A richly deserved accolade, the restored farmstead owes its success to the partnerships that it has created with independent farmers in order to source the best cheese. Many of these farmers have less than 70 cows – and the smallest producer has seven goats.
No wonder the venture, launched by Sheffield Hallam University graduate Andy Swinscoe, and his wife Kathy, nearly a decade ago, now has a global reputation – their entire ethos is “to sell only the best cheese available” from Britain and Europe, and, in turn, “champion and support the few remaining independent farmhouse cheese-makers”.
They have certainly done so and the Swinscoes find themselves at the forefront of Yorkshire’s food industry and emblematic of a new generation of rural entrepreneurs who believe that there is a great market, both here and overseas, for this county’s world-class produce.
As such, the hope is that others are inspired to follow their example – even the Prince of Wales could not resist the succulence of the cheeses when he visited the Courtyard Dairy in 2017 – and that Ministers respect and recognise the interests of all UK farmers and food producers as they finalise their post-Brexit trade deals.
The fact they’ve not done so yet, and are still to put in place arrangements for deals to be scrutinised from the perspective of farming, is becoming ominous.
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