Could you start by telling us how you adapted to the challenges of lockdown?
Lockdown could have spelled disaster for our small farm in Rogate, as we were no longer able to supply pubs, restaurants, schools, universities and other businesses with our free-range, ethically reared meat. To keep the business running, we started a socially distanced Farm Gate Market at our farm in Rogate, West Sussex on Fridays and Saturdays.
Are there any new initiatives you’ve introduced this year that you’re particularly proud of?
We are really enjoying working alongside Wholesome Wolf, who sell the most fantastic biltong, and are proud of our local British and South African community who have been supporting all of our Out of Africa events and Farm Gate Markets. It’s been great to share our passion for traditional British butchery, and also introduce people to some South African treats too.
Tell us a bit about your farm gate market – what makes it a special event to attend?
Every week, we host a lively marketplace and support a host of local producers and their products at Rother Valley Farm. The market is held in a rustic open-air barn and farm court yard. Most of the market is covered, so you can grab a seat and enjoy a coffee with friends come rain or shine.
Have you been collaborating with any other local food and drink businesses?
We are proud to be working with some incredible local food and drink businesses including Wholesome Wolf (Biltong) from Petersfield; Caroline’s Dairy (ice cream) from Sidlesham; God Save The Bean Coffee Company (artisan coffee) from Petersfield; Kayleigh’s Koeks (South African baked treats) from Midhurst; High Weald Dairy (milk and cheese) from Haywards Heath; The Local Veg Box People from Greatham; Poppy's Poultry (eggs) from Cowdray Park; and more.
How have your customers been supporting you during this time?
We are incredibly lucky to have such loyal customers that have continued to support us both during and after lockdown! Instead of shopping from the big chain supermarkets, our lovely locals now buy their weekly groceries at our Farm Gate Market, whilst also popping in for a coffee and a chat.
Why do you think is it so important that people ‘Stay Loyal To Local’?
Not only are you supporting a local businesses that is owned and operated by your neighbours, but we also care about and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future. Supporting local businesses is also good for the environment because we often have a much smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. Our products don’t travel long distances like many of the imported goods you buy from large supermarkets, and here at Rother Valley our cattle are grazed on organic, permanent pasture and are not fed maize or soy which also add to global warming.
Stay Loyal to Local campaign