The Best of British

Even though it has rained a lot this summer, my enthusiasm wasn’t dampened after I met some of the farmers who provide bartlett mitchell with meat, milk, cheese and vegetables.

Andy Salmon Farmer and Lin Dickens

Arnie and the nosey cows

I ‘tried’ to herd a flock of Herdwick Sheep into the corner of a field in driving rain so they could be photographed with Horsham based Farmer David Turner. Whilst I was happy to run round the field with sheep I drew the line at a face to face meeting with a one-ton Bull I nick-named Arnie. For Arnie’s photoshoot I remained firmly on this side of the gate watching farmer David chase him around the field with a twig (really).

Arnie the Bull with David Farmer

I was trying to get close up shots of some Holstein Friesian cows who all ran the other way.  I was so focussed looking down the zoom lens I didn’t realise that they had all come round behind me and I was surrounded. I think I know where the term ‘nosey cow’ comes from.

Buying British is good for the economy…

I have always been keen to buy seasonal British produce, but meeting farmers David Turner and Andy Salmon made me feel it even more keenly. I now look at every label when I shop and this has rippled out to the rest of my family. My husband says he is worried to bring any food home that doesn’t have a little Union Jack flag on the corner!

When it comes to food we’re incredibly lucky in this country as we have the capacity to produce a wide variety of great food right here. I looked it up and British farmers produce about 62% of our food supply and by backing British farming, we can become a more food secure nation.

I saw for myself that our farmers work hard developing innovative, cutting-edge technology to produce food. I saw energy converters being used to heat water to keep the milking parlour sparklingly clean and hygienic.

Farming and food sectors support families and economic growth by providing nearly 4 million jobs. Did you know that our farmers’ contribution to the economy has grown by 45% since 2014?

Again I witnessed animal health and welfare standards that demonstrate outstanding care, leadership in Europe and around the world. I have been a vegetarian for over 35 years so it takes a lot to convince me that animals are being well looked after.

… and good for the environmentCalf with tag on farm

Both Andy and David had instigated environmental improvements including using no pesticides, growing their own silage and building ponds and hedgerows so that wildlife and bees can flourish. This ensures these vital pollinators have nectar to power the food chain. And to support this bartlett mitchell have sponsored over 30 beehives with the BBKA.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Andy and David and I now have a greater appreciation of what goes in to make the delicious food we serve every day and the importance of supporting British Farmers.  And don’t forget UK grown food is travelling a lot less miles to get to your plate. Please check your shopping labels this weekend!

You can see photos and meet our suppliers at www.



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