this month in 250ml slim cans with an RRP of £1.19. Bracken Hill Fine Foods has added a new tropicalinspired jam to its range of Yorkshire preserves and refreshed its labelling after 16 years of trading. The mango, passionfruit & Masons vodka jam joins its other preserves including a lime marmalade and rhubarb jam both laced with Masons gin. Holly GoLightly is a new low-alcohol cider from Herefordshire producer Celtic Marches. With a 0.5% ABV, the medium cider is said to have plenty of body with a “touch of acidity” at the end. It is available in 500ml, 330ml cans and 250ml slimline cans.

Nielsen Massey Rose Water CLODAGH MCKENNA Chef and restaurateur I discovered rose water quite a few years back while reading through a Moroccan cookbook. I was intrigued by its exoticness, and, soon after, started experimenting with it in recipes. There are lots of different brands of rose water available (and believe me, I have tried many), but the best in my opinion is Nielsen Massey. The floral flavour of rose water is very delicate. It is delicious whipped into melted dark chocolate in a decadent chocolate mousse or used to make rose water pistachio chocolate Florentines – one of my favourites from my new book Clodagh’s Suppers. Rose water is also sensational in a raspberry pavlova, or simply folded into whipped cream to add a bit of magic to a dessert. On a savoury note, I have mixed it with harissa which I then use to marinate a chicken, before serving it with spiced and herby couscous. It made me feel like I was back in Morocco!

It is sensational in raspberry pavlova or folded into whipped cream

Start-up’s fusion flavours aim to revive cooking sauces By Lauren Phillips

A start-up premium spice brand has developed cooking pastes and a hot sauce in fusion flavours with the aim of livening-up the cooking sauce category. Yugo Spice launched earlier this year with a miso chipotle paste, a curried sun-dried tomato paste, and a chipotle garni hot sauce all in 150ml packaging with a £5.99 RRP. The flavours were developed by business school

graduate Renad Sheraif who was looking to recreate restaurant-quality sauces in a variety of fusion flavours. “I researched the market for two or three years beforehand and found that there were no cooking sauces that combined different cuisines,” Sheraif told FFD. “The vast majority of cooking sauces are mass-market brands that are high in sugar and salt.” Working with a sauce manufacturer in Reading to

Founder Renad Sheraif started working on her brand and products while studying Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

produce the products, the brand is looking at the higher end market for stockists including fine food halls and independents. The range is available to retailers directly with a trade price of £3.50 per item (cases of 6x12). Sheraif describes her Japanese-Mexican fusion of miso chipotle as “smoky and very citrusy” and was inspired to create the flavour after sampling it at a restaurant. The curried sun-dried tomato variety (an IndianMediterranean fusion) was developed after eating a coronation chicken sandwich with sun-dried tomato. “Our hot sauce [Chipotle Garni] is a fusion of Mexican and French cuisine,” she added. “The herbs I use are specifically from the south of France and are the same found in a Bouquet Garni which gives the hot sauce some floral aromas.”

Well-known gourmet popcorn and caramel sauce company Joe & Seph’s is expanding from the snacks category into confectionery this month with the launch of its Chocolate Popcorn Bites. Available in two varieties, the bites are the brand’s Double Salted Caramel Popcorn placed in either a milk or dark chocolate cup (RRP £3, 63g). “We have designed our Bites to introduce our brand to a new audience, who we know are interested in natural indulgence,” said co-founder Adam Sopher.

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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Established in 1988, Select Drams has grown to be a very successful family run wholesale business specialising in miniatures, alcohol gifting, craft gin and malt whisky. We stock a wide variety of whisky, gin, vodka, liqueurs and other spirits – plus a few select beers, tonics and mixers! We have built up an enviable reputation in the UK based on our friendly, efficient service and ever expanding product range. Bay 1, Hamilton Rd Industrial Estate, Strathaven ML10 6UB.

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SHELF TALK Luxury category is primary target for new Jamaican brand A new company specialising in classic Jamaican food has launched to the UK market with its sights set firmly on the fine food sector. Marshall & Brown, which launched at the Jamaican High Commission in London at the beginning of the year, is aiming to fill what it says is a gap in the market for premium authentic Jamaican food and cooking ingredients. As well as rum punch and artisan chocolates laced with Jamaican rum, the company will be producing two brands. Mama Brown’s rum cakes

come in six flavours: banana, chocolate, coconut, key lime, pineapple, and golden original with walnuts (trade £5.95 per 112g unit, RRP £9.95). The Jerk House is a collection of Jamaican sauces and seasonings such as barbecue, jerk, yellow scotch bonnet and a hot mustard, available in three sizes 148g (RRP £2.85), 312g (RRP £4.50), and 555g (RRP £4.50). All products are available for wholesale from Artisan Food Club, The Fine Food Angel, BoroughBox and Route2.


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1 The katsu sando Built with white crustless bread, a breaded cutlet of pork or chicken, tonkatsu sauce and shredded white cabbage, this iconic Japanese sandwich is currently getting a swarm of foodies all hot under the collar. TaTa Eatery knocks out a stunning katsu sando, as does Nanban Express fronted by MasterChef winner Tim Anderson. There are also playful takes on this cult sarnie emerging, with Shoreditch’s Two Lights making a version with sardines. 2 Fully compostable packaging Although some packaging claims to be compostable, many have to be added to a commercial composter in order to fully break down. But some producers, like Two Farmers crisps, have invested in packaging that will decompose in a home composting environment in as little as 26 weeks. Similarly, Bad Hand Coffee use omnidegradable packs that will begin to break down when they come in to contact with microbes present in fresh water, salt water or landfill environments – a good option for those looking to stock sustainably.

WHAT’S NEW Holdsworth Chocolates has developed a selection of sharing bags in five flavours, called the Diffusion range. The flavours within the range include coconut ice, cookies & cream fudge, popcorn & peanut brittle, fruit & nut fudge and honeycomb, all encased in the producer’s signature milk chocolate. RRP £4.95, 150g. Shemin’s has added Indian breads to its repertoire alongside its spice blends and curry pastes. Said to be flame-baked and hand-stretched, the breads include naans (plain and peshwari), chapatis (plain, wholemeal and methi) and parathas. Trade price is £1.75 (RRP £2.50) with a four month shelf life. Isle of Wight Distillery has rebranded its Mermaid Gin (42% ABV) giving it a new bottle shape, with scales embossed into the glass, and switching to entirely recyclable materials, including biodegradable paint, all-natural cork, wooden top and paper seal. RRP £45, 70cl. Belazu has launched a retail range of speciality vinegars which will be available from next month. They include a single varietal Moscatel vinegar made from the Spanish Muscat grape (RRP £5.65, 250ml); an aged Solera Sherry Vinegar (RRP £5.65, 250ml); the company’s first Organic Balsamic Vinegar (RRP £16.45, 250ml); a 25-Year-Old ‘Extra Vecchio’ Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO (RRP £109.95, 100ml) and; an Oak Matured Aged Malt Vinegar of Modena (RRP £11.95, 500ml).

3 Micro-cocktails The Guardian recently highlighted how ‘micro-cocktails’ are becoming a popular premium drinks offering. 1From 16/08/2016 high-end10:37 bars, such as Cub and Every Cloud, through to casual high-street dining outfits like MeatLiquor, many establishments are offering miniature versions of classics like the martini in smaller glasses, with smaller prices. Less punchy than their full-size counterparts, these versions could change the way consumers look at the shot and short measure drinks, if they catch on.



Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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Best in show

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Bessie’s Yorkshire Preserves AUBERGINE PICKLE bessiesyorkshire Despite its unassuming exterior, this jar holds a pickle that boasts enticing colour and decent texture. The flavour of the aubergine comes through and is lifted by a chilli hit that never goes over the top.


CHOICE Hawkshead Relish SMOKY BLACK GARLIC KETCHUP This ketchup offers a good mix of flavours without being unbalanced – it has sweetness and smokiness but is not overly garlicky. For what is effectively a posh BBQ sauce, the £4.99 RRP is pitched just about right.

Pop a Ball PIMP YOUR GIN GIFT BOX Anything to do with gin is a good retail idea at the moment – there aren’t many independents who don’t sell it. The team was not quite sure on the price (£17.99) and what kind of consumer the packaging is aimed at but, despite this, you would still be able to upsell it with gin purchases or as a gift.

Best of Hungary RAW HUNGARIAN ACACIA HONEY IN TRADITIONAL CRAFT POT This honey is excellent (it has a Great Taste twostar) and you get a lot of it but the eye-catching pot is the main event here. It’s a very gift-able item, so much so that retailers might even be able to sell it for more than the £13 RRP.

Lakeland Artisan STRAWBERRY & PEPPERCORN RUM LIQUEUR This might not be as easy a sell as everyone’s favourite spirit but this tipple offers plenty of sweetness and warmth – an alt-sherry that would appeal to older demographics. The stone crocks look good and are punchily priced (£20), too.

Coffee Care BRAZIL CERRADO SWISS WATER DECAF GROUND COFFEE You don’t often go wrong with a supplier like Coffee Care and this decaff is delivered to its usual standards. Good body, detectable flavour and proper provenance all contribute to a very drinkable coffee that you wouldn’t think was decaff. Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


FINE FOOD SHOW NORTH 2019 Tenuta Marmorelle RICOTTA & SPINACH FRESH PASTA Forget the supermarkets’ fresh ravioli with industrial paste filling, Tenuta Marmorelle shows how it’s done. Its spinach & ricotta filling is fresh, well-seasoned and the pasta kept its shape during boiling. A convenient meal without compromising on quality.

Yorkshire Flapjack CHOCOLATE ORANGE FLAPJACK This is clearly a treat item (there’s still a place for those on shelves, right?) and is not virtuous in any way. The chewiness-crumbliness ratio is just right, it tastes of what it says it does and the packaging is simple and clean. It has café potential, too. Mother’s Kitchen HEALTHY DELIGHTS These Indian sweets are this year’s wildcard, by a long stretch. A bizarre merger of peanut brittle and Turkish delight flavours, these squares have the added bonus of being free-from and vegan friendly. The outer packaging needs some work, so they might be better sold individually at the till or café counter.


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods CITRUS YORKSHIRE TONIC Tonic water is dominated by Fever-Tree and Double Dutch, so it’s refreshing to find a new range of tonics that taste good, look good and aren’t sold in the supermarkets. This citrus-flavoured mixer from Raisthorpe Manor is light and refreshing and wouldn’t overpower a gin in a G&T. The branding is clean and smart too.

Redcastle Spirits SCOTTISH & CARIBBEAN SPICED RUM FUSION Out of all the spirits tipped to be the next contender that will replace gin, rum is the one that gets touted the most. Luckily, this Scottish rum with Caribbean influences is smooth, with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla making it an easy conversion product to introduce to rum novices.

York Gin Company 5CL TRIPLE GIFT PACK It might feel like a gin brand is limiting itself by taking its name from a county or city. However, York Gin plays on the history of this Roman-founded city to its advantage in both its branding and products. Each gin is dry, complex and spice-led and perfectly showcased in the 5cl minature gift pack.

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DELI OF THE MONTH With only two years of trading under their belts you might think Emma and Ben Mosey are relative farm shop novices. But they are picking up accolades and increasing sales all the time with a business plan that revolves around their small flock of hens and home-grown veg rather than meat. Interview by Michael Lane

A chicken and egg situation


Location: Minskip Farm Shop, Minskip Road, Boroughbridge, YO519HY Turnover: £400,000 (incl. wholesale eggs) Total Annual Footfall: 30,138 (2018) Average basket spend: £11 Staff: 7 (part-time) 56

April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

breakfast table should. This most humble of products is at the heart of their business and looks set to be its future, as turnover increases rapidly and they embark on a long-term plan to expand and diversify – with their eggs remaining the centrepiece. The Moseys are still relative novices when it comes to this game. Although Ben had plenty of practical knowhow from growing up on his family’s sheep and pig farm, the couple had no prior retail experience two years ago when they took over a farm with 6,000 laying hens and its own shop, 20 minutes north west of Harrogate. At first glance, the shop is more “farm gate” than a rural retailing marvel – there is no butchery, no deli counter and it’s closer in size to an urban shop. The fact that they are in an area of the UK that is rich in farm shops (there are three within 5 miles of Minskip alone) and

have a supermarket five minutes up the road, should see the odds stacked further against them. Yet, the shop pops up regularly on awards shortlists and they have been invited to join a Farm Retail Association board meeting the day after FFD visits. Their numbers back up these endorsements. The farm is turning over £400,000 (up 38% since January 2017), of which 70% is retail revenue. Remarkably, those super fresh eggs along with a strikingly merchandised array of vegetables – quite a few of which are grown in the Moseys’ own market garden – account for half of all sales. In total, 96% of the lines stocked are sourced from within 20 miles. With meat sales from a small multi-deck accounting for just 5% of sales, you might think they have hamstrung their growth potential but

Richard Faulks

FOR ALL OF YOU OUT there whose weekend breakfast preparations are filled with dread, FFD can bring you some comfort via North Yorkshire. “People blame themselves for not being able to poach eggs but it’s actually all to do with freshness,” says Emma Mosey, co-owner of Minskip Farm Shop. “It’s impossible to get the eggs to supermarkets in 10 days or less, so they’re unpoachable by the time they get there.” It’s hard to imagine that Mosey, a novelist (under her maiden name Chapman), and her husband Ben, a geologist, could bore anyone at a social gathering. But she insists that they have been earmarked by friends as the people who talk endlessly about eggs at dinner parties. Even if their assertion that you shouldn’t even need a drop of vinegar or a whirlpool (yes, really) in the pan doesn’t make you sit up and listen, then the couple’s success far beyond the

MUST-STOCKS Purple sprouting broccoli, kale, spinach and chard (all from Minskip’s market garden) Very large eggs (Minskip’s own) Bear & Mouse Chocolate  Acorn Dairy Milk  Yorkshire Mayo  Herb-fed poultry  Whittakers Gin  Vanoras Bakery sourdough  Cartright & Butler biscuits and preserves  Bessie’s Yorkshire Preserves  Lishman’s ‘Nduja  Bad Co Brewery beers

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keeping this category to a minimum is Minskip’s major point of difference. “When we first looked round the shop, we actually thought that was a weakness and we should be meat-based because most are,” says Emma Mosey. “But what we’ve learnt – especially with the kind of trends that are going on at the moment – is the hens are the most unique thing about our business.” The relatively small scale of the operation is also something Mosey sees as a boon rather than a negative. “Because we are smaller, we’re very transparent. You can see the veg as you drive in, you can see the hens from the car park.” She adds: “As farm shops get bigger, some lose that and become more café-based than anything. It’s not a negative thing but we found, when we were first starting, that you can’t tell the difference between some shops, what their USP is or what the original farm was.” After a couple of years getting to grips with the business, Emma Mosey says they are now looking to upgrade on the single building inherited from the previous owners with a caférestaurant. This is just the first phase of a bigger project.

“We’ve got a 10-year plan, it’s taken us two years to make it!” Eventually, Minskip will evolve into a destination for visitors to learn about food and farming. While further phases remain a closely guarded secret, Mosey says they have taken inspiration from the foodie attractions they saw while living in Perth, Western Australia, especially those in the nearby wine region of Margaret River. “We’ve weighed up other options in terms of growth,” she says. “Those have gone along the lines of more generic food & beverage or a play offering for kids. But both of those things are very replicable, and not just by farm shops but by all sorts of people in the leisure industry.” The chosen direction is also informed by Mosey’s own “townie” fascination and love of the rural way of life. “Through meeting Ben I’ve become addicted to the farming life and reconnecting with our food. We are really passionate about trying to find a way for people to see their food growing or the hens lay the eggs, in a way that’s really exciting and educational.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 59

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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She adds that the lack of dependence on butchery both broadens Minskip’s current appeal and aids its long-term quest. The eggfocused operation is future-proofed against consumers’ changes in attitude towards meat, whether they are eating less or none at all. “We do have vegans that buy our eggs because they know the hens are happy,” she says, adding that the ethical questions around slaughter that many farm shops have to face don’t crop up with Minskip’s model. The shop has even managed to convert the unseemlier side of egg production into something positive. It is standard practice in the egg industry to replace laying flocks at 18-months-old, as they become less prolific. That usually means slaughter (with the meat sent abroad or used in pet food production) but, last December, the Moseys decided to advertise their whole flock to the public for re-homing. “When we put the call out, we thought maybe 200 would get rehomed. We didn’t expect the response that we got. So, we found

out a month before Christmas, which is obviously our busiest time in the shop, that we were then going to have to get all 6,000 hens out of the barn into people’s cars.” Thanks to a master spreadsheet devised by Ben and the good nature of re-homers who took on a few more hens to make up for no-shows, Minskip pulled it off. And Mosey says they will do it again. After all, even a commendable exercise can also be good PR. And this was, gaining local and national news coverage and providing interesting content for the shop’s social media feeds. While Minskip puts platforms like Instagram to good use sending “very clear messages about who we are as a farm”, it also had success with staging hen- and egg-related events to drive footfall. Both its Egg Battles (“like conkers but with eggs”) and Feather Fights – where kids stuff their own pillows with feathers before duking it out in an inflatable boxing ring – proved popular. And, more importantly, they encouraged the kind of traffic

Minskip is after. “It’s about being clear about who you’re targeting and we’re looking at affluent young families between where we are and Harrogate,” says Mosey, crediting an invaluable early branding exercise carried out with a firm that has worked with visitor attraction giant Merlin. While older Baby Boomers are regular visitors, they are not big spenders. “They’ll come and buy eggs, then go to Morrsions to do their full shop. Whereas young families will do their full shop with us because it’s easier and they’re not price-conscious, they’re quality motivated.” Having the permanent lure of three pigs – who take care of the waste produce from the shop – and a quartet of alpacas posted to guard the hens from foxes, only strengthens the appeal to the target demographic. It sounds like the Moseys are well on their way to creating that destination already and, despite the hard work behind the scenes, they’re making it look as easy as poaching an egg.

What we’ve learnt – especially with the kind of trends that are going on at the moment – is the hens are the most unique thing about our business

Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


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April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3











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Cheddar that is powerfully intense and complex with an exceptional depth of flavour.








The slightly brittle and sometimes crunchy texture is a natural result of its long and slow ageing.






“Using Axicon means that our labelling costs have been reduced by over 50%, with even better quality labels, and our packaging is now as good as the products themselves. We are delighted, and just as importantly, so are our customers”.





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Garlic Scapes in season! The hard-neck stems of our Elephant Garlic crop are available from early May. Bunches for retail, loose KGs for chefs.

Applications; cake batter, sauces, pastes, preserves, creams and many others Contact: 07484 381042

The season for garlic scapes is short; 6-8 weeks, while stocks last. | | 01983 865 378 Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019


GUILD TALK The Guild of Fine Food represents fine food shops and specialist suppliers. Want to join them?

View from HQ

The Slow Food snail will be chuffed with reports that, unlike Fake News, fake olive oil looks set to be a thing of the past


Want to be a Shop of the Year winner? Feedback from our expert judges reveals those retail details where crucial points are won and lost.

PIPED DREAMS Quirky, preferably upbeat piped music – gypsy jazz, wartime swing, early rock ’n’ roll – can give your store a unique atmosphere, especially if it’s tied to the décor. Just be careful with the volume.


Guild of Fine Food Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065


April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3



EVERYTHING HAS ITS PRICE But is that reflected on your shelves? Don't make shoppers queue at the till or flag down an assistant just to ask a price especially for dearer items like gin. Most won't bother.



more expensive stuff, were seized by the Italian authorities. The other horror is that allergens such as peanut oil have been used to bulk out EVOO for similar dodgy profiteering. That could, as Pret a Manger know, be fatal. What should we be doing in fine food? Be vigilant. Be loyal to a good supplier and avoid anyone knocking on your shop door with a boot load of “unwanted olive oil”. It’s all adds grist to the mill (or olive press) of initiatives such as Happerley, which is making headway in ensuring the products we buy and sell have genuine provenance. Its ultimate vision is that each and every jar, bottle or packet in your shop should be Happerley endorsed, with every ingredient having its origin identified. Impressive – as long, of course, as it also boasts a Great Taste logo to assure you it’s worth eating, as well as worthy.

THAT’S THE BADGER Make sure every staffer is wearing a name badge – some shoppers like to know names before they’re strike up a convo. (It also makes poor customer service a bit harder to hide.)

’S I N T H



By John Farrand managing director

AND FINALLY, IT HAPPENED. We’d got through 35½ hours of our 36-hour World Cheese Awards recce to Bergamo, host city for 2019, and then he said it. Brexit. What if? How? Can we? Should we? It then became really quite real, after months of being fairly blasé about the whole thing. How could little ol’ WCA plan and navigate its way through this minefield when the leading minds of political Europe were struggling. That’s just it, isn’t it? None of

us knows what on earth is going to happen over the next day, week or couple of months. And that’s been the case since 23rd June 2016 (yes, really). The uncertainty, the not knowing and the negotiations set at the progress of a snail must come to an end soon. Surely? The Slow Food snail will be chuffed with reports that, unlike Fake News, fake olive oil looks set to be a thing of the past. I was shocked to read on the plane to Bergamo that mafia dudes gain a margin three times higher on rip-off olive oil than on cocaine. To combat this, boffins at the University of California, Riverside, have developed software that can produce a “chronoprint” signature of expensive liquids by rapidly reducing their temperature using liquid nitrogen. We in the deli trade have long heard rumours of hooky EVOO, especially in years of poor harvest. The last such annus horribilis was 2016, when a reported 7,000 tonnes of blended North African oils, destined to dilute the

WHO’S WHO AT GUILD HQ Managing director: John Farrand Marketing director: Tortie Farrand Sales director: Sally Coley Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

HOME FRONT Be bold in promoting products made in-house. They offer uniqueness – and bigger margins.

Sales executive: Becky Haskett Operations manager: Karen Price Operations assistants: Claire Powell, Emily Harris, Janet Baxter, Ellie Jones

• Compiled from feedback by retail experts and Insight6 mystery shoppers on visits to shortlisted stores in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year competition. Visit for details.

Training & events manager: Jilly Sitch Events manager: Stephanie Rogers Events assistant: Sophie Brentnall Circulation manager: Nick Crosley

Financial controller: Stephen Guppy Accounts manager: Denise Ballance Accounts assistant: Julie Coates Chairman: Bob Farrand Director: Linda Farrand

news from the guild of fine food

The word on

Westminster By Edward Woodall ACS THE LAST FEW WEEKS in Westminster will be remembered as the most chaotic in modern British history. But there is time for more chaos since the EU confirmed the Brexit deadline would be extended beyond 29th March. The question is, what do we do with the extension? The Prime Minister wants to soldier on with getting her deal through Parliament, but the resistance she faces is threefold: House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s interpretation of Parliamentary procedure denying a third meaningful vote; her own backbenchers, led by the Jacob Rees Mogg’s European Research Group and DUP coalition partners, refusing to support her deal; and now her own

Cabinet are attempting to replace her. In short, both the informal and formal structures of the British political system are in meltdown. What happens next is unclear but we do know that Parliament does not support no deal, giving the country and the business community some respite from the damaging cliff edge of no deal resulting in tariffs and no regulatory transition period.  There is a majority in parliament for a softer Brexit but it is not clear that the Prime Minister, or any successor, has the capacity to reach across the political divide and deliver it – this

We have maintained a neutral position on Brexit but we have been clear to MPs and policy-makers that no deal would be damaging for small retailers might be something that Parliament has to do itself by taking over the process. At ACS we have maintained a neutral position on Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement but we have been clear to MPs and policy-makers that no deal would be damaging for small retailers.

on a Stilton or cheddar. Food safety concerns over moulds relate to the ability of some species to produce harmful mycotoxins. Guidance from the Food Standards Agency on ‘cheese recovery’ – which also covers off-cuts, mishapes, downgraded cheeses and so on – states that cheeses contaminated with visible moulds that are not present as part of the production process should be disposed of. An exception is made for blocks of hard cheese, where the Paul Thomas mould can be removed if certain hygiene procedures are followed. Technical and regulatory The European Guide to Good advice from the Guild’s Hygiene Practices in the Production deli helpline of Artisanal Cheese and Dairy Q: Are moulds that grow on the Products states that mycotoxins are cut face of cheeses on my counter a not formed to a significant extent safety issue? in low carbohydrate foods, such as cheese. A: Many cheese varieties have At retail level, moulds that moulds which are either added grow on cheese usually originate deliberately (such as Penicillium from manufacture and ripening. candidum on a brie) or grow on the Mould growth can be rind during maturation, such as those controlled by temperature control

The deli doctor

While Parliament attempts to carve out a solution to the Brexit conundrum, Defra is seeking answers to another complex question: the future of allergen labelling. The debate has been sparked by some tragic allergen incidents, so the Government is asking industry how best to move forward with allergen labelling on products made, packaged and sold in the same premises. Options outlined in the consultation range from promoting best practice to labelling all products with a full ingredients list and the 14 legal allergens. This is not an issue that can be ignored. Both food businesses and consumers need to work towards practical solutions. We are considering supporting both regulatory measures and best practice, where products carry “ask the staff” labels and staff are trained to have informed conversations with customers about ingredients and allergens.  We favour this shared responsibility approach, which encourages interaction between staff and shopper, over regulatory requirements to fully label all products, which has its own perils and weaknesses.  Let us know what you think about the current labelling proposals.

Edward Woodall is head of policy & public affairs at small shops group ACS

(as the most significant mycotoxin producing species are unlikely to form toxins below 15°C) as well as regular scraping or trimming of the cut face. While they may not always constitute a food safety issue, moulds on the cut face can make the cheese look unsightly, and regular care of the cheese is the best way to prevent them from growing. It is also worth reviewing the range of cheeses stocked to ensure there’s sufficient turnover of stock to avoid mould growth. A shop that stocks a large variety of slow-moving cheeses is likely to see more mould growth and have higher wastage as a result. The range should be appropriate to the scale of the shop. Dairy and food safety specialist Paul Thomas runs the Guild’s e-helpline for retailers with technical or regulatory queries. It can be accessed through the Guild Members’ Hub at

Taking cheese training to the next level By Mick Whitworth GUILD CHEESE TRAINING experts are finalising the structure of the first Academy of Cheese Level 2 training course, which is due to launch in early Autumn. It will see the industry-led Academy of Cheese project take its first step away from basic courses for consumers and junior retail staff to a qualification targeting seasoned cheesemongers, shop owners and serious enthusiasts. The Academy of Cheese was set up in 2016 to create a raft of qualifications, from beginner to Masters level, with similar standing to those run by the respected Wines & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). The brainchild of cheesemaker Mary Quicke MBE and backed from the outset by the Guild, the Academy is now led by a board representing all sides of the industry. Courses covering its initial Level 1 syllabus are run by a number of training providers, including the Guild’s own School of Fine Food. Cheese writer and judge Patrick McGuigan, who tutors Academy courses for the Guild and is helping develop the programme, told FFD: “Like the WSET, the one-day Level 1 course is open to anyone who just wants to learn a bit more about cheese, introducing them to 25 of the best-known cheeses. “At Level 2 it will get far more serious. We’ll be covering 75 more cheeses from right across the globe, and going into detail on things like mouldripening and affinage, and even understanding the supply chain. “We’re hoping to include an element of ‘live’ cheese-making too, whether that’s visiting a dairy or making cheese in the classroom.” Vol.20 Issue 3 | April 2019



April 2019 | Vol.20 Issue 3

Profile for Guild of Fine Food

FFD April 2019  

FFD April 2019