A new 30-acre smallholding in Pembrokeshire is the latest success story emerging from Pembrokeshire County Council’s County Farm scheme.
With a ‘gate to plate’ approach as their quality assurance, sheep farmers Steve & Kara Lewis are the founders of Pembrokeshire Lamb with their five children. As a family business, Pembrokeshire Lamb is not a corporate food company but rather an artisan, quality focused, sustainable farm and food business that aims to promote lamb, hogget and mutton products reared and cared for with traditional farming values in animal husbandry and welfare at the forefront of their work.
The concept of county farm estates, although already in existence, grew in popularity post-World War I. Many farms purchased with considerable assistance from the Government with a clear view to allow the young men returning from war to go into agriculture and grow food for their country whilst contributing to the local and national economies.
The model began to evolve until Councils made available different levels of holding – from starter units up to larger farms – to enable progression within the industry. Today, county farms offer an important way into farming for those who lack an inherited farm or the capital required to buy or rent from a private property owner.
Proprietor of Pembrokeshire Lamb, Steve Lewis, paid tribute to the collaborative nature of the process that has enabled him and his family to launch his business;
‘We have received invaluable business training from ReallyPro which was made available to us from Welsh Government Funding via the Farming Connect Training Framework. It really has been a team effort and now we are able to take our business forward and do what we do best.’
Steve continues: ‘We firmly believe that Pembrokeshire, being a coastal county with its unique geology provides an ideal environment for producing rich, quality forage, adding a superior flavour to our meat. Our livestock graze our rich pastureland from early spring, through the summer and autumn into winter.’
There is an increasing spring in the step of the Pembrokeshire Food story with plans for a new production-focussed Food Park building momentum together with a vision for a new Food Emporium in Haverfordwest, which will enable Pembrokeshire’s outstanding produce to be centre stage in a modern, exciting environment.