A SUCCESSFUL, multi- award-winning farmshop in the heart of County Tyrone is reaping the rewards of its commitment to local produce with a major supermarket supply deal.
Cloughbane Farm uses only locally sourced vegetables, potatoes, milk and flour in its pies, the poultry in its roast dinner meals is reared on local farms and the minced beef in its lasagne and shepherd’s pie is sourced from cattle reared on the home farm in Pomeroy.
This local provenance is proving to be a big seller with Tesco shoppers.
The 180-acre Cloughbane Farm is a fourth-generation, family-run beef and lamb farm outside Dungannon. Ten years ago, owners Sam and Lorna Robinson established an on-site Farm Shop and Butchers, from where they began selling home-cooked pies and take away meals in 2006. Through increased demand from independent retailers and the new development of a farm shop kitchen, they have gradually increased the scale of their production, all the time sticking to the tried and tested family recipes and a firm commitment to local produce.
Following months of preparation, Cloughbane started as a new supplier to Tesco in December 2012, with seasonal Turkey & Ham parcels, stuffed with their Great Taste Award-winning stuffing and a range of heat-and-serve Roast Beef, Chicken and Turkey Dinners with creamy mash, local veg, and home-made gravy. In January it introduced its Chicken & Broccoli Bake, made from chicken breast from local poultry farms and broccoli grown by farmers based in the Cooktown area.
But it is the local provenance of its lasagne and shepherd’s pie ingredients that are proving the brand’s biggest selling point now.
Lorna Robinson of Cloughbane Farm said, “We aren’t doing anything different now than we have always done. We understand the importance of the provenance and quality of food – it’s our life and our living. Even the breadcrumb we use on our savoury bakes is sourced from Irwin’s, the whole milk, butter and flour in our white sauce are locally produced and everything is made from scratch in our Farm Kitchens.
“The minced beef in our lasagne and shepherd’s pie comes directly from our own beef herd reared on the farm here in Pomeroy and as demand has grown, we’ve been able to support other neighbouring farmers too. We have complete traceability from farm to fork. We know precisely what’s in it and exactly where it came from. ”
Sandra Weir, Buying Manager, Tesco NI said, “We are delighted how the Cloughbane Farm products are going down with our customers. This supplier epitomises everything we are doing with the Tesco Taste NI campaign – showing Northern Ireland shoppers the tremendous range of high quality local ingredients we have right on our doorstep. They, like us, are committed to sourcing as much locally as possible. Northern Ireland has an amazing agri-food industy, which is delivering fantastic quality tasty foods, produced with hard work, with pride and without compromise. We are so pleased that Tesco shoppers are recognising this in Cloughbane’s products and responding so positively to it. The Cloughbane Farm range is now available in 19 major Tesco stores. The journey direct from the Robinson’s farm to our shelves is one we are very pleased to support and promote.”
For more information on the Tesco Taste NI campaign, visit www.tasteni.com or follow on www.facebook.com/tastenorthernireland