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Milly Fyfe

Milly Fyfe


Well known throughout the food and farming industry, former chairman of the national federation of young farmers clubs, Milly helps supports her family farming business rearing pigs, cattle, sheep as well as a mixture of crops. Milly enjoys communicating how food is produced from field to fork.

 

"I'm thrilled to be involved with LBF for the 5th year running and champion the campaign as the farming ambassador for 2017.

As a farmer producing a variety of meat and vegetables and being involved with numerous industry and food related iniatives, I am passionate about communicating the importance of buying local with provenance.

I hope to inspire others to get involved with LBF through social media, blogging, recipe ideas and mobilising community events."

Milly Fyfe Q & A 


What does the future for British food look like?

Aside from politics, there is a great future for British Food. Customers are more interested to learn where and how food is produced and finally we are moving away from the dreaded microwave meal TV dinner. Nutrition and diet is back on the agenda and the realisation that producing a meal from scratch can be healthy, convenient and affordable. In some areas, there is a long way to go, however thanks to celebrity chefs and food producers, the messages are getting out there and customers buying habits are changing. 

What farmers can do to promote British Food?

We can all do our bit. Social media is such a good platform to post pictures and messages about our day to day life on the farm telling the story about how we produce food. We might not think it is interesting, but to those who do, it can be very enlightening. And everyone loves pictures of new-born animals or colourful crops.

From my own perspective, I enjoy writing for a local lifestyle magazine about my experiences on the farm and offer a first-hand account of the trial and tribulations of what life is really like. I also try and talk about seasonality and incorporate a recipe idea to provide inspiration about meal ideas and how achievable it can be despite leading a busy lifestyle.

Finally, initiatives such as Open Farm Sunday can offer a window of opportunity to a day on a real working farm. I know it’s not for everyone as it can be so time consuming to get the farm ready for the public but it can really open doors to new customers and have an educational purpose. We opt to help a local open farm and then organise smaller community groups to visit our farm which we find more manageable.

What are the challenges and opportunities for British Food?  

A year has passed since the UK voted to leave the European union and we still have little idea of how it will really impact on food production. The challenges will come with the redistribution of subsidy payments and also how migrant workers will have access to our labour market. The opportunities will include the chance to really have our own identity and build a strong reputation and brand surrounding the highest welfare standards of food production and quality in the world.

My favourite British food?

There is nothing tastier than growing your own sweetcorn. Come September time there is something very satisfying about heading to the bottom of the garden, picking some cobs and then boiling them up for tea. You will not taste anything sweeter. Sadly, I have never found any shop or producer that can harness that sweet fresh taste as sadly sweetcorn loses it flavour so quickly once picked.

Also on my shortlist is British beef and lamb, Gloucester Old Spot pork sausages and for pudding I always enjoy Bakewell tart with some sorbet or ice-cream.

New producers to watch?   

I really enjoying watching newcomers who have worked so hard, often against the odds to get established, and achieve what they set out to do. It’s great to walk around the local shows and food fairs and meet local producers who are passionate about what they are doing and can tell you the story behind the brand / product. I’ve watched and admired the likes of Pipers Crisps and Warner Edwards Gin come from humble beginnings and now are a household name.

What you think of the Co-op’s 100% British pledge?

Thank goodness for the Coop! Isn’t it great that a British retailer has pledged to supply all its stores with fresh and processed British produce from meat to ready-made sandwiches. The farming community all knew it could be done and we are so grateful that the Coop have worked so hard to make it happen. Let’s hope others follow

What you think about labelling opportunities…Pasture promise, free range, etc.

I still believe there are a lot of misconceptions around labelling and customers get confused. I believe it is important to highlight the welfare standard labels and of course the country of origin as this can really help with selling a product. There are some really clever marketing techniques, often backed up by science / nutrition to encourage people to eat more of something for example the pasture promise label or free range milk. However, I don’t like some techniques which play on customers naivety and charge more, for example charging more for blue eggs than brown.

In my honest opinion, If you want to know more about your food, or how to prepare it, the best place to head is to the independent shops, butchers, bakeries, greengrocers who can tell you exactly where things have come from, how they were produced and the best way to cook / eat / serve the produce. Or if you want to buy with confidence and convenience, head to the Coop!