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Messrs Parkinson have been awarded the inaugural Marks & Spencer / Dawn Meats Swaledale Producer of the Year award 2016 at the Swaledale Lamb producer meeting in Malham in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Parkinson family farm at Hareden, is in the heart of the Trough of Bowland, in Lancashire. Most of the farm land is moorland, rising to 1800 feet above sea level.  There is only a small percentage of meadowland, the remainder is hill pasture. The 1,030 hectare farm, is tenanted from United Utilities, and has approximately 1,000 Swaledale breeding ewes and a beef suckler herd.

Dawn Meats has worked with the Swaledale Lamb Society for a number of years developing and supplying bespoke Marks & Spencer Swaledale Lamb for their Speciality Lamb range. The period of supply is between January and early May each season and the sixth season has just finished.

Anna Playfair- Hannay, M&S Agricultural Manager commented: “I’m delighted to be able to present this award to Messrs Parkinson. The continued support and collaboration we have with the Swaledale Lamb group means we can continue to offer our customers something very special and unique to Marks & Spencer.”

Mr. Isla Roebuck, Operations Director Dawn Meats (UK) commented: “We have now had six seasons of Swaledale Lamb in the Marks & Spencer Speciality lamb range which has been very successful with our customers. In order to recognise the efforts of the Swaledale Lamb producers involved in this supply chain we have presented a cup to the producer that has had the best hit rate for weight and grade over the period of supply from January to early May this year. Congratulations to Messrs Parkinson on winning the cup this year and we look forward to next season which will be our seventh.”

David Ward of Bridgetown Farm in Iddesleigh, Devon, was awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award in England and Wales at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards, at the Royal Welsh Show, in Builth Wells, Wales.

Bridgetown Farm is a supplier to Dawn Meats’ West Devon facility. David runs a family farm in Devon, farming both beef and lamb, where he manages a herd of 140 suckler cattle and 140 breeding ewes. David has dedicated 40 years of his life to working with the ‘Farms for City Children’ charity, which offers urban children from the age 9 – 11, the unique opportunity to spend a week living and working on a farm in the heart of the countryside, to gain an understanding of rural life, food production and animal welfare. The children come to David’s farm from 31 schools across London, Portsmouth, Barnstaple and Plymouth.
Every morning David picks up the school children and their teachers, from Nethercott House, the Farms for City Children residence, in a specially converted tractor and trailer and they spend the day working on the farm interacting with the farm animals, working in the outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. At any time there are between 36-40 children and teachers working on the farm under David’s guidance.

M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term. 

David Ward, Owner of Bridgetown Farm said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards. The charity is very close to my heart, and over the past 40 years it has been extremely rewarding to see children spending a week on our farm getting a real understanding of where their food comes from, sustainable farming and rural life.  These children leave our farm with important information that they can pass on to future generations.”

Isla Roebuck, Operations Director, Dawn Meats (UK), said: “We are very proud of Bridgetown Farm’s win at today’s M&S Farming for the Future Awards and of David’s commitment to educating children about farming, the countryside and food production. At Dawn, we are fully committed to ensuring all of our products have traceability from farm gate to plate, and believe that knowing where your food comes from is of the highest importance. We congratulate David for equipping the hundreds of children who come through his farm every year with this knowledge, teaching them the importance of food production and broadening their horizons by becoming familiar with rural life.”

George Coles of Red Oak Farm in Westbury, Northamptonshire was the runner up in the Outstanding Producer Award for Innovation at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards. The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells, Wales.

The M&S Farming for the Future Awards recognise farmers who show the utmost dedication to farming sustainability. The Outstanding Producer Award rewards farmers who show dedication to the 4 E’s – Efficiency, Ethics, Education, and Environment.

Red Oak Farm is a supplier to Dawn Meats’ Cardington facility in Bedfordshire. The farm works a combination of grassland and arable crop production, and a 120 strong beef herd.  Coles plans to expand the herd to 200 breeding cattle, and is developing a pedigree Red Aberdeen Angus herd using imported embryos from Argentina.

Coles has embraced new technology as a means of improving the health, welfare and productivity of his cattle, such as a thermal imaging camera for early identification of hip and foot problems in cattle, allowing for targeted treatment and lower antibiotic reliance. He has also employed use of the Moocall alert system which provides him with advance notification if a cow is calving. This system uses a sensor attached to the cow’s tail to alert the farmer by text message when a cow is about to calve, ensuring that he can be present and of assistance if required.

Coles is committed to constantly improving his own knowledge of sustainable beef production and is an active member of three beef discussion groups. He is a member of the AHDB Better Returns Programme, and has hosted several events for AHDB Beef & Lamb at Red Oak Farm. He has also pioneered the use of a new cordless vacuum pump for milking, which allows farmers to milk cows quickly without risk of being kicked, and hopes to offer this product for sale in the UK market shortly.

Commenting on the award, Mr. George Coles, Red Oak Farms: “It is an honour to be runner up in the Outstanding Producer award category on behalf of Red Oak Farms and Dawn Meats. It is extremely rewarding to see the progress that can be made in cattle farming by embracing new technology and investing in our most valuable assets, our livestock. I have always believed in the need to innovate to ensure the farm is as productive and as successful as possible, and I am very pleased to see our efforts recognised today.”

Commenting Mr. Isla Roebuck, Operations Director Dawn Meats (UK): “George Coles is worthy of the recognition he has received in this award, and exemplifies exactly what we look for in our beef supply chain. Sustainability is essential to the future of agriculture, and we are very fortunate to work with suppliers like Red Oak Farms whose principles and commitment to innovation and sustainability are in line with our own”

Great Taste Awards and Top 50 Foods 2016

Thursday, 28 July 2016 12:37

The world’s most coveted blind tasted awards, The Great Taste, has released the stars of 2016 and Dawn Meats is amongst the producers celebrating having been awarded gold stars for 5 products, including a 3-star for our Ridings Reserve Marbled Standing Rib, which has also been listed in the Top 50 Foods of 2016. The Guild of Fine Food underpins the British speciality food sector, with the recognised Great Taste Awards for produce that surpasses excellence in quality, taste and innovation. To receive a 3-star rating, every judge at each judging session, had to unanimously agree that the product had achieved absolute perfection by delivering exceptional quality and taste. Dawn Meats are proud to carry the Great Taste logo as it is a badge of honour but more importantly a signpost to our wonderful tasting products.

Products to receive gold star status this year include:
3-star Ridings Reserve Marbled Standing Rib - also listed in the Top 50 Foods
2-star West Country Choice PGI 21 Day Matured T-Bone Steak
2-star West Country Choice 28 Day Matured Picanha
2-star Ridings Reserve Cap on French Trimmed Rack of Lamb
1-star Caledonia Crown Scotch PGI Porterhouse Steak, Matured on the Bone 21 Days.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with branding and packaging removed prior to tasting. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.

This year saw the Great Taste judging road-shows take place in Tipperary, Belfast and at the Guild’s Headquarters in Gillingham, Dorset. Judged over an intense 49 days from March through to early July, by over 400 of the nation’s most discerning palates belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restauranteurs, producers and a host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely recognised as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality fine food and drink. Of the 10,000 products that were entered this year, only 141 products achieved the highest and most coveted rating, three stars – including our very own ‘Ridings Reserve Marbled Standing Rib’. There were 878 products that received 2-stars and 2,520 were awarded 1-star, meaning that only 35% of entries were accredited.

Commentary from the judges on our 3-star accredited ‘Ridings Reserve Marbled Standing Rib’ included: “This looks fabulous, has a wonderful aroma, and cuts beautifully both with and against the grain. It tastes as good as it looks, full flavoured, with a delicious nutty outside, rich tasty fat and a glorious tasting meaty flavour that lingers”. “A soft and rich melting texture, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this well flavoured rib is the buttery texture”.

Dawn Meats were delighted to receive a double accolade at this year’s SuperMeat & Fish Awards which took place on July 14th in the Hilton Park Lane, London.

With over 500 industry professionals in attendance each year, these awards have grown to become one of the most prestigious events in the industry calendar. Rewarding excellence in retail success and product innovation in the manufacturing of meat, poultry and fish products, these awards acknowledge those that push the boundaries and drive the industry forward to greater heights.

Dawn Meats were delighted to accept the awards for ‘Best Beef Product’ for their product as supplied to Asda, Butchers Selection Pastrami Beef with Mustard Pickle Sauce and Emmental Cheese Sauce and ‘Best Ready Meal Product’ also supplied to Asda, Extra Special Duck Á L’Orange.

Kristian Gabrielsen, Asda Account Manager, Dawn Meats, said “We are honoured and delighted to have won awards for both Best Beef and Best Ready Meal tonight. This is a fantastic achievement and is testament to our dedicated team to be recognised for their hard work, passion and commitment that they continually place on creating innovative award winning products that continually exceed the expectation of our customers”.

Pictured with the awards (l-r): Lisa Gough, Gilbert Foster, Kristian Gabrielsen, David Shapland, Natalie Williams, Rebecca Bassett, Kirsty Hughes and Ryan Lewis, of Dawn Meats.

Dawn Meats celebrated a significant milestone with McDonald’s Ireland today following a visit by McDonald’s Director of Development and Supply Chain Nigel McGuire, to the production site at Carroll’s Cross in Waterford, which was opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in June 2012.

The plant now produces more than 400m beef burgers per year for McDonald’s with product destined for markets in Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe. More than 50 Dawn Meats staff were congratulated on reaching this important milestone and for their on-going commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement.

Commenting on this achievement Nigel McGuire said:

“McDonald’s is a committed supporter of the Irish agri-business sector and we’re proud of the strength of our relationship with Dawn Meats, which has led to one in every five burgers sold in McDonald’s restaurants across Europe being of Irish origin.  McDonald’s adds nothing but salt and pepper to its burgers and the team at Dawn Meats have consistently helped us to deliver great tasting products to our customers.”

All of the burgers produced for McDonald’s are made with whole cuts of 100% Irish beef and sourced through the Dawn Meats network of accredited farms across Ireland, guaranteeing a closed loop supply of quality assured beef. McDonald’s is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, purchasing approximately 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually.

Dawn Meats Group Commercial Director Richard Clinton said:
“We are delighted with the progress achieved with McDonald’s to date and we are on target to achieve our ambition to produce one beef burger per year for every person in the EU. Active collaboration with McDonald’s across a number of disciplines has resulted in the gains made to date and we look forward to further progress in the years ahead as the McDonald’s Global business grows.”

As verified members of Origin Green, Dawn Meats process 100% Quality Assured Irish beef on behalf of McDonald’s sourced directly from Irish farmers who are members of the Bord Bia’s Beef Quality Assurance scheme. The plant now sources 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources including solar and wind powered public lighting, with all waste water treated through an integrated constructed wetland. More than 65% of all waste is recycled and all waste has been diverted from landfill.

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