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December 2017 Volume 18 Issue 10

Can you fillet? Find the freshest seafood for your counter in our round-up

ALSO INSIDE World Cheese Awards 2017-18

How to uncover the best cheese on the planet

Data protection

Could your business fall foul of changes to the law?

Scottish food & drink

The latest lines from north of the border

Clarke Gemini International Ltd Best Gruyère within the Best Swiss Cheese Category – International Cheese Awards 2017 Gruyère Cave-Aged AOP – winner of three Gold awards – World Cheese Awards 2017

3 individual Gold awards, from 3 different dairies, showing excellence in depth Clarke Gemini offers a professional, personal & competitive solution – second to none! Paul Clarke has over 25 years’ experience in all things cheese, across all market sectors.


Clarke Gemini are able to source all cheeses, with our specialities being Swiss and European, as well as cheddars. Clarke Gemini enjoys an exclusive and valued relationship with the only remaining, traditional and family owned, fifth generation Swiss Gruyère affineur in Switzerland – this is your chance to utilise this relationship and Paul’s experience for your benefit. The only supplier to be awarded Gold in the aged Le Gruyere AOP class. In fact, we are delighted to have won three Golds in that class!

Tel: +44 (0)7771 931246 | +44 (0)1543 480484 | email:


This is essentially the Data Protection Act on steroids






FFD investigates what the new GDPR law means for your business


16 OPINION Rob Amar on big brands in independents, Editor’s Choice


29 WORLD CHEESE AWARDS 2017 A full report from last month’s event in London

New product launches, plus a preview of Scotland’s Speciality Food Show

35 CHEESEWIRE A new West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, ageing Parmesan with Cravero

It’s definitely the speciality cheese people come for. Your ‘Stilton with cranberries’ doesn’t go well. DELI OF THE MONTH

54 EDITORIAL Editorial director: Mick Whitworth Editor: Michael Lane

Contributors: Nick Baines, Clare Hargreaves, Patrick McGuigan, Lynda Searby

Art director: Mark Windsor

GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

Assistant editor: Lauren Phillips Reporter: Andrew Don

Gloagburn Farm Shop


Editorial production: Richard Charnley

Sales director: Sally Coley

Cover photo: Lauren Phillips

Sales executives: Becky Stacey, Maria Burnett

Sales manager: Ruth Debnam

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

39 CUT & DRIED Hot-smoked pheasant, rose veal bacon, pork belly pizza 42 CATEGORY FOCUS Seafood, retail equipment 47 ARTISAN PRODUCERS Public sector seeks suppliers 49 SHELF TALK Irish Black Butter, Sheppy’s canned cider, veganism 59 GUILD OF FINE FOOD NEWS

Published by The Guild of Fine Food Ltd © The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2017. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

Turn to page 59 for news from the Guild

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



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THE BIG PICTURE That’s some cheese cave Given its location in London’s Docklands and its original purpose, it’s safe to say that Tobacco Dock has hosted some pretty indulgent and pungent goods since it was built in the early 1800s. And now you can add cheese to that list – 3,001 cheeses to be exact. It turns out that the cool, lower levels of this former warehouse, with their vaulted brick ceilings, are ideal for staging a major cheese judging event. This photo shows the calmest moment at the 30th World Cheese Awards, held on 17th November – taken minutes before some 230 judges from across the globe descended on the tables to determine this year’s World Champion. Turn to page 29 for a full report on the day and a round-up of the big winners Photograph: Richard Faulks

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Indies fight back against “unfair” supplier price hikes by delisting By Andrew Don

Independent retailers are looking to delist products on the back of what they believe are disingenuous price increases and packsize reductions. Interest rate rises, exchange rates and Brexit are all reasons frequently offered but several retailers told FFD they suspect many suppliers are profiteering at their expense. Iain Hemming, owner of Thyme & Tides in Stockbridge, Hampshire, complained of an “element of greed” among producers and wholesalers. “Some of my suppliers have dropped pack sizes and increased prices at the same time. I am of the opinion there are people putting stealth increases through – to some degree to feather their own nest rather than cover their overheads.” Hemming said he was “embarrassed” to sell at some of the prices coming through but he could not

4.1% Increase in food and soft drink retail prices in the 12 months to October Source: Office for National Statistics. sacrifice his own margin, so had decided to delist certain items. He added that sales of some products had stopped following price increases. “I start to worry whether the customer is looking to me as the person who is maybe profiteering, so I start to feel uneasy.” Helen Lawton, who owns The Olive Tree Delicatessen in Culcheth,

Booker and Nisa buyouts could help delis and farm shops Mega takeover deals in the UK’s convenience market could provide a silver lining to the speciality food sector, according to one retail marketing agency. Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of Savvy, said the proposed mergers of Tesco and Booker and Co-op’s buyout of Nisa would leave farm shops, delicatessens and speciality food retailers more appealing. “I think there’s a very strong opportunity for true independents to make a virtue of their independence,” she said, adding that farm shops and other retailers with local sourcing policies could emphasize their point of difference. The Competition and Markets Authority has

provisionally approved Tesco’s £3.7bn takeover of Booker while Nisa members have voted in favour of being taken over by the Co-operative Group for up to £137.5m. The deals will give independent Nisa members greater buying power and Booker symbols, which trade as Londis, Budgens, Premier and Family Shopper, will benefit from the might of Tesco, the UK’s leading supermarket group. Catherine Shuttleworth said the Co-op-Nisa deal would improve what Nisa members were able to sell and their ethical credentials, but she did not think that it, or the Tesco-Booker deal, would significantly affect the speciality sector.

Cheshire, said she had endured six price increases from one company this year. Suppliers have sent “lots of letters” citing exchange rates and Brexit. “It’s become a bit of a standing joke,” she said. Lawton sent back products to one chocolate supplier who did not forewarn her of a £3 wholesale price increase. Lawton said recent

IN BRIEF Ludlow Food Centre has been named Food Hall Butchery Business of the Year 2017 at the annual Butcher’s Shop of the Year awards. Ludlow Food Centre is part of the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park estate. The butchery sells estatereared meat.

increases for products that are also stocked in supermarkets made her wonder if the suppliers are subsidising sales into big chains by putting prices up to independents. “The minute the product appears in the supermarket we stop selling them.” Holwood Farm Shop in Keston, Kent, told FFD it has absorbed some increases and raised prices elsewhere. Co-owner Sarah Clout said: “Some panettones have come in more expensive but we’ve given them all the same retail price so we can make more margin on lower-cost ones and less margin on more expensive ones.” Clout said some “less scrupulous” suppliers are finding excuses as a hook on which to hang price increases. Food and soft drink retail prices surged 4.1% in the 12 months to October, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Belvoir Fruit Farms has named Lee Hemmings its new director of international to lead the export side of the soft drinks business. He moves from Tyrrell’s Crisps where he headed its Asia Pacific and North American divisions. A new specialist chocolate shop, Chocolat of Tewkesbury, has opened in the medieval Cotswolds market town. Owners Nigel and Liz Dawson also run the nearby Café au Chocolat.

Eat 17’s Bishop’s Stortford branch is chain’s largest to date Innovative convenience retailer Eat 17 has opened a fourth store – its largest to date – in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. The 9,500 sq ft unit, which is part of the Spar symbol group, has 3,000 sq ft of concessions that include three street-food stalls – Col’s Kitchen, Chihuahua’s and Katsu – a fishmonger and a florist. Eat 17 also runs its own bar and café on the site. The shop, managed by Ben Caulfield, sells local beers and Spar groceries as well as speciality products and Eat 17 own-label goods, including its own blend of coffee served in the café and packaged in the shop. It features a large vegan and vegetarian chilled section and an in-store bakery that bakes fresh

The new unit incorporates street-food concessions

organic loaves every day. Eat 17 reaffirmed its plans to continue expanding and the next location in the pipeline is Hammersmith, west London, followed by Leytonstone in the east of the Capital.

Co-owner James Brundle said: “There’s a big street-food movement in some parts of London, but in Bishop’s Stortford, in Essex and Hertfordshire, it’s not really done. It’s a bit of an experiment.” Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017




Post-Amazon Whole Foods closures raise questions over remaining stores By Andrew Don

With Whole Foods Market’s two stores outside London on the verge of closure, doubts have been raised over the future of the retailer’s seven remaining UK shops. The Texas-based retailer was in redundancy consultation with staff at branches in Giffnock, near Glasgow, and Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, as FFD went to press. The closures come less than six months after Whole Foods’ £10.8bn sale to online retail giant Amazon. It now offers Whole Foods Market’s wares via its AmazonFresh operation across 302 postcodes in London and the South East, on Amazon Prime Pantry nationally and Prime Now in selected areas. In a move that will worry independent speciality retailers, it has also set about lowering the Whole Foods’ prices in store and online, as

The likely closure of its stores outside London leaves the future of Whole Foods unclear following Amazon’s takeover earlier this year

reported in FFD last month. Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb thought it made no sense “in economic terms” to run the two stores outside London. “But then even the seven stores in London hardly make a business of scale and I often wonder about the future of my local store in Richmond.” A Whole Foods Market spokeswoman said the proposal to close the two

Sainsbury’s pledges to up its speciality game Sainsbury’s is taking further steps into speciality food retailing territory, boosting its high-end brand line-up and adding “innovative” ingredients. The supermarket, which saw pre-tax profit fall from £372m to £220m on group sales (including fuel) of

The supermarket was the first to introduce edible flowers


£14.6bn, said it was committed to making its food offer more distinctive as it announced its half-year results. It increased its specialist food offer in the six months to 23rd September and added Godiva and Off the Eaten Path to the “exclusive and innovative” brands it already worked with such as Crussh, Patisserie Valerie and Sushi Gourment. Sainsbury’s said it monitored emerging food trends to add innovative product to its ranges. It also became the first supermarket to sell edible flowers during the first half – all Britishgrown. And it launched living Japanese greens, such as Komatsuna, which could be picked as and when needed, the results statement said.

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

stores was unrelated to the Amazon merger “and we remain committed to serving the UK market and providing high-quality and natural and organic products to our customers.” The statement failed to mention Whole Foods Market’s physical shops specifically and when pressed on this by FFD, the retailer declined to give any official clarification. Richard Hyman, another

Italy tackles inauthenticity A number of Italy’s trade bodies have joined forces to promote the sale of “genuine” artisan foods from the country and differentiate them from so-called “Italian sounding” products. The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK, is working with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency and Assocamerestero to drive the initiative. They will seek to combat what they see as “the diffusion of the Italian sounding” phenomenon in the UK and encourage the deliberate consumption of authentic products bearing the Made in Italy mark. The organisations, in collaboration with Promos (Special Agency for the Milan Chamber of Commerce) has already taken UK food and wine buyers on a business trip to meet food and drink firms operating in Lombardy and other Italian regions.

veteran retail analyst, said: “Actually, I don’t really think Whole Foods can work as it currently is, before becoming a different animal with massive online capacity in the UK.” Hyman said he suspected the closures were simply because the stores were operating at heavy losses. “Maybe the leases allow them to exit now on reasonable terms,” he added. Loyal Whole Foods Market customers meanwhile expressed their annoyance at the closures on Facebook and the retailer tried to steer online disquiet away from social media by requesting “questions or concerns” be made by email. Last month FFD reported that Whole Foods had begun cutting prices across its stores, following the completion of Amazon’s takeover in August. Items being sold at lower prices included a range of produce, fresh meat and fish.

Deliciouslyorkshire crowns the region’s best food businesses Minskip Farm Shop and Farmer Copleys were among the speciality food and drink businesses that triumphed in the Deliciouslyorkshire Taste Awards last month. Husband-and-wifeteam Ben and Emma Mosey, the new owners of Minskip Farm Shop near Boroughbridge, won the Best New Business Award. Farmer Copleys, at Ravensknowle Farm near Pontefract, won Best Independent Retailer, a category sponsored by the Guild of Fine Food. Cannon Hall Farm Shop, in Cawthorne, took the prize for the Best Bakery Product with its Three Cheese Sourdough Loaf. Other winners

included chef consultant Stephanie Moon, who was named Yorkshire Food Hero, an award for the one person judged to have made an outstanding impact on the industry. Three Little Pigs’ spreadable chorizo was the victor in the Best Prepared Meat category while Lishman’s of Ilkey took the Best Yorkshire Pork Pie category. The Peppered Pig

clinched the Best Ready to Eat Products for its Scotch egg, Yorkshire Dama Cheese’s Oaked Smoked Yorkshire Squeaky Cheese won Best Yorkshire Cheese, and Yummy Yorkshire scooped Best Ice Cream/Yogurt for its blackcurrant panna cotta ice cream. Rosebud Preserves’ damson fruit cheese claimed the trophy for Best Savoury Condiment.

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Coffee roastery and bakery are just the beginning of Harrods food revamp By Andrew Don

Harrods has begun The Taste Revolution! – a two-year phased upgrade of its food halls – with the opening of its Roastery and Bake Hall last month. Previously a florist and a restaurant, the space was closed for six months while Harrods turned it into a retail space with scratch bakery and coffee roaster. The Bake Hall produces artisanal goods with more than 30 varieties of bread as well as new pastries, cakes and biscuits. Signature bakes include a baguette that has been cold-proved for 48 hours, rolls made with a laminateddough technique, and croissants prepared using Montaigu butter from France. A board displays which items are baking and a bell chimes whenever a new batch is removed from the oven. The Roastery roasts “first-class” coffee in front of customers for the first time. Each blend is

A scratch bakery and a coffee roastery are major additions in the first phase of Harrods’ food hall revamp

distributed to the in-store cafés and restaurants as well as being packaged for home consumption. Customers can try each coffee and blend their own roasts at the tasting counter alongside the roaster. An Art Deco-style bar in the centre of the room serves a variety of coffees during the day and, at night, bartenders will offer chilled espresso

Martinis. Freshly-made cakes and desserts will be served throughout the day. Harrods food hamper department is now housed in the Roastery and Bake Hall, alongside gourmet products and pantry staples, including oils, vinegars, honeys, jams and chutneys. A new Tea Room in the same area lets customers blend their own tea with


an expert “tea tailor”. Their bespoke blend is then entered into the Harrods Book of Tea so they can keep re-ordering the same blend. Meanwhile, the department store has also opened Roast & Bake, a stand-alone café on Basil Street opposite the main store. The unit is next to the staff entrance in a small coffee shop that was previously the Ca’puccino concession. Harrods is keeping a tight lid on three more concepts it will launch in 2018 and 2019, as it carries our further phases of the redevelopment. Alex Dower, Harrods’ director of food & restaurants, who is leading the redevelopment, said: “By 2020, our discerning customers will be able to experience the world’s greatest food emporium.” David Collins Studio oversaw the design to take the room back to its 1925 shape and size, with original features brought to life.

Although the final results from the Food Standards Agency’s third annual retail survey showed campylobacter levels in fresh, UK-produced chickens have continued to fall, 17.1% of chickens in smaller retailers and butchers had high-level contamination this time. After 10 years in business, The Sutton Farm Shop in Macclesfield, Cheshire, has closed due to the retirement of owners Jeff and Pam Skinner. Its sister meat supply business, Parkin Food, will continue to trade. London butcher C.Lidgate has teamed up with AmazonFresh to revive the traditional meat-filled mince pie. The limited edition medieval Christmas treat (450g) is now available to buy from the online retailer.

Planet Organic calls in advisors as owners consider option of a sale

Prince Charles launches ancient food research

The owners of retailer Planet Organic are considering a sale after calling in a finance firm to advise them on the next steps for the business, which currently has seven outlets across London. Spayne Lindsay has been appointed by the organic specialist and it is understood that details will be circulated to potential investors and buyers before Christmas. A source confirmed to FFD that preparations were under way “to explore the strategic options for shareholders”, which could be anything from a 100% sale to investment for growth. A sale is said to be the most likely outcome but all options were on the table. The source added there was “a lot of opportunity”

Pigweed, Bambara groundnut and poroso millet are just some of the forgotten ancient foods that could hit shelves if a new project, backed by the Prince of Wales, succeeds. Last month, Prince Charles launched Crops for the Future’s (CFF) Forgotten Foods Network – a global initiative to collect and share information on foods, recipes and traditions of ancient civilizations. The aim is to discover and share foods that can transform how people eat and nourish them in future as climates change. The CFF believes the traditional foods and crops eaten by ancestors such as the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas could play a vital role. The Forgotten

for further Planet Organic stores in London, particularly neighbourhoodtype branches like the ones in Muswell Hill, Islington and Westbourne Grove. He also suggested more opportunities to leverage the £28m turnover retailer’s own-brand products – “an interesting growth area for the future”. “It’s a very exciting part of the market, a very good brand that has tremendous customer loyalty and they are right at the cutting

edge of this natural organic trend,” said the source. Press reports have suggested a £50m sale figure for the 22-year-old business. The company made a pre-tax loss of £392,000 in the year to 27th August 2016, according to accounts filed at Companies House. It made a pre-tax profit of £428,000 the previous year. No representative from Planet Organic was available for comment.

Foods Network will raise awareness, encourage public contributions and conduct scientific research on these foods. “We need to put nutrition at the heart of our food systems,” said CFF chief executive Professor Sayed Azam-Ali. “It is not only important to feed the world, but nourish a growing population with healthy, diverse diets that include ingredients from a wide range of species.”

CFF chief exec Professor Sayed Azam-Ali with HRH Prince Charles

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017




Latest Scottish grants target c-stores but delis and farm shops could still gain By Andrew Don

While a new £250,000 fund for independent grocers aimed at convenience stores in Scotland may not directly benefit the country’s delis and farm shops, its success may lead to further grant opportunities. Government grants, administered by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) are available to c-stores looking to add food-to-go stations to their premises. Concerns about prioritising convenience over specialist stores had been raised to FFD by the soon-to-close Rural Shops Alliance but both the Scottish Government and the SGF denied any favouritism. John Lee, policy and public affairs manager at the SGF, told FFD: “We fully realise it won’t benefit everyone. “It’s a very significant investment in the sector. The government has made it clear to us that if it’s

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s rural economy secretary, hopes grants for food-to-go installations will help small convenience stores

successful and we handle the money in the right way there’s a strong chance it could be continued.” A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the new scheme was not seeking to prioritise convenience stores. “This new scheme seeks to support small businesses in the convenience sector to further showcase the best of Scottish produce and encourage a shift towards healthier options. “Through our Scottish

Rural Development Programme, we provide a range of measures to support farm shops, delicatessens, and other food businesses – many of which have benefitted from direct grant support. Although the government and the SGF are still drawing up the criteria for applicants, the grants are thought to be worth in the region of £5,000 each. They will cover 50% of a retailer’s costs for re-fitting a shop, buying new equipment

Lawson’s gets clean Slate as new owners rebrand and expand Lawson’s Delicatessen has rebranded as Slate and will have a renewed focus on cheese, after opening its second shop in Southwold, Suffolk, last month. Father-and-daughter team John Ormerod and Clare Jackson took over the business in Aldeburgh High Street in January from founders Richard Lawson and Claire BruceClayton, who had run it for the past 10 years. The original Aldeburgh store has also reopened after a short closure for full refurbishment. Both revamped units will feature a wall of cheese. Jackson said that “Slate” encapsulated the owners’ passion for 12

cheese and the carefully selected range of food and drink they offered. “We will continue to focus on developing our range of quality British and European cheeses and championing cheese made in East Anglia,” she said, adding that they would both continue to carry a range of other deli products. Slate’s own chefs will also prepare soups, salads, sausage rolls and frozen meals. Both delis will sell Christmas

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

hampers and other Christmas products including Sue Allen’s Christmas puddings, mince pies and Suffolk ham. Hannah Gibson has been appointed manager of the Southwold store, working alongside Ormerod’s son Robert. Both stores offered 15% off cheese bought on their launch day and local cheesemaker Julie Cheyney offered tastings of her St Jude cheese at the Southwold store. Clare Jackson had previously told FFD in April of the new owners’ desire to expand Lawsons, and had already earmarked Southwold as a potential site.

and displays. The news comes as UK farm shops and rural delis are set to lose one of their champions, The Rural Shops Alliance. Its chief executive, Ken Parsons, said it had decided to close because of dwindling engagement with the organisation from local authorities. Parsons added it was unfair that the Scottish government had specifically picked convenience stores for this funding. Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s rural economy secretary, said many small independent and family-run convenience stores were operating in a “very competitive” trading environment and were having to adapt and innovate to continue to meet changing consumer behaviours. “One such way of doing this is through the introduction of food-togo stations, which entices customers into the store and generates a new income stream.”

IN BRIEF Germany’s largest spice producer, Fuchs Group, has bought Bart Ingredients, the UK’s second-largest branded herb and spices company for an undisclosed sum from Langholm Capital. New plant-based proteins are one of the top trends predicted for 2018 and beyond, in The Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2017-18. It said all manner of businesses are looking for clever new ways to add a protein punch – with pulses, shoots, grains, seeds, soy or even algae. Bargoed Farm lakeside café and caravan park, in Cardigan Bay, West Wales, was planning to open The Moody Cow Farm Shop, Cafe & Bistro this month as FFD went to press.

Autumn campaigns lift organic food sales Higher sales of organic food and drink will buoy the speciality food sector following two campaigns this autumn that helped lift performance. The Soil Association’s Organic September, and the Organic Trade Board’s Feed Your Happy campaigns helped lift performance of the sector in the four weeks to the end of September, the latest Nielsen Scantrack figures show. Standout increases came from salmon and

seaweed which rocketed 51%, continuing a 52-week trend of 9.8%. Butter climbed 41% as more shoppers switched from margarine, the Soil Association said. Organic fruit climbed 11.7% and meat, fish and poultry, 13.8%. Other growth areas were home-baking (11.6%), tea (23.6%), oils & vinegars (18.6%), and preserves & spreads (26.1%), driven by nut butters. Cheese managed 15.4% growth.


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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


data protection CYBER CRIME

Are you up to data? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on 25th May next year and the ramifications for everyone in the sector are massive By Andrew Don

Want to hear something frightening? Breach the incoming data protection laws, known as the GDPR, and the maximum sanction is a ₏20m (£17.9m) fine or 4% of total global turnover for the previous year, whichever is the highest. While the subject of data might seem a little bit more blue chip than deli counter, the fine food sector is just as at risk of breaching them as other sectors, even if the fines are not likely to be so draconian. Whether it’s payroll details, addresses for loyalty cards or email addresses for promotional campaigns, all businesses hold personal data. And owners will now need to be even more careful with how they use it and share it. The GDPR replaces the European Data Protection Directive. It also replaces the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 which will be updated to enshrine GDPR provisions, regardless of Brexit. The details could easily fill this magazine, let alone this page but the key change is that consent from someone to use their data will require a clear affirmative action. Silence, pre-ticked boxes and inactivity will no longer suffice as valid consent.

Charlotte Ebutt, solicitor in Royds Withy King’s technology and media team, tells FFD that compliance will likely take longer than businesses think, so the key advice is to start now (see box). Accountability for data handling is at the heart of this law change, says Ebutt. “It is no longer the case of just doing the right thing,� she adds. “Under GDPR, you will need to be able to prove it and demonstrate compliance.� It also gives greater rights to individuals to determine how and for what purpose their data is used.

GDPR is essentially the Data Protection Act on steroids




Businesses need to be as transparent about how they use personal data and be aware of individuals’ rights. Nigel Bogle, chief executive of EPoS provider Lakeland Computers, calls the GDPR “essentially the Data Protection Act on steroids�. He adds: “The issue for delis and farm shops is a very real one because they are quite often, through no fault of their own, ignorant of where their data is stored.� Data might be details of customers who participate in loyalty schemes and email marketing lists, or sensitive employee information. It affects suppliers, too, and their customer databases. Retailers might think their data is secure, but what if that data is in the cloud, says Bogle. It could be sitting on a server in an unsecured office in South Dakota. So businesses need to be sure everyone who could possibly handle data they hold is also GDPR compliant, he says. “People should have been doing stuff about this way before now.� Georgie Mason, director of Gonalston Farm Shop in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, who has had a loyalty scheme for 14 years, says: “GDPR is good for consumers but it’s a ball-ache for businesses. Our business really thrives on loyalty. To upset that would be a real shame, but data security is really important to us.� Mark Kacary, co-owner of The Norfolk Deli in Hunstanton, says a lot of the issues surrounding GDPR are not hugely different to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, designed to ensure companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. “From a small business point of view it has the potential to be something that’s going to cost you some money in one way or another to make sure you comply,� says Kacary. “We do email marketing campaigns, so things like MailChimp will fall under this.� Find out more at: Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


OPINION You could accuse me of being slightly weak and oversensitive but I’m only human – like all consumers – and memories do stick By Michael Lane, Editor

Given the staging of a certain competition during this magazine’s production cycle, you could say I’ve been slightly distracted by cheese. I won’t go into too much depth about the World Cheese Awards here (full report starts on page 29), but aside from the triumphant Cornish Kern, there were other cheeses that have lingered in the memory. I can still almost taste a potent truffled brie and a frightening cheese made partially with donkey milk! Then there is Blu di Bufala, a buffalo milk blue from Italy. It blew away everyone on my judging table back in 2012, when it came second overall. And I was left with the same feeling of disappointment on its behalf as it was pipped again this year, even though I didn’t sample it this time. It also reminded me of another moment a few months ago, when I didn’t get to taste it. Since its 2012 brush with glory, the blue has made it to the UK but I still didn’t expect to see it in a cheese shop while on a day out on the coast with my family. We’d only gone in on a whim and it was one of the first things I noticed when perusing the serve-over under the gaze of the proprietor. My wife went for Ossau Iraty and, ever the dubious mystery shopper, I decided to ask to try it. “By try it, do you mean a taster?� came the curt reply. I didn’t think it was at its best but we got a piece anyway. The whole experience slid downhill after that. Despite audibly pointing out the Blu Di Bufala, we were hard-sold something that had been washed in red wine instead, followed by a triple cream mould-ripened cheese. We relented on the latter and settled for a blue I thought looked in better nick than the buffalo cheese I’d

EDITOR’S CHOICE Chosen by Lauren Phillips assistant editor


December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

been hankering after. Both of these were pre-cut and wrapped. Before we left, there were some jokey comments about one of our daughters daring to put her hands on the counter glass (I know it’s irritating but it’s going to happen) and we were also told that the shop did mail order because, apparently, where we live you can’t get decent cheese. I’d beg to differ. In fact, I only have to think back to buying my Christmas cheese at a deli very local to me. Tasters came unprompted, I didn’t feel awkward about asking them to cut fresh pieces and they managed to divert my daughter’s attention from low-hanging stock with the deployment of a small chocolate. Once I’d got what I actually wanted, I was even convinced to buy a cheese washed in red wine (and it was good!). I’m not relaying these experiences because I want to chide the first retailer, especially as the art of retailing is selling people what they don’t know they want, on top of what they came for. Being completely frank, you could accuse me of being slightly weak and over-sensitive but I’m only human – like all consumers – and memories do stick. Making money is what all retailers are there to do but making a good impression means you’ll get more than one opportunity to do that with a customer, because they’ll want to come back. Shop owners can always up their game, despite the health of their balance sheets. Even Harrods’ is improving its Food Hall (see page 11). With so many people visiting your counter this month, you’ve probably been preoccupied with what to sell them. It’s worth thinking about how you sell it to them, too.


Big brands on a smaller scale ROB AMAR 0'RIĆ“QHIRRGGLVWULEXWRU5+$PDU We increasingly get asked if a brand that is already established in the major supermarkets is viable in high-end deli and farm shops. The answer is ‘yes’, but it needs great branding, a high-quality product, a competitive cost model and appropriate promotional support. Still, a dilemma remains for independent retailers. Should you stock only specialist brands that your shoppers cannot get anywhere else? Or should you embrace a selection of successful mainstream brands to offer your customers familiarity? RH Amar’s view, based on 70 years’ experience serving the independent sector, is that successful retailers will strike a balance.

“Independents can capitalise on the sales opportunity presented by bigger brands� Independents can be early adopters of some great brands that have the potential to go mainstream. And they can also capitalise on the opportunity presented by bigger brands that are already widely known for quality. Tyrrells and Fever Tree are both good examples of brands that established a loyal following in independent retail before hitting supermarket shelves – and both are still helping independents achieve strong sales. Meanwhile, who can deny the important role that brands like San Pellegrino and Wilkin & Sons play in independent retail, despite being readily available in major supermarkets? I even have it on good authority that one of the best-selling items in a well-known London food hall is Coca Cola! This is why RH Amar has seen household names like Ella’s Kitchen and Kikkoman expand successfully into independents. And why the likes of Mary Berry’s and Mutti tomatoes have focused on establishing a solid base in independents before challenging big brands in the supermarkets. The vast majority of the brands in this publication and its readers’ shelves are small, “independent� brands. But the independent sector shouldn’t turn its back on premium mainstream brands, and nor should these brands ignore the sector.

IF I’D KNOWN THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW... SUZI WILSON co-owner, Bams Delicatessen, Musselburgh My partner, Alasdair, and I decided to open a delicatessen in December 2016, a few years after I had graduated in law. We are both in our midtwenties and wanted to start a business that would be sustainable should Alisdair, who used to be an oil and gas engineer, ever decide to go offshore again in the future. Our age has both benefited and hindered us. At the ideas stage, we found it hard to get support from outside of the family and had numerous funding options rejected. However, we believed in our vision and stayed true to our business plan and went on to win multiple awards, which was when other people started to believe in us too. We have had some suppliers take advantage of our naivety in business but we soon learned that as long as you set out your expectations, there shouldn’t be any issues and I would never think twice about sending back an imperfect product. At the same time, our age has worked to our advantage. We are more open to taking risks and bounce back quickly when things don’t go to plan. We are also very in tune with social media and digital marketing, which has been more powerful than we would ever have predicted. Even if it is just posting a picture of a morning coffee on Facebook, we take every opportunity to interact with our customers and remind them we are there. Choosing Musselburgh as our location is probably the biggest risk we have taken. There hadn’t been a deli in the area for 30 years, meaning there was no market research to support any trends, we were basically going in blind. However, we were extremely lucky to secure an old butcher’s shop with over 8 metres of counters, allowing us to focus on customer service from day one. Our aim is to make sure every customer leaves the shop with a smile on their face and part of this has been getting to know what products returning customers like. It came as a surprise that people would rather purchase bacon or black pudding than Parma ham. At first I found this frustrating, as cheese and charcuterie were key to our vision for the deli, but we have learned to listen to what people want and adjust accordingly. We have also learned to adapt to changing seasons and trends. When we first opened in December 2016, sales were growing month on month. Then, when the summer holidays hit, we experienced a big, unexpected dip as everyone left this little community to head for the beaches. Next year, we will know to order accordingly and alter our stock for more ‘on-the-go’ food options. You never know…we might even get a chance to go abroad ourselves. Interview Lynda Searby Photography Nick Callaghan

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017





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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


Tartan up your act

Scottish food & drink


The Hebridean Tea Store has added six new tea varieties to its range. These include Wee Dram – black tea with the taste of malt whisky – and MacGintea – a fruit and herbal infusion that resembles a G&T. WaKoucha, a rare organic black tea from Japan, completes the range. Currently, the teas are only available from the Hebridean Tea Store, but the company is keen to wholesale..

Pacari Chocolate’s new Andean Flavours gift set (RRP £17.50) features four of its organic dark chocolate bars with South American lemongrass, Andean blueberry, Cuzco salt and Merken chilli. Distributed in the UK by Fair Business Alliance in Edinburgh, Pacari chocolate is produced and packaged in Ecuador, where the cacao is grown, so more wealth stays in the country.

Chocolates of Glenshiel has refreshed its packaging and revamped its range to include three selections: Classic (alcohol-free), Liqueur (alcohol centres) and Locals (mixed). The chocolatier has also added WKUHHQHZÅ´DYRXUVVHDVDOW WUXIÅ´H ZLWK,VOHRI6N\HVDOW  Highland roast coffee (with coffee from the Inverness Coffee Roasting Company), DQGHOGHUÅ´RZHUJLQ ZLWK Misty Isle gin).

6PRN\ŴDYRXUVDUH LQƓOWUDWLQJHYHU\WKLQJIURP beer to beef, and one business at the forefront of this trend is South Lanarkshire’s Smoky Brae. Naturally smoked sesame seeds, fennel pepper, chilli ŴDNHVJDUOLFUXEFKLOOLUXE sea salt and pepper are the latest to come out of this family-run smokehouse. RRP £3.15, apart from smoked sea salt (RRP of £2.60).

Paul Newman, chef-patron of Thyme at Errichel Restaurant in Aberfeldy, has drawn on his experience of working in South Africa to produce an authentic biltong that showcases Errichel rare breed Shetland beef. The naturally air-dried biltong is spiced and cured to a traditional recipe. It is available for wholesale at a price of £3 per 80g (RRP £5-5.50).

Kirkwall’s Orkney Distilling has built on the success of its inaugural product, Kirkjuvagr Orkney gin, with the launch of a high strength variant, called Arkh-Angell (storm strength). Ramanas rose, burnet rose, bere barley, DURQLDERUDJHŴRZHUDQG angelica are just some of the local Orcadian botanicals that are used in the distillery’s craft gins.




There’s more to Scottish produce than malt whisky, smoked salmon and shortbread. Boutique flavoured gins, bean-to-bar chocolate, cocktail-inspired jellies and naturally smoked ingredients all feature in our round-up of new speciality products from north of the border. Compiled by Lynda Searby

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



Scottish food & drink October saw the launch of Strathearn Cheese Co’s third creation since starting up production in renovated WWII prisoner of war camp kitchens near Comrie, Perthshire, last year. The Wee Comrie (200g) is a natural rinded, soft cheese described as having “a supple pate, buttery aroma and mellow tasteâ€?. Trade price around ÂŁ5.30.

East Lothian based Spice Pots has treated its core range to a packaging redesign and launched its Ć“UVWVZHHWEOHQG-RLQLQJ existing Korma, Bhuna, Goan and Tandoori Masala blends, Sweet Spice Pot is designed for use in baking and desserts. Like its savoury counterparts, it comes in a 35g glass pot (trade ÂŁ2.80, RRP ÂŁ3.95).

Aberdeen start-up The Good Granola Company is hand-baking four varieties of granola designed to “fuel your daily adventureâ€?. The Ć“JGDWH YDQLOODEDQDQD FDVKHZ FRFRQXWFKRFRODWH PL[HGQXWDQGSLQHDSSOH SDSD\D FRFRQXWJUDQRODV will be joined by a seasonal FUDQEHUU\DOPRQG  cinnamon variety for Christmas. RRP ÂŁ4.99 for 400g. thegoodgranolacompany.

In a departure from its core chutneys, Aberdeenshire’s Huntly Herbs has developed a new range of organic barbecue ketchups, using Scottish-grown fruit such as Victoria plums and rhubarb. There are four varieties: Original, Smokey (made with Lapsang Souchong tea), Tangy (with paprika and toasted spices) and Spicy (with paprika and Bird’s Eye chillies). RRP £3.50-£3.99.

Rhubarb Old Tom, the newest release from Orkney Gin Company, is a celebration of rhubarb, a plant which thrives in the Orcadian climate and can be found growing in the garden of almost every old house. This lightly sweetened 43% ABV craft gin features rose, cinnamon and Seville orange peel. Trade price ÂŁ21.20, RRP ÂŁ33-37. orkneygincompany.

Red Squirrel Brands is keen to push southwards with distribution RILWVŜDJVKLS*LQJHUQXWOLTXHXU ZKLFKLVZHOOHVWDEOLVKHGLQ 6FRWODQGDQGWKHQRUWKRI(QJODQG but hasn’t yet reached the south of (QJODQG553eIRUFO



A celebration of rhubarb, a plant which thrives in the Orcadian climate

It’s a pig’s life Newcomer Piggery Smokery is on a mission to elevate bacon from the mass produced variety that “self extinguishes and leaks horrid water in the panâ€? to “an awesome piece of charcuterie in worthy praise RIWKHSLJVĹ?OLIHĹ?,WVĹ´DJVKLS

product is treacle-and-aleĹ´DYRXUHG'DUN'XEKORFK made from Scottish Hampshire-Landacre cross breed pigs and available in streaky, back, lardon and ultra-thin form. Trade price is ÂŁ16/kg, RRP ÂŁ21/kg.

Good, that’s all agreed Bon Accord, a popular name on the Scottish soft drinks scene during the ’70s and ’80s, is being revived by the greatgreat-granddaughter of its founder. Karen Knowles has relaunched Bon Accord with a range of grown-up soft drinks that contain no


UHƓQHGVXJDURUDUWLƓFLDO sweeteners. These include tonic water, cloudy lemonade, ginger beer and rhubarb soda – all sweetened with honey, coconut nectar and fruit juice. RRP £1.75 for all but the tonic (RRP £1.10).

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

s us d’ d e an oo d Se cotl ty F tan 2 S li s 2 at ecia on er P Sp how mb S nu

Your resistance will crumble.

We still hand-bake our shortbread to Helen Dean’s exacting standards using her very own recipe and traditional ingredients. It’s the Dean’s way and as far as we’re concerned, it’s the only way to ensure our baking tastes just as good as my mother used to make.

Bill Dean

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

East Pitscaff | Newburgh | Ellon | Aberdeenshire | AB41 6AQ 01358 789548 |

Scottish food & drink


This coffee offers notes of warm dark chocolate with sweet caramel

Trossachs Distillery has launched its sixth botanical gin under its McQueen Gin label. 42% abv spiced chocolate orange gin comes in a cobalt blue ceramic bottle with wax seal (RRP ÂŁ33 for 50cl). The Callander distillery has also released a limited edition white chocolate & raspberry gin and a gift box of 6x5cl bottles (RRP ÂŁ30) in time for Christmas.

Newcomer Hungry Squirrel is tapping into the consumer appetite for natural nut butters, with a six-strong line-up of nut butters that are vegan-friendly and free IURPSDOPRLODQGUHĆ“QHG sugars. With six months of trading under its belt, the Aberdeen producer reports that hazelnut cacao and cookie dough cashew have emerged as its two bestsellers. RRP ÂŁ2.50 for 40g; ÂŁ5-6 for 150g.

Hailed as the ‘Champagne of pepper’, PGI status Kampot pepper is now being distributed in the UK by Scottish-Cambodian family business BoTree. The black, red and white varieties are grown ethically on BoTree’s Cambodian farm, and distributed in the UK in gift sets and sachets. The 3 Pepper Gift Set, containing 3 x 90g boxes, has an RRP of ÂŁ35.95.

Madderty Micro is hoping to carve out a niche in the craft gin market by focusing on very small batch production and bottling at a traditional strength of 37.5% abv. The Crieff micro-distillery launched this summer with DUDQJHRIĹ´DYRXUHGJLQV that includes raspberry, HOGHUĹ´RZHUUKXEDUE crumble and blackcurrant, and produces its own base gin ‘The Nudist’ by the compounding method. RRP ÂŁ20 for 50cl.

This month sees the launch of a ‘boozy chocolate cake’ from Ashers Bakery in Nairn. The 250g chocolate and Champagne celebration cake is presented in a gift tin with a choice of tags and has a six month shelf-life. RRP ÂŁ7.95.

Abernethy producer Allan’s Chilli Products has launched its chilli jelly and chilli sauce in WZRžHU\QHZŜDYRXUVOHPRQ chilli and smoked chilli, featuring FKLOOLVVPRNHGDW/RFK/HYHQ Smokehouse. RRP £3.90.

-HOOLHVWRPDNH\RXZREEO\ Melissa Sutherland has started luxury alcoholic confectionery business Tipsy Unicorn Sweets “to showcase what Scotland can do�. “We are better than a whisky tablet,� she says. The Nairn start-up launched

in May, with four alcoholic jellies – Piùa Colada, Prosecco & Raspberry, Limoncello and Tropical Daiquiri – made from real alcohol and fruit. Trade price £4, RRP £7 (100g).


ANNE SCHAEFLEIN, Founding Director, &RUELH &KHLS$XFKWHUDUGHUJLYHVXVKHUĆ“YH favourite Scottish products. Green Granola: Auchterarder mum and editor Erika started to PDNHJUDQRODDQGĹ´DSMDFNV for us after her daughter OHWVOLSWKDWKHUPXP Ĺ?PDNHVWKHEHVWĹ´DSMDFNV in the worldâ€?. Strathearn Cheese: Drew and Pierre are all about quality, working hard with farmers’ markets, UHVWDXUDQWVDQGOLWWOHVKRSV like us. Loch Arthur yogurt: their yogurt – as well as their cheese – is second to none: fresh and sour tasting

The Orkney Roastery’s most recent addition to its Aria range is Skybury Symphony – a much sought after extra fancy Australian coffee, grown on the Skybury estate in northern Queensland. By increasing the time spent in the Maillard Phase during roasting, it has enhanced the complexity of this coffee, which offers notes of warm dark chocolate with sweet caramel, GHƓQLWHWRQHVRIZKROH almond and a hint of fruit. Trade prices range from £3.60 to £8.15 (RRP £5.95-£12.95)

ZLWKDSHUIHFWWH[WXUH Ovenbird Coffee Roasters: having lived in South Africa for 12 years, and being Italian, Davide knows a thing or two about coffee. He sources himself, seasonally. The whisky FRIIHHLQSDUWLFXODULVRQH of our favourites. Mungoswells: WKHRUJDQLFĹ´RXUSURGXFHG by this miller is of an incredible quality. We use it in-house for all our baking, including our brown Irish soda.

To celebrate being named as the RIžFLDOJLQRIWKH5R\DO(GLQEXUJK Tattoo, Pickering’s Gin has dressed its 35cl half bottle in the RIžFLDOWDUWDQRIWKHHYHQW7KH special edition bottle has a trade price of £12.82, RRP £20.

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017




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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

Scottish food & drink Spey Valley Brewery in Keith has introduced three new beers. Spey’s Hardware is a New England ,3$LQDFDQĹŠKD]\IXOO bodied and “burstingâ€? with “trendyâ€? citra, simcoe and PRVDLFKRSV 553eIRU 330ml). Spey’s Hopper is DFDVFDGLDQGDUNDOH 553 ÂŁ2.75 for 330ml), and Beinn Dubh is an oatmeal stout aged in nine-year-old single malt whisky casks.

In contrast to the conventional burger, Donald Russell’s new range of steak burgers celebrates the distinctiveness of individual cuts and breeds. The Aberdeenshire butcher makes each burger by hand from just one steak cut – either 35 day matured ribeye steak, grass-fed, fully matured sirloin steak or SULPHƓOOHWVWHDN553IRU 200g is £4.75-5.50.

show preview

21st-23rd January 2018, SEC, Glasgow MORE THAN 140 SUPPLIERS will be on show at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, which again takes up the mantle of the year’s first event in the trade calendar on 21st23rd January at Glasgow’s SEC. Held in conjunction with Scotland’s Trade Fair, the three-day show will be hosting a number of the sector’s newest producers in its Launch Gallery (see box) – almost a third of stands are new to the show in 2018 – but will also welcome a number of established companies, including Choc Affair, Blacks Cheese, Smoky Brae and Burren Balsamics. New for 2018 is a large, purpose-built stand for Taste of Orkney, showcasing a variety of producers from the isles, such as Orkney Distilling, The Orkney Roastery and Argo’s Bakery. The number of drinks exhibitors enlisted has increased, in line with UK-wide craft spirits trends. This year’s selection including The Gin Bothy, Avva Gin, Ogilivy Spirits, Select Drams and Whisky & Cognac. The show’s regular seminar sessions are back for 2018 and will feature talks covering social media for business, getting good Trip Advisor reviews, and a practical look at using video to promote your business. Exhibitors will also be also be able to compete for the in-show Best Product Awards.

iQ, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;superfoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; chocolate brand, has introduced a new gift pack 553e FRQWDLQLQJ six 35g bars of its organic, raw chocolate. It is has also moved its BeautiQ and <RJL4EDUVLQWRĹ´RZZUDSV to lower the price point, and tweaked the recipe to provide a creamier texture and, for the BeautiQ bar, to take the edge off the seabuckthorn.

5HWDLOHUVORRNLQJIRUJOXWHQ free snacks and treats should check out Nairnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest oat-based offerings. Chunky Biscuits Breaks are described as containing â&#x20AC;&#x153;all the goodness of oats and at least 35% less sugar than the average gluten-free sweet biscuitâ&#x20AC;?. They come in packs of six pouches of three biscuits, in oat, dark chocolate & coconut and oat, blueberry & raspberry Ĺ´DYRXUV553e


Angelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Nectar blended malt Scotch whisky is now available in a 200ml bottle format, as well as the original 700ml bottle (RRP ÂŁ18.50). It blends Speyside and Highland malt whiskies bottled at 40% vol.

This year, Edinburgh Fringe enlisted the help of natural products specalist JustBe to GHYHORSLWVĹľUVWUDQJHRIFKRFRODWH bars. Fringe Chocolate comes in three aromatherapy-inspired ĹśDYRXUV=HVW\/LPH)UHVK Spearmint and Blushing Rose. RRP ÂŁ2.75 for 50g.

Foal Drinks Low calorie, low sugar and inspired by non-alcoholic bar favourites Granite North Gin Distilled using the purest Higland water Greybe Fine Olive Products Organic sustainable olive products with a conscience, from Greece and South Africa Hawkhead Kitchen Smoked salt and cashews Mirrie Dancers Handmade chocolates from Shetland made with local ingredients and inspiration

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


Kern you top that? On its 30th birthday, the World Cheese Awards returned to the UK and this year’s champion hails from Cornwall. MICHAEL LANE reports. After a successful trip to the Basque Country in 2016, the World Cheese Awards returned to the UK for its 30th anniversary and it also delivered a British champion for the first time in several years. Following a full day’s judging of some 3,000 cheeses on 17th November in the atmospheric surrounds of London’s Tobacco Dock, just 16 entrants remained to face the Super Jury – a 16-strong panel that included experts from France, England, Mexico, Norway and Canada. Two cheeses caused early excitement among the hundreds of onlookers, both in the room and via online channel WCA TV, as the judges held their scores aloft during the final judging session of the the event, which was organised by the Guild of Fine Food. For a while, an Austrian semi-hard goats’ cheese – Capellaro from Almenland Stollenkäse – and Hugenot – a semi-hard nutty cheese from South Africa’s Dalewood Fromage – were neck and neck. These early challengers were soon

WCA goes to Norway The World Cheese Awards will be on its travels again next year, as it goes to the home country of 2016’s World Champion – the blue Kraftkar. In partnership with the Norwegian government, the Guild of Fine Food will be holding WCA 2018-19 next November in Bergen. More details soon at

overtaken by a dark-rinded cheese, which bore similarities to both Gouda and Alpine styles but was actually from in the UK. This was Cornish Kern, a new cheese from the makers of Yarg, Lynher Dairies. Despite being run close by the distinctive Blu di Buffala, produced in Italy by Caseficio Quattro Portoni and also the runner up at 2012’s awards, the Kern’s score of 75 from a possible 80 was enough to secure the World Champion trophy. Super Jury panellist and Whole Foods Market’s global cheese buyer Cathy Strange hailed Cornish Kern as “visually stunning”. She added: “You can see the quality of the milk in this cheese and the complexity comes at you in layers and layers.” Fellow Super Jury member, and sales director at Neal’s Yard Dairy, Jason Hinds said: “There are sweet notes but what I really liked was the right-hand turn it made into savoury, meaty notes.” Sarah Barnes, technical manager at Lynher Dairies, who collected the award in London, said: “I’m on top of the cheese world! Cornish Kern is a new concept, so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese’s career.” The Cornish champion began the day lined up against 3,000 other cheeses, which were tackled by more than 230 judges in a dedicated area of Taste of London at Tobacco Dock. After Gold, Silver and Bronze medals had been decided, it then progressed to the judging of 66 Super Gold winners before making the cut for the final 16. Find a full list of results at

WCA facts and figures 30th World Cheese Awards saw 3,001 cheeses entered from some 35 countries, including • The

Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and the USA as well as the UK and Europe. • These entries were assembled across

66 tables in a dedicated area at

London’s Tobacco Dock, as part of the Taste of London Festive event. • The entries were then tasted, assessed and scored during a two-and-a-half-

230 food professionals from 29 countries. • Judges worked in teams of four, identifying any cheeses worthy of Bronze, Silver or Gold hour session by

awards, based on their assessments of the appearance, texture, consistency and, above all, the taste of each cheese.

Super Gold cheese and these 66 • Each table then nominated a

progressed to a second stage where the Super Jury of

16 experts

re-judged and chose one cheese each to proceed to the final judging, determining the

World Champion.

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



Other major winners Best New Cheese

Best Smoked Cheese

Best Austrian Cheese

Best Irish Cheese

Sponsored by

Sponsored by


Sponsored by

Almenland Stollenkaese Bolaños Isla Bonita Ahumado, Little Hosmer, Cellars at Jasper Hill, USA Best Extra Mature Cheddar

Quesos Bolaños

Best French Cheese Sponsored by

Best British Cheese Sponsored by

Sponsored by

St Tola 500g Ash Log, Inagh Farmhouse Cheese Best Dutch Cheese

Reblochon PDO, Entremont

De Graafstroom - Oud 30+, De Graafstroom

Best German Cheese Montgomery’s Extra Mature Cheddar, J. A. & E. Montgomery, UK Best Le Gruyère Cheese Sponsored by

Cornish Kern, Lynher Dairies

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Cheese Company Best American Cheese Gold Hill, Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Best Canadian Cheese Sponsored by

0RQWDJQROR$IƓQ«, Elite Imports Ltd

Best Goats Cheese Sponsored by

Best Italian Cheese Sponsored by



Best Jersey Milk Cheese Sponsored by

Société Coopérative Agricole de l’Isle-aux-Grues

Rachel, White Lake Cheese,

Best Welsh Cheese Saval, &DZV7HLƓ&KHHVH

Blu Di Bufala, Quattro Portoni Le Canotier de l’Isle,

Miniretorta, Quesería Finca Pascualete

Le Gruyère AOP Gourmet Cremo SA - von Mühlenen

Best Spanish Cheese

Best Australian Cheese Foragers Feast, Woodside Cheese Wrights

Best Unpasteurised Cheese

Best Central & Eastern

Sponsored by

European Cheese Sponsored by

Dalewood Huguenot,


Dalewood Fromage, S. Africa Best Scottish Cheese Arran Blue, Island Cheese Company Best South African Cheese Sponsored by

Parmigiano Reggiano, Nazionale PR San Pietro (Valestra), Italy

Paški sir extra stari, Sirana Gligora, Croatia

Dalewood Huguenot, Dalewood Fromage


December September2017 2017| |Vol.18 Vol.18Issue Issue10 8







Email: | Telephone: 01749831527

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017




December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



















WCA TROPHY WINNERS 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18






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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


news & views from the cheese counter

Caerphilly-maker Trethowanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s develops farmhouse cheddar By Patrick McGuigan

The farmhouse cheddar market is set to be boosted by a significant new player next year in the form of Pitchfork â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an unpasteurised, clothbound cheddar from Somerset, produced by the makers of Gorwydd Caerphilly. Weston-super-Marebased Trethowanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dairy began production of the new cheese in September after receiving RDPE funding to buy equipment and build a cheddar store. A dozen 25kg truckles are being made each week, using bulk starters, traditional rennet and unpasteurised organic milk from Puxton Court Farm, where the dairy is based. They are currently being aged for 12 months in a cave at Somerset cheddar maker Westcombe Dairy, but will eventually be matured at Trethowanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The move comes after the company relocated from Wales to a purpose-built dairy in Somerset three years ago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are only seven miles from Cheddar so it felt like we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t not make cheddar,â&#x20AC;? said Todd Trethowan, who runs the business with brother Maugan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really excited about the cheese because there is such a long tradition and history in the county.â&#x20AC;? The number of West Country Farmhouse Cheddar


makers fell from around 500 to 50 during the Second World War â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a decline that continued with rationing and the rise of industrial block cheddar. Today, the only raw milk, farmhouse cheddars still made in Somerset are Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Keenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Westcombe. Trethowan said the launch of Pitchfork, named after the forks used to break up cheddar curd, has been welcomed by local cheesemakers, including Westcombe, Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Quickes, which have provided help and advice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think people have been open because they see it as something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the greater good and they also have confidence in their own products,â&#x20AC;? said Trethowan.

THREE WAYS WITH... This young Gouda speckled with cumin seeds is made at Botton Creamery in North Yorkshire, which is part of a social enterprise for people with special needs. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made with unpasteurised milk from the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dairy Shorthorn cows and is aged for three months so it is sweet and soft with bursts of fragrance from the spice.

The company, which has made Gorwydd Caerphilly for over 20 years, has also launched a semi-soft cheese called Wendolyn, washed in Somerset Cider Brandy, and has introduced new branding. Hero Hirsh, shop manager at Paxton & Whitfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jermyn Street shop, welcomed the launch of Pitchfork, despite already stocking eight artisan cheddars. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Inevitably Trethowanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new cheese will have its own unique character because it is being made with different milk to the others,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fact it is made with organic milk will also give it a point of difference. There is definitely room in the market for a new farmhouse cheddar.â&#x20AC;?

IN BRIEF Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese will not face criminal proceedings over a 2016 E.coli outbreak in which a three-year-old girl died. The FRPSDQ\Ĺ?VUDZPLON'XQV\UH%OXHZDVQDPHG the most likely source of the outbreak by Health 3URWHFWLRQ6FRWODQGEXWWKH&URZQ2IĆ&#x201C;FHVDLG that, based on available evidence, it would not face prosecution. Errington has always disputed WKH+36Ĺ?VĆ&#x201C;QGLQJVDQGKDVEURXJKWDFDVHWR challenge a ban on some of its cheeses, which will be heard at a sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s court this month. Cheesemakers at the Ludlow Food Centre have revived production of an extinct territorial cheese, coloured with carrot juice and marigold, called Shropshire. Dairy manager Dudley Martin was inspired to make the crumbly, semi-soft cowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milk cheese after researching a product made by a Ludlow dairy in the 18th century. London retailer Cheeses of Muswell Hill has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise ÂŁ28,600 for a new walk-in maturing room.

BEHIND THE COUNTER TIPS OF THE TRADE A shop-branded sticker is a great way to seal waxed paper when wrapping cheese, but make sure you also put another in a prominent SODFHRQWKHSDFNDJHZKHQ\RXĹ?UHĆ&#x201C;QLVKHG 7KHFXVWRPHUZLOOKDYHWRWHDUWKHĆ&#x201C;UVWVWLFNHU to open the cheese. The second sticker acts a constant reminder of where they bought it.

Yorkshire Gouda with cumin Red ale Red and amber ales are excellent cheese beers, working with everything from cheddars to Alpines. Hackney-based Five Pointsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Hook Island Red is a case in point. Made with Chinook, Columbus and Simcoe hops, and a percentage of rye, it is aromatic, full of pine and spice, which complements the cumin, plus a burnt caramel sweetness that marries with the creamy cheese.

Charred FDXOLĹ´RZHU Think of this match as a kind of deconstructed FDXOLĹ´RZHUFKHHVH%UHDN XSWKHFDXOLĹ´RZHULQWRVPDOO Ĺ´RUHWVDQGSODFHRQDEDNLQJ tray. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast for around 25-30 minutes at 200ÂşC until black and charred on the outside but still crunchy on the inside. Serve warm with thin slices of the gouda draped on top.

Rye bread Not exactly a revolutionary match, but a good one. Try to Ć&#x201C;QGDGDUNGHQVHORDIZLWKD good crust, which will contrast with the soft, pliable texture of the cheese. Nuts and seeds in the bread are okay, but avoid spices like caraway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the cumin in the gouda does that job for you, dovetailing with the nutty, chewy bread. Lightly toast the bread and spread with good butter, before serving still warm with thick slices of the cheese. Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


Sweet and creamy Cheese and Patés



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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

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news and views from the cheese counter

We are a selector of cheese as much as a maturer

Giorgio Cravero is the fifth-generation owner of Cravero, which is known for its sweeter, softer wheels of Parmigiano- Reggiano

Agents of ageing Meet Italy’s most famous Parmigiano Reggiano maturer, based in the hometown of the Slow Food movement Interview by Patrick McGuigan

It’s a sunny autumn afternoon in Piedmont and Slow Food’s biennial cheese festival in Bra is in full swing with thousands of people and hundreds of cheese stalls lining the town’s streets. Weaving his way through them on a shiny blue bicycle is Giorgio Cravero, the owner of one the world’s most famous Parmigiano Reggiano maturers. I’m trotting along beside him, notepad and pen in hand, trying to take notes without crashing into the cheese-mad festival-goers. “At the first festival we had two tables and few cheeses,” he says as we whizz along. “If someone had said all these years later we would have all this [he gestures with an alarming wobble], I would’ve said ‘You’re crazy’.” The first Bra Cheese festival was held in Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini’s home town in 1997, a date that also marked the beginning of a period of transition at G. Cravero, which has been maturing Parmesan since 1855. Giorgio took over from his father Giacomo not long after to become the fifth-generation owner of the business, and the company began to broaden its outlook. “It was at the festival that I met people from abroad and my horizons changed radically,” he says, as we ditch the bike at the headquarters on the edge of town. “Before then, it was all Italy, but we started to look more at exports.” Overseas markets now account for 80% of sales, with customers including Neal’s Yard Dairy and Whole Foods in the UK, Di Brunos Bros in the US and Will Studd in Australia. The focus on exports was partly driven by a decline in traditional food shops in Italy as

big supermarkets selling pre-cut and grated Parmesan began to hold sway, but Cravero also found that retailers overseas were more in tune with his values. “99% of my export customers visit me at least once a year,” he says. “They want to learn and they pose the right questions about terroir.” A sense of place is fundamental to Cravero, who works closely with three Parmigiano Reggiano producers – two in Emilia and one in Modena. San Pietro – the cheesemaker in Modena – makes just 10 cheeses a day, maturing them for them for a year, before Cravero selects the best wheels and takes them to 24 months in its caves. “I could bore you until 3am about the farms,” he jokes, as we wander through a maturing room, stacked to the rafters with 40kg drums of Parmesan. “What’s really important is the soil and forage. We need terroir that allows a creamy texture and fruity flavour to come through.” Cravero’s cheese is famous for its sweet flavour and soft texture, which is very different to the harder, sharper Parmesans often made by large co-operatives. The company only selects cheeses that it thinks will have this particular profile with the help of a ‘battitore’ – a grader who assesses the cheeses by tapping them with a hammer to check for defects. “We are a selector of cheese as much as a maturer,” says Cravero. The way the cheeses are aged in Bra also plays its part, as the maturing room maintains a steady temperature of 17-19°C from spring to autumn. Just as importantly, during the winter, the temperature drops to 7-8°C, which slows the ageing process and helps give the final cheese a freshness and succulence. “Everything just slows down in the winter,” says Cravero as we finish the tour, which seems rather fitting. A slow cheese from the home of Slow Food.



Parmigiano Reggiano 1

Under the terms of its PDO status, Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced with raw milk in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of Mantua and Bologna.



A minimum of 75% of the cows’ forage must come from within the region, but the cheese made at San Pietro is made with milk from animals fed exclusively locally grown feed.

Cravero’s cheese is moist and smooth in texture, not grainy like some aged Parmesans. Tyrosine crystals add crunch and the flavour is gentle and fruity with buttery and pineapple notes.

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


WA L O V O N M Ü H L E N E N than Switzerland has mountains

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Over the years Golden Cross Cheese Co. cheeses have picked up many awards including the James Aldridge Memorial Trophy for Best British Raw milk cheese and the British Cheese Awards Best Soft White cheese 4 times. Our most recent awards: • 2015 Royal Bath & West British Cheese Awards Gold for Flower Marie • 2016 Royal Bath & West British Cheese Awards Gold and Silver for Golden Cross • 2016 Artisan Cheese Awards Gold for Golden Cross • 2017 Artisan Cheese Awards Best Raw Milk Cheese and Best Soft Cheese for Golden Cross Gold for Golden Cross and Silver for Flower Marie • 2017 Royal Bath & West Show British Cheese Awards 2 Gold and a Silver for Golden Cross Silver for Flower Marie.

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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10 01225 424212


making more of British & Continental charcuterie

Pork belly is star of pizzeria’s latest ‘producer collaboration’ By Mick Whitworth

London sourdough pizza business Four Hundred Rabbits added a limited edition charcuterie-topped variety to its menu last month in a tie-up with Borough Market-based wholesaler Cannon & Cannon. The pizza paired Cannon & Cannon’s hot-smoked pork belly – produced by Trealy Farm in Monmouthshire – with kimchi, wood-roasted pineapple, smoked mozzarella and crème fraîche. It was the latest in the pizzeria’s series of South London Producer Collaborations, designed to “celebrate talented local artisans”. Sean Cannon told FFD: “We’ve known each other for years around the London foodie scene, so it seemed obvious to collaborate.” The wholesaler has also been working with Pizza Pilgrims, which has seven outlets in London and another in Oxford, and hopes to pick up more business with indie pizza chains.

By Mick Whitworth

Trealy Farm’s smoked pork belly is the star of Four Hundred Rabbits’s limited edition pizza

Diners at Four Hundred Rabbits’ two south-east London sites, in Nunhead and Crystal Palace, have also been able to snack on a newly introduced charcuterie board, pairing the same British hot smoked pork belly with Iberico chorizo, rabbit rillettes, pickled chestnut mushrooms and sourdough breadsticks – the latter baked on site. “We’re pushing them to make the board 100% British,

and permanent,” said Cannon. “Watch this space.” The name Four Hundred Rabbits is drawn from the mythology of the Aztecs, who apparently revered the process of fermentation and worshipped the god who discovered it. They also worshipped a goddess of alcohol and the 400 rabbits were the hard-partying offspring of the two.

Rose veal bacon? You’re kidding... Northern Ireland’s Broughgammon Farm, best known for its added-value kid meat products, has launched what it says is the province’s first rose veal bacon. The Co Antrim business has a small herd of Holsteins producing bull calves for veal and has begun smoking the meat over oak chippings in its small on-farm smokehouse. The bacon sells for around £16/kg. Broughgammon is also producing a Great Taste twostar-winning goat bacon – the latest in a line of premium ‘cabrito’ or kid meat products from its herd of over 300 goats. “The new bacon is an

Shropshire estate to seek trade outlets for hotsmoked pheasant

excellent example of our strategic focus on new product development,” said director Millie Cole, whose son Charlie and his wife Becky set up Broughgammon on the family’s 50-acre farm at Ballycastle in 2011. With a focus on sustainable farming techniques, the business has

Rose veal bacon sells for around £16/kg

become a pin-up for Northern Ireland’s burgeoning speciality food sector. It has been a regional winner in the UK-wide Countryside Alliance Awards, and took the Best Snack title in the 2017 British Street Food Awards for its goat tacos. Last year it launched a kid goat pancetta – made using belly meat cured for three weeks in juniper, black pepper and garlic – and a free-range rose veal carpaccio. Its products also include free-range venison, and the company also harvests and processes seaweed for use in food and cosmetics.

Plans are in place for Shropshire’s Apley Estate to begin wholesaling smoked pheasant more widely after launching the product in October through its own farm shop and in a handful of local restaurants. Lady Harriet Hamilton, whose husband inherited the 8,000 acre Apley Estate near Bridgnorth in 2006, spent two years developing the new line using birds reared by the estate’s gamekeepers. She said: “We had a ‘golden ticket’ moment in 2016 when a London food shop expressed interest in the product, putting us in the wonderful position of having identified the market and an outlet before it was even fully developed.” According to Harriet Hamilton the product tastes quite different to other forms of pheasant. It is described as moist, succulent and full of flavour, with a subtle taste of beechwood. The skin-on pheasant breasts, plucked and breasted out in Apley’s own game larder, are cured, hot-smoked then cooked sousvide at a smokery in Worcestershire. They are currently sold mostly as individual whole breasts, but multipacks are also available on request. Dubbed “the ultimate free-range food”, they are are recommended for canapés, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, in picnics, salads or lunchboxes. Lord Hamilton said: “It’s all part of our wider remit to diversify the estate, to ensure its future viability.”

Smoked pheasant: ‘ultimate free-range food’?


Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


Traditional British award winning speciality condiments and preserves.

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Quality and tradition

One day chocolate making courses for Valentines & Easter available please contact: 01458 851253


December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

Since 1907 the star of Negroni is the symbol of high quality charcuterie in Italy. Over a century of craftsmanship, love and passion for the tradition and its territories of origin.


Prepared for spring Get ready for 2018â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seasonal selling opportunities with our round-up of the latest gift ideas Based in Essex, Kennardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s produces handmade artisan chocolates using traditional techniques and premium ingredients. It has a fully vegan range and this year was awarded a 1-star for its Spiced Fruit Cup and a 2-star for its Triple Espresso Capsule chocolates in the Great Taste awards.

-DFTXHOLQHĹ?V+RPHPDGH&KRFRODWHV  6ZHHW7UHDWV has added a trio of handmade Easter eggs to its range: white chocolate & strawberry, dark chocolate & caramel, and milk chocolate with white swirl (RRP ÂŁ7.50 each). This year, the business was awarded 1-star for its milk chocolate hazelnut squares in Great Taste. MDFTXHOLQHVVZHHWWUHDWV#KRWPDLOFRXN

Ć&#x201C;HOGIDUH has a range of premium dishes to create a romantic meal on Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. For starters thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coquilles St Jacques (RRP ÂŁ4.25) served from a scallop shell, followed by Coq au Vin (single portion: RRP ÂŁ4.25, double portion: ÂŁ7.99), and a sticky toffee butter pudding with butterscotch sauce (RRP ÂŁ1.99) for dessert. Ć&#x201C;HOGIDUHFRP 6ORHPRWLRQĹ?V6ORH*LQWUXIĹ´HVDUHPDGHE\EOHQGLQJLWV gin-infused sloe berries with a ganache before rolling in dark Belgian chocolate. As well as gin, there are also whisky and brandy varieties available, all packaged in boxes with a hedgerow sketch design and signature purple hue. Trade price ÂŁ7.25 per box (RRP ÂŁ11.95). VORHPRWLRQFRP

Based on the Isle of Man, 0DQ[ )XGJH)DFWRU\produces a wide range of premium fudge and toffees, including its award-winning honey fudge, cherry bakewell, and butter fudge products. The honey fudge is made with local honey, while its cherry EDNHZHOOLVDQDOPRQGIXGJHĆ&#x201C;OOHGZLWK cherries and crunchy biscuit. PDQ[IXGJHIDFWRU\FRP

0RQW\%RMDQJOHV has created a special spring edition of its cocoa-dusted WUXIĹ´HVLGHDOIRU(DVWHUFHOHEUDWLRQV7KHER[ FRQWDLQVVL[YDULHWLHVRIWKHWUXIĹ´HVZKLFKDUH packaged in bold colours to â&#x20AC;&#x153;encapsulate the essence of Springâ&#x20AC;?. RRP ÂŁ7, 285g. PRQW\ERMDQJOHVFRP

6DOW\'RJ has launched two new popcorn SURGXFWVDYDLODEOHLQWZRĹ´DYRXUVĹ&#x160;VHDVDOWDQG VZHHW VDOW\Ĺ&#x160;WKDWZLOOEHSLWFKHGWRERWKUHWDLO and hospitality (RRP ÂŁ1). The popcorn follows the recent relaunch of its Darling Corn range in bright new packaging. VDOW\GRJJUUUFRP

:\NH)DUPVĹ? Vintage Reserve Cheddar Truckles are matured for up to 18 months to deliver a â&#x20AC;&#x153;sweet and nutty Ĺ´DYRXUZLWKJHQWOHFUXQFKĹ?7KHJWUXFNOHVDUHZUDSSHGLQDVLJQDWXUHVODWHJUH\ZD[DQGPDNHLGHDOJLIWVIRUD special occasion. Trade price ÂŁ1.20 per unit (case 8 x 100g, ÂŁ9.60). Z\NHIDUPVFRP

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



Catch of the day

seafood Black Mountains Smokery has launched new retail packaging in a bid to diversify from its mail order and gift business to supply independent retailers. Its range will now be available hand-sliced in packs, including its salmon, oak-roasted salmon, trout, haddock, sea bass and kippers. Pack sizes range from 100g (trade price £5, RRP £7) up to 750g (trade price £26, RRP £40).

Macneil’s Smokehouse has repackaged its smoked mackerel after the product was awarded a 3-star and a Golden Fork for the Midlands in Great Taste. The smoked mackerel is now available in “striking black” packaging which the company says shows off the golden colour of the fish. The addition of a back board and Euroslot also makes the product easier to display. macneilssmokehouse.

Dooncastle Oysters, in Connemara Co. Galway, has been supplying Ireland’s top Michelin restaurants since 2006. However, this month the wholesale oyster farm has announced that its products will be available in England for the first time with prices as follows: £1.10 for Size 3s (60g-85g); £1.25 for Size 2s (85g-120g).

Producers of small-batch smoked salmon cured in alcohol, herbs and spices, The Pished Fish, has added a gin & tonic variety to its offering. Loch Duart salmon is slow-cured in Brighton gin, juniper, fresh lime and grapefruit zest before being smoked lightly over apple, alder and beech wood. Trade price £4.50 for 100g (RRP £6.95).

Thule Ventus has released its Shetland salt dried cod in 50g taster packs and 250g boxes. The company says its salt cod is prepared by hand before it is cured over six to eight weeks. The fish comes in sealed packs which can stay in the store cupboard for at least nine months. RRP £4.95, 50g.

Manchester Smoke House says its ‘Titanic Cure’ oak-smoked Scottish salmon is made to a recipe from owner Richard Hyman’s great-grandfather, who survived the sinking of the Titanic. The salmon is sliced to order with sizes ranging from 100g to 1kg. themanchestersmokehouse.

Woodstown Bay Shellfish grows its oysters in the Woodstown Bay, Waterford which give them a “mature and meaty” flavour with a “pleasing sweet aftertaste”, due to the plankton, rich waters in the south east of Ireland.

Meridian Sea’s Organic Seaweed Tartare is made with fresh wild seaweeds, extra virgin olive oil, baby gherkins and capers. Retail units come in 110g glass jars with a shelf life of 90 days. RRP £4.45-4.95.

Retailers looking to restock their seafood offering need look no further, as FFD lists the latest catch from the sea – including smoked salmon cured in beetroot & whisky, seaweed tartare and even octopus tentacles.

Salt cod is prepared by hand before it is cured over six to eight weeks

Turn to page 45 for newly launched equipment & services for retailers. Compiled by Lauren Phillips


December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


How we stockâ&#x20AC;Ś smoked salmon

Thyme to Eat (Paul Newman) has launched a beetroot & whiskey Scottish salmon to purchase both direct and wholesale. Marinated in Ayreshire beets, Dewarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s whisky, citrus and horseradish, the salmon was developed as a dish for Thyme at Errichel Restaurant before launching to retail. Trade price ÂŁ4.25 per 80g (plus VAT) / ÂŁ45.85 per kg (plus VAT). RRP ÂŁ7.25-7.50 per 80g. errichelhouseand

After spending the last few years growing their own oysters in the surrounding waters of the Isle of Barra in the Scottish Hebrides, Isle of Barra Oysters is now launching its products for sale. Grown by Gerard Macdonald, Martin Macdonald and Donald Macleod, the oysters have a deep cup and offer a â&#x20AC;&#x153;taste of the sea with a sweet Ć&#x201C;QLVKĹ?

The new luxury retail packaging with square cut-outs aims to show off the products inside

APRIL PRESTON, Executive head of food innovation, Harrods Harrodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; counter features the department storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own-label smoked salmon as well as the wares of Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s H Forman and Son. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The ranges offer GLIIHUHQWĹ´DYRXUSURĆ&#x201C;OHV created by varying smoke intensities,â&#x20AC;? says April Preston. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have also introduced three fun Ĺ´DYRXUSURĆ&#x201C;OHVIRUWKH festive season, including beetroot-cured smoked VDOPRQWUXIĹ´HLQIXVHG

UR\DOĆ&#x201C;OOHWDQGJLQ WRQLF smoked salmon to appeal to our local foodies.â&#x20AC;? While there are pre-packed options for shopper in a hurry, +DUURGVĹ?Ć&#x201C;VKPRQJHUV will also hand-carve sides of smoked salmon to order. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This allows a bespoke experience and enables each customer to select either lean or fatty meat, sliced into long strips or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;D cutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.â&#x20AC;?

Smokehouse biscuit tin celebrates 20 years Salar Smokehouse has commissioned a special edition embossed â&#x20AC;&#x153;biscuit tinâ&#x20AC;? to mark its 20th anniversary. The new pack commemorates the VPRNHKRXVHĹ?VĆ&#x201C;UVWRZQHUV Jane and Eric Twelves, who used a biscuit tin DVWKHLUĆ&#x201C;UVWVPRNHULQ

1987 to create its Salar Flaky Smoked Salmon. The tin, commissioned by new owner Iain MacRury, will hold 500g of the smokehouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ĺ´DN\VPRNHGVDOPRQWR celebrate the original concept.

The newest additions to Brindisaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seafood selection are its La BrĂşjula marinated mussels and Pulpo (steamed octopus tentacles). The mussels, from Rias Gallegas, Galicia, are carefully trimmed, boiled and fried before being handpacked in an oil and vinegar â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;escabecheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; marinade (RRP ÂŁ3.50, 115g). The octopus tentacles are hand-cut and steamed in their own juices IRUDĹ?Ĺ´DYRXUVRPHWHQGHU and versatileâ&#x20AC;? product (RRP ÂŁ15.95, 450g).

BigFish Brand has added oak-smoked salmon and sea trout to its seafood range. The smoked salmon has an RRP of ÂŁ4.31 (100g) and ÂŁ7.80 (200g), while the sea trout has an RRP of ÂŁ5.40 (100g) and ÂŁ10.40 (200g). The company has also recently launched its salmon bites & goujons available in natural, lemon & pepper, and chilli & lime varieties (RRP ÂŁ3.99 each). ELJĆ&#x201C;VKEUDQGFRXN

West Highland Smokehouse Argyll Smokery has updated the packaging of its full range of smoked seafood and patĂŠ. The new luxury retail packaging with square cut-outs aims to show off the products inside, including the hot kiln roast smoked trout and smoked salmon, the traditional Argyll smoked salmon, and Scottish smoked trout (RRP ÂŁ3.95, 100g and RRP ÂŁ7.95, 200g).

Paddyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smoked salmon is carefully prepared by hand, traditionally cured and smoked using local angler Hard Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recipe. The smoked salmon comes in pack sizes of 113g, 227g, 454g, and 900g. RRP ranging from ÂŁ4 up to ÂŁ25. SDGG\VĹľVKFRXN

Irish brand, .HQPDUH6HOHFW is now owned by Quinlans & Kerry Fish family of businesses. Kenmare produces smoked salmon which it likens to a lightly smoked sashimi. Available in mild (RRP ÂŁ30.80), organic (RRP ÂŁ35.80), and herbcured (RRP ÂŁ38.80). NHQPDUHVHOHFWFRP

$FKLOO2\VWHUV will be launching its catch from the waters around Achill Island this month. Described as having a â&#x20AC;&#x153;unique peaty tasteâ&#x20AC;?, the oysters come packed in traditional wooden boxes of a dozen with a trade price of ÂŁ13.84 (RRP ÂŁ18). DFKLOOR\VWHUVFRP

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


Award-winning Smoked Salmon from the Outer Hebrides with a delicious succulent EXWĂ&#x20AC;UPĂ DN\WH[WXUH

Hot Roast Smoked Salmon

6RXUFLQJRQO\WKHKLJKHVWTXDOLW\$WODQWLFVDOPRQ IURP6FRWWLVKVDOPRQSURGXFHUV 6PRNHGLQDXQLTXHDQGVHFUHWSURFHVVRYHURDN To mark the 20th anniversary the new owners have commissioned a special edition embossed â&#x20AC;&#x153;biscuit tinâ&#x20AC;? to present the 2017 award winning product, to celebrate the uniqueness of the product and the original concept.

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The Finest Scottish Produce Summer Isles Foods was established in the 1970â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. We have come a long way from our humble beginnings as a small smokehouse on the northwest coast of Scotland. Based in Alness, in the centre of the Scottish +LJKODQGV6XPPHU,VOHVVXSSOLHVVRPHRIWKHÂżQHVWKRWHOVUHVWDXUDQWV and delicatessens throughout the UK and abroad. Summer Isles Foods â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;wet-curesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the salmon to ensure that the subtle footnotes from the brine are released during the slow smoking process. 7KLVSURGXFHVDÂżUPWH[WXUHGVDOPRQZLWKDIXOOERGLHGVPRNHGĂ&#x20AC;DYRXU :HRĚ&#x2020;HUDYDULHW\RISUHPLXP*LIW+DPSHUUDQJLQJIURPÂ&#x2026;IRU 6PRNHGVDOPRQVHOHFWLRQWRÂ&#x2026;IRURXU*RXUPHW6HOHFWLRQER[7KH *RXUPHWDQG,QGXOJHQFHER[HVFRPHZLWKDSUHVHQWDWLRQJLIWER[WR make the perfect gift for this Xmas. We also have an ordering process for anyone that would like a personal order. For mail order customers, please visit our website. Free of charge GHOLYHULHVDSSOLHVWRDQ\PDLORUGHURYHUÂ&#x2026;LIEHLQJGHOLYHUHGWRRQH address. If you are a trade customer, please contact us and we can provide you with a price list.

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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10



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Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


Win Sales with our award-winning Chapman’s gourmet fishcakes and seafood products... Using their Mum’s recipes Kevin and Paul Chapman continue to produce Traditional Fish Cakes and Fish Products using their mums principle of incorporating only the finest ingredients. • • • • •

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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10


Online marketplace opens public sector to small food producers By Lauren Phillips

Food and drink producers will now be able to pursue public sector contracts â&#x20AC;&#x201C; worth a combined ÂŁ1.2 billion annually â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with buyers from schools, hospitals and other departments as part of a new Government website called the Food Marketplace. The site will act as an online catalogue where British smallto-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) can add details of their food and catering services. More than 8,000 buyers can then search for specific products and be paired with local suppliers. The new launch is a part of the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Plan for Public Procurement which was created in July 2014 by Dr Peter Bonfield. It aims to open-up a greater share of the public sector market to more SMEs and local producers. Food Minister George Eustice, who launched Food Marketplace during an event with producers and buyers, encouraged businesses to sign up and connect with each other. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At a time when we are seeing more of our world-class food and drink on supermarket shelves and dinner tables around the world, it

The dating game Speed-dating and serious business came together at Gleneagles in October, when the sports venue and luxury hotel hosted a twoday international meet-the-buyer event involving over 130 Scottish producers.

is only right our local hospitals and schools get the same access to Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high quality, great tasting food,â&#x20AC;? said Eustice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The launch of this new online Food Marketplace is a huge step towards our commitment to driving procurement of our home-grown produce across the public sector and I hope our ambitious food sector seizes this opportunity wholeheartedly.â&#x20AC;? IRRGPDUNHWSODFHFDELQHWRIĆ&#x201C;FHJRYXN GHIUDJRYXN

Fifty leading UK buyers, including wholesalers Buckley & Beale, The Cress Co and Diverse Fine Foods, were joined by 100 overseas buyers from around the world at the third Showcasing Scotland event. It was organised by the Scottish Food & Drink Partnership â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a group comprising producer membership group Scotland Food & Drink, the

2 Sisters scandal a â&#x20AC;&#x153;wake-up callâ&#x20AC;? for food producers A stark warning has been given to large food producers and the bodies that regulate them following a Parliamentary inquiry into the scandal at the 2 Sisters chicken factory earlier this year. The report by the Environment, Foods & Rural Affairs Committee said the problems LGHQWLĆ&#x201C;HGZHUHQRWDĹ?RQHRIIĹ?DQGLWZDV VXUSULVHGDWWKHĹ?SDWFKZRUNQDWXUHRIWKH DFFUHGLWDWLRQSURFHVVĹ?DQGKRZHDV\LWZDV IRUSURGXFHUVWRĹ?JDPHWKHV\VWHPDQG KLGHLQIUDFWLRQVĹ? Committee chairman Neil Parish MP VDLGWKHLQFLGHQWZDVDĹ?ZDNHXSFDOOĹ?IRU IRRGDFFUHGLWDWLRQĆ&#x201C;UPVWRĹ?LPSURYHWKHLU SURFHVVHVĹ?DQGUHPRYHREYLRXVORRSKROHV that exist. Ĺ?)RRGVXSSO\FKDLQVDUHVHQVLWLYH and easy to disrupt when retailers and FRQVXPHUVORVHFRQĆ&#x201C;GHQFHLQIRRGTXDOLW\ RUVDIHW\Ĺ?VDLG3DULVKĹ?/DUJHSURGXFHUV and retailers have a responsibility to protect, rather than undermine, the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IRRGSURGXFHUVĹ? The inquiry was launched after undercover footage revealed huge hygiene failings at the 2 Sisters plant. It found that even unannounced inspections were not a surprise as inspectors gave 30 minutesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grace before arriving, so staff were on their best behaviour. The committee has suggested increased funding to the Food Standards Agency, installation of CCTV in plants to act as permanent inspectors, and for bodies to share their data and intelligence to prevent future scandals happening again.

Scottish Government and several business development agencies. Over 2,000 short meetings were held over two days at the Gleneagles Arena, while the Gleneagles Hotel provided hospitality including a trade dinner attended by Scottish rural affairs minister Fergus Ewing. Speciality producers taking part

included St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese, Little Doone Foods, Dunnet Bay Distillers, Simple Simonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Perfect Pies and Belhaven Smokehouse. This was the third Showcasing Scotland event to be staged since 7KHĆ&#x201C;UVWWZRDUHEHOLHYHGWR have generated over ÂŁ50m in new business for Scottish producers. Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

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Black Butter offers a new taste of Ireland By Lauren Phillips

The first Irish Black Butter has been developed for retail and foodservice using Northern Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status Armagh Bramley apples. Made in Portrush in County Antrim, the butter was the brainchild of Alastair Bell, who has a background in farming and apple growing. Bell said he was inspired to launch â&#x20AC;&#x153;a new taste of Irelandâ&#x20AC;? during last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Year of Food and Drink, and teamed up with Paul Clarke, chef of En Place Foods to create a recipe for the Irish black butter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I approached Paul for advice on how to develop the apple-based product I had in mind,â&#x20AC;? said Bell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Armagh Bramley is such a great tasting apple that can be used in so many ways. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve long thought that we could be doing more with the apples in

terms of innovative products.â&#x20AC;? The butter, however, is not a dairy product. Instead it includes treacle, cider, brandy and a blend of spices, with the addition of the apples offering a â&#x20AC;&#x153;cross between sweet and savouryâ&#x20AC;?, says Bell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a dark, rich product that can be used in so many ways including as an accompaniment for cheese and cold meats,â&#x20AC;? said Bell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The butter can also be used for curing meats such as bacon and ham. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a versatile product.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great to see another original product developed using Armagh Bramley Apples, which have EU PGI status,â&#x20AC;? added Clarke. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Irish Black Butter is an outstandingly tasty and balanced product with nice acidity.â&#x20AC;? The black butter is already produced in 225g jars with plans to develop larger catering packs for foodservice. LULVKEODFNEXWWHUFRP


OMGTea launches UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ready-to-drink iced matcha







1 4

3 1 Kashmir Gold Saffron This saffron is more expensive than gold, but beats all its rivals for its rich gold colour, exotic floral aroma, and fantastic flavour. I use it in our lamb tagine, and in risottos and fish sauces.

MATTHEW MASON Head chef at The Jack in the Green, Devon Matt trained at Gidleigh Park under Shaun Hill. For the past 25 years, he has run the kitchen of The Jack in the Green.

2 Little Pod vanilla beer I love this beer – it’s sweet, hoppy, and the vanilla is quite subtle. I use it in chocolate pudding with stout ice cream, a dessert that’s often on the menu at the Jack. I put vanilla beer both

in the ice cream and in the pudding sponge.

expand, and don’t stick together.

3 Acquerello aged Carnaroli rice This rice is produced by the Rondolino family in the heart of Piedmont’s Vercelli province, in Italy. After harvesting, it’s aged, which makes it stable and helps it absorb liquid – and flavours – really well. This makes it perfect for making risottos in a restaurant situation where you have to partially cook the rice. Another advantage is that the grains stay whole,

4 Maddocks Farm edible flowers The seasonal flowers that Jan Billington grows organically at Maddocks Farm, near here in Devon, are picked to order, and their quality is second to none. They are also a great way to wow guests! We use them with both savoury and sweet dishes, but one of our favourites is her tagetes which we use with our marmalade panna cotta. maddocksfarmorganics.

Sheppy’s Cider launches new canned craft cider By Lauren Phillips Traditional cider-maker Sheppy’s has joined the market for craft ciders in fashionable cans with the launch of two 330ml canned ciders, following the company’s major rebrand earlier this year. The cans, called VAT 14 and VAT 07, are named after the actual vats the Somerset-based business has been using for years to help mature its cider. VAT 14 is described as a “crisp and refreshing” light sparkling cider (ABV 5%), while VAT 07 is a fruity cloudy cider (ABV 4.5%). Both have an RRP from £2. Not only lighter than glass bottles, the cans also offer a smaller serving size and take up less space on shelves. Though pitched to the off-trade, the contemporary packaged cans would also fit well in the on-trade market, said owner David Sheppy, targeted at younger drinkers in their 20s 50

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

and 30s – in trendy urban bars rather than in traditional pubs. “Packaging cider in 330ml cans is very much in vogue right now in the cider industry,” said Sheppy. “There is a growing movement in mix and match

ciders. People don’t want a large bottle of cider, they want smaller cans so they can try several varieties. It’s the 330ml format that gives customers the opportunity to try different varieties.”

World flavours take caramels to new level London-based chocolatier Fifth Dimension Chocolates has launched a soy caramel and yuzu caramel sauce inspired by co-founders Russell Pullan and Albert Chau’s travels and culinary experiences. The soy caramel is influenced by memories of Hong Kong and is described as smooth, malty and sweet, while the yuzu caramel has an “intense citrus-sour tang” which balances against the sweetness of the caramel. RRP £5.50 each or £14.85 for a trio caramel collection (soy, yuzu, and mango & passion fruit).


entry info 2018 Want to know more about food and drinkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most coveted awards?

general entryopen : ! february Entry closes: 16 February or before if we reach 12,500 entries New to Great Taste? Make sure you receive entry information by contacting |




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December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

31/10/2017 14:46

SHELF TALK Brand launches vegan food-to-go options Pollen+Grace has launched a new collection of vegan dishes in a bid to fulfil the growing consumer demand for vegan options. The dishes consist of new Hot Pots including a turmeric & butternut daal and a kimchi & miso noodle pot (RRP ÂŁ3.99 each). The company has also created an Immunity Box which is available as a vegan option but can be be served with chicken too, and comes in a 350-380g plastic box, RRP ÂŁ7.50. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new Hot Pots, which take inspiration from different flavours around the world, fill a gap in the existing market, for competitively priced healthy products on-the-go,â&#x20AC;? said cofounder Stephanie Johnson, adding that with increasing demand the collection aims to add more variety and designed to last longer. Already listed with Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market for launch next month, the vegan boxes have an increased shelf life of five days (plus production) while the meat/fish boxes have three days (plus production).





1 2018: Year of the vegan Mainstream veganism is about to be turned up to 11. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no longer just the health food and wellness market thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centred around alternative animal products, Pret A Manger has rolled out its Veggie Pret locations, while fast food behemoth McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recently trialled the McVegan burger to huge social media praise. Wagamama has also released a dedicated vegan menu that includes complex curries, noodle soups and sorbets. Watch out for successful US vegan chain By Chloe, which is expanding into the UK with an initial cluster of locations throughout London. 2 Eels are back on the menu Thanks to the likes of producers like Lough Neagh Eels, WKHVQDNHOLNHULYHUEHDVWLVĆ&#x201C;QDOO\JHWWLQJWKH attention it deserves. Jeremy Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smoked eel sandwich at Quo Vadis has garnered a cult following, while Fergus Hendersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent collaboration with Shake Shack resulted in an eel burger served to the masses with fresh horseradish and crème fraiche. Serving eel in more approachable ways could be help retailers upsell and utilise this unsung British ingredient. 3 Israeli food Ottolenghi brought Israeli food to the mainstream, but today itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his former cooks that are contending with chocka-block bookings. Berber & Q has expanded with a shawarma bar, while Honey & Co now has a retail arm. One of the most promising alumni is Eran Tibi who pushes a slew of Israeli street food from his restaurant Bala Baya. Complete with an imported pitta oven, he knocks out stuffed pittas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like braised beef with date glaze and tahini â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to a demanding lunch crowd.

WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEW Yorkshire Crisps now has two new point of sale items for stockists to help promote its brand. Free of charge to stockists, the POS items consist of a branded clip strip and a counter display stand which each hold 12 x 40g bags. Zaytounâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s caramelised almonds are now available with a new seasonal look designed to turn the treat into a gift in time for Christmas. Originally packaged in a transparent bag, the large Om-alFahem almonds have been re-packaged in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;stylishâ&#x20AC;? 140g gift box (RRP ÂŁ4.99). Honestly Co, which launched at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Speciality & Fine Food Fair, is a range Punjabi sauces which are made with spices and vegetables blended together that consumers can use to create an authentic curry meal. The range consists of a Biryani masala blend and a curry masala (50g) both available in hot or mild versions.

New tea offers Pukka way to boostmetabolism Continuing the trend for functional teas, Pukka Herbs has created Lean Matcha Green which claims to act as an antiLQĹ´DPPDWRU\EDODQFH blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy body composition. Blended with cinnamon, ginger and turmeric root, along with metabolismboosting oolong and matcha, the tea is said to have strong notes of fennel, ginger and black pepper. Lean Matcha Green will be available from January 2018 with an RRP ÂŁ2.79.

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017


DELI OF THE MONTH On their 1,200 acre Perthshire farm, the Niven family have quietly created a gift-laden destination store that owes a stylistic debt to Ireland’s Avoca Interview by Mick Whitworth

Their own furrow I AM NOT IN THE BEST HUMOUR when I arrive at Gloagburn Farm Shop on a slightly cheerless October afternoon. I’ve flown up to Scotland from the West Country, arriving at the Europcar desk at Edinburgh airport to find my driver’s licence has gone AWOL and I can’t hire so much as a pony and trap. The result: a £115 taxi bill for a tense one-hour drive north from the Scottish capital, seemingly to the middle of nowhere, hoping I’ll make the interview before closing time. So it’s good to calm down over coffee with co-owner Alison Niven, in a quiet section of Gloagburn’s 140-cover café, and find out why my Guild of Fine Food colleagues, who ran a cheese training day here a few months earlier with wholesaler The Cress Co, have given it rave reviews. Despite standing, seemingly isolated, in 1,200 acres of farmland, Gloagburn Farm Shop is less than five miles from the fringes of Perth – the “gateway to the Highlands” and officially dubbed one of top five places to live in Scotland. And while not everyone travels as far as me to get here, the 1,900 sq ft outlet has quietly

established itself as a key foodie destination in this moneyed part of the ‘auld country’. Some 3,000 customers a week make use of its café, which was reconfigured a few years ago to give stunning views across the Perthshire countryside. The food and gift shop alongside sees a further 1,800 transactions every week, contributing to a combined turnover of £2.6m. Not so “middle of nowhere” after all. Gloagburn Farm Shop was set up in 2003 by third-generation farmers Ian and Alison Niven. “My husband’s family had farmed here since 1924,” says Alison. “It’s mainly arable, but we also produce beef, which virtually all goes through the shop, some sheep and pigs, and then poultry – lay hens.” The pair followed the well-trodden path from honesty-box egg stall to home-made cakes and jams and then a freezer cabinet selling the farm’s own beef. But the full-on farm shop came almost on the rebound from a more prosaic project. “We’d applied for a goverment grant to enlarge our poultry units, and were turned down,” Alison explains. “But we needed to diversify, thought we’d try a farm shop and were offered the grant

for that. Without it, I’m not sure we would have gone ahead.” That grant provided £25k in match-funding to get the shop off the ground. But it was the first and last public money the Nivens have sought. As their son Fergus – now the shop’s general manager – tells me later, they’ve preferred to crack on with business than get lost in reams of bureaucracy. “To be honest, [grant aid] hasn’t exactly fallen in our laps,” he says, “and we’ve just kind of got on with it rather than wait on the application process. We’d rather concentrate on getting the customers in.” Expansion has been slow and careful, starting with a few outside dining tables to extend the original 30-40 cover café, then a covered area for rainy days, which was eventually boxed in to create more year-round seating. The shop was extended too, and then a bigger project five years ago saw Gloagburn take its current shape, doubling the number of café covers and adding a 400 sq ft function room. This space has been used mainly for daytime business meetings and afternoon teas, and when I visited in mid-October had just been turned


Location: Gloagburn Farm, Tibbermore, Perth, PH1 1QL Established: 2003 Turnover: £2.6m No. of staff: 40 (26 full-time equivalent) Café covers: 140 Customers per week: 3,000 (café), 1,800 (shop)


December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

Extended slowly and steadily since opening, Gloagburn benefits from an affluent population near the ‘gateway to the Highlands’

MUST-STOCKS The Bean Shop Café coffee Pea Green Boat cheese sablés Summer Harvest lemon & honey dressing Beeware heather honey Mr C’s Pies Godminster cheddars Chrystal’s shortbread Keith Brewery lager and Pale Keith Walter Gregor tonics Strathearn heather rose gin Allan’s Chilli Jam Co-owner Alison Niven with son and general manager Fergus, who joined the family business in 2009

over to a temporary Christmas gift shop. But the Nivens’ next project will see it taken back into the food area, not just to give ambient goods more breathing room but to house the shop’s first proper butchery counter. “Meat is about 12% of our turnover,” says Alison. “Our beef’s all grass-reared and wellhung, and we have a lot of loyal customers. But it’s all vac-packed at the moment and we feel there’s lot more potential in a butchery counter.” Fergus also has plans to increase the range of deli cutting meats – cooked hams, charcuterie and so on – as part of a general refresh of the fresh foods offer. This will also see extensions to an already strong range of 60-70 cheeses. While many farm shops are switching to more grab-and-go pre-packs, loose cheese accounts for 80% of sales here – probably reflecting a generally well-heeled and knowledgeable clientele. “It’s definitely the specialities people come for,” Fergus tells me. “Your ‘Stilton with cranberries’ – cheese that supermarkets are flooded with at Christmas – doesn’t go well.” One or two varieties come direct from makers like St Andrew’s Farmhouse Cheese in Fife, but prepacks come from Rowcliffe and Arran CONTINUED ON PAGE 57

The 140-cover café offers stunning views across the Perthshire countryside

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



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Continental Meat Technology

A world of glass looked after locally

Suppliers of quality spirit bottles


Telephone: +44 (0)1472 340005 Website: Email:

Continental Meat Technology 31 Salford Road, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8HT T: 01908 584489 F: 01908 584317


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Yellowman Honeycomb ice-cream 56

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

DELI OF THE MONTH and most of the specialist lines from The Cress Co. Gloagburn has used Cress since the distributor first arrived on the scene. Alison tells me: “They’re one of our biggest suppliers. I remember the first time [owner] Joe Wall came to see us with a bag of samples, and we’ve worked with him as he’s grown.” The shop delivers 58% of sales at Gloagburn, but according to Alison it’s the café – and its kitchen – that are crucial to the business. “If the shop side takes a dip you can pick it up again, but you can’t afford to let that happen with the coffee shop. So making staff aware of the quality of meals and the quality of service we want is a constant task.” Many farm shops get good returns from producing part of their café food in-house but Gloagburn takes this to its extreme, with virtually nothing bought in pre-prepared. Up to nine staff work in the kitchen, which takes some managing but does deliver a lot of higher-margin foods for both café and shop. “We really don’t cut corners,” says Alison. “We do everything the hard way.” This extra effort shows in the café menus,

which set a high bar for competitors without being over-expensive. Regular mains include a baked cheese soufflé (£9.50) with Gloagburn free-range eggs and Wookey Hole caveaged cheddar, and hot-smoked salmon on a potato pancake with cucumber & dill yoghurt. Gloagburn’s full breakfast (£9.45) includes local sausage, Ayrshire bacon, Stornoway black pudding and, again, the farm’s own eggs. Even its porridge, served with cream, is made with homegrown oats. Also different to many farm shops is the standard of Gloagburn’s non-food gift offer, which ranges from women’s clothing and accessories to books, toys, ceramics and greetings cards. More on par with a high-end garden centre, perhaps, it’s a notch up in both merchandising and price from most similar outlets. “Gifts can be quite twee and a bit naff if they’re not displayed well,” Fergus says. “We’re trying to focus on something that’s quality but also different. And the stuff we sell is not cheap. We do go for the higher end.” He adds: “Perthshire is fairly affluent and a lot of the time price doesn’t come into it.” Given the eye-appeal of its gift displays, it

comes as no surprise to hear that Alison, Ian and their son have visited Ireland’s Avoca food and lifestyle stores on several occasions. Gloagburn’s gift section has the same cut-above products and the same studiedly loose merchandising style. Fergus describes the shop’s broad positioning as “very much a food destination, championing Scottish produce and then the best of the rest – provided it’s not easily available elsewhere”. “It’s got to be different to the supermarkets which is why we also focus on what we produce ourselves.” While he’s not particularly chummy with any of his competitors, he wants to see a healthy independent sector across the region, whether that means Diane Brown’s Provender Brown deli in the centre of Perth or the county’s other farm shops. “Provender Brown is a competitor, but we have customers who shop in both and we probably complement each other.” He adds: “It’s important that farm shops and delis provide a number of locations where people can pick up similar products, because a lot of us have the same goals of championing local produce.”

Gifts can be quite twee and a bit naff if they’re not displayed well. We’re trying to focus on something that’s quality, but also different. We go for the higher end.

Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



View from HQ There didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be too much austerity in the aisles of Taste of London

By John Farrand Managing Director

I'M YET TO DIGEST all the salient points of the Budget in relation to the Guild and the wider fine food trade. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all too recent at the time of writing and the analytical side of my brain has turned to curd after being World Cheesed. What I will say is there didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be too much austerity in the aisles of Taste of London: Festive Edition in mid-November. That was home for the World

Cheese Awards 2017, and our event was part of a wider festival that celebrated restaurants, cool cooking and getting really quite pissed. At nearly ÂŁ20 a ticket just to get in, 30,000 people voted with their food wallets, spending money on craft beer trails, on DJ BBQ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a person, not a piece of kit, dishing up reckless but wonderfully cooked food with banging tunes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and on tours and tastings in our World Cheese cave. And shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that spend be encouraged? At the early stages of the four-day extravaganza I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t convinced food was the most important thing. The Piano Bar rocked, and having fun seemed to be the main concern. But people were also buying food from the market stalls, asking intelligent questions on the tours and queuing to buy mini

Prepare now for awkward Christmas trading dates WITH CHRISTMAS Eve and New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve both falling on a Sunday this year, Guild retailers are being warned to JHWWKHLURSHQLQJKRXUVĆ&#x201C;[HG in customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; minds well before 24th December. Guild steering group member and deli owner

Charlie Turnbull says publicising festive trading times from early in the month will help spread business over more days and avoid a last-minute scrummage in the shop. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On Christmas Eve we need customers to buy 100%

of what they wanted, plus 100% of what we want to sell them,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re time-pressured or the shop is too full they may only buy 70% of what they wanted and give us no chance to upsell.â&#x20AC;? Crucially, shops that routinely close on Sundays

Meet the Guild Steering Group Owner & MD, Tracklements MOST ADMIRED BRAND... Walkers Shortbread, because they still make outstanding products and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re what we should all aspire to â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly in this day and age when everyone seems to be selling out left right and centre. ...AND RETAILER? I admire anyone who can operate more than one shop in our environment, like [Bristol deli chain] Chandos. And then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve

BEST BUSINESS MOMENT It was the hand-written note from my dad when we reached ÂŁ1m turnover. I always keep it among my documents. BIGGEST BUSINESS CLANGER? Ordering many thousands of pottery mustard jars, when we were very small. They filled every shed and every storage space in


GUILTY FOOD SECRET? Chicken cup-a-soup, definitely. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comes from school. What do you have in the middle of the day when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve missed breakfast? Cup-asoup. Terrible. BURGER KING OR M&S SALAD? Pork pie, every time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my favourite travelling food. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do McDonalds or any of that. HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY? My life is definitely half full. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m an enthusiastic optimist.


WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WHO AT GUILD HQ

Guild of Fine Food Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK

Managing director: John Farrand Marketing director: Tortie Farrand Commercial director: Christabel Cairns Sales director: Sally Coley

Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065

December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

must let shoppers know if they will open on 24th and 31st December. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your opening times need to be on all your communications before Christmas, including the front page of your website, and on a slip of paper that goes in every carrier bag.â&#x20AC;? Turnbull will also be

the building. It took two years to shift them.

always been a fan of Murrayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Clevedon, the cheese shop and restaurant near Weston Super Mare. I could see myself retiring down there.


(or perhaps micro) dishes from topnotch restaurants. There was a curious mix of bearded millennials and slick, brazen city boys from north Kent and Essex, but they were all sub-35 and spending money on better food than they would have done even 10 years ago. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s encouraging. The whole event was full of colour, diversity, smiles and smoke (from that BBQ). And World Cheese added some colour for 2018 too, with the announcement that the Guildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dairy charabanc is heading to Bergen, Norway, next year. This added to the cheese fizz that was flying around the Tobacco Dock venue. I trust the young of Norway are ready to invest in us. I know the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cheese trade will be investing in Bergen.

Sales manager: Ruth Debnam Sales executives: Becky Stacey Maria Burnett Events assistant: Stephanie Rogers Operations manager: Karen Price

offering shoppers free coffees from Wednesday 20th until Christmas Eve to encourage people to spread their visits. With no deliveries on Sunday and limited drops on Saturday, Turnbull also advised shops to forewarn suppliers of likely order requirements during the holiday period.

PRIVATE PASSION? Motorbikes. I â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ve got three of them. A big, old manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s BMW GS, a 1989 XT350 Yamaha and a 1981 CX500 Honda. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take the GS touring, down to the Alps. The others are my â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;futureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; classicsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll buy a bike for a grand, and usually get it done up for me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I hate tinkering.

â&#x20AC;˘ The retailers and suppliers on the Guild Steering Group meet quarterly to help shape and improve services to members and the wider industry. Want to join them? Email for details.

Operations assistant: Claire Powell Training co-ordinator: Jilly Sitch Circulation manager: Nick Crosley Financial controller: Stephen Guppy

Accounts manager: Denise Ballance Accounts assistant: Julie Coates Chairman: Bob Farrand Director: Linda Farrand


A higher duty band will be introduced for high strength ciders, perries and still wines, which could affect craft products

The word on Westminster By Edward Woodall ACS BUDGETS are the most volatile events in the political calendar for any Chancellor, but Philip Hammond was dealt a particularly bad hand; SUHVHQWLQJGZLQGOLQJJURZWKĆ&#x201C;JXUHV and under pressure to take radical action on public spending. Despite WKLVWKH%XGJHWKDVEHHQFHUWLĆ&#x201C;HGDV â&#x20AC;&#x153;business friendlyâ&#x20AC;? by many, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth scrutinising in more detail what those business announcements mean for you. On business rates, there was a reduction of about 1% this year as the Government brought forward a change in business rates indexation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a welcome move but not the radical reform the rates system requires. 7KH&KDQFHOORUDOVRFRQĆ&#x201C;UPHG a move to more frequent threeyearly rates revaluations. This is a positive step to make rates bills more accurate, but a deeper dive into the budget documents suggest there may be requirements on business

The deli doctor Paul Thomas

Technical and regulatory advice from the Guildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new deli helpline Q: Do I need to use antibacterial soap in my deli-cafĂŠ? A: No. Safer Food Better Business recommends food outlets should use â&#x20AC;&#x153;liquid soapâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t specify that this should contain an antimicrobial agent. Even if you prefer a belt-andbraces approach to hand hygiene,

to report information on their rents and property use to Government, potentially costing you more money. The Chancellor won favour with a freeze in alcohol duties for wines, beers and spirits, but he excluded high strength ciders, perries and still wines. A new, higher, duty band will instead be introduced for these products, which could affect some craft products. Finally, there was a nod to environmental issues with news of a consultation on how the tax system and charges could tackle single-use packaging. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s see what this means for retailers and the debate that is already underway on bottle return systems. Let us know what you thought of the budget:

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

thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growing body of evidence that â&#x20AC;&#x153;antibacâ&#x20AC;? soaps are unnecessary. A paper published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2005 concluded antibacterial soap was no more effective than regular hand soap. The US Food and Drug Administration was reported to have banned these products in 2016 after manufacturers failed to demonstrate they were more effective than conventional soap. Concerns have also been UDLVHGLQVRPHVFLHQWLĆ&#x201C;FSDSHUV about whether overuse of these products poses a risk of building up antimicrobial resistance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a bit like the overuse of antibiotic drugs. So the use of ordinary liquid soap in conjunction with effective hand-washing techniques shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be considered inferior to using antibacterial soap. Dairy and food safety specalist Paul Thomas runs the Guildâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new e-helpline for retailers with technical or regulatory queries. It can be accessed through the Guild Membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Hub at






Vol.18 Issue 10 | December 2017



December 2017 | Vol.18 Issue 10

FFD December 2017