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Somerset



World leaders get taste of Somerset

The most powerful leaders in the world have enjoyed a taste of Somerset’s top-quality produce.

Leaders of the G20, the world’s richest nations, were served a sumptuous Downing Street dinner by TV chef Jamie Oliver, including organic cream from Ivy House Farm, near Frome, used to make butter.

Ivy House farmers, Geoff and Kim Bowles, say, “It is nice to know that taste and quality – along with a bit of downright honesty from a family business – is still sought after.”

The Beckington dairy is a perfect example of a successful business that has diversified into quality produce – and thrived, says Somerset 3D, which promotes the county’s food and drink industry as a key sector for entrepreneurs thinking of relocating.

Somerset 3D spokesman and Mendip District Council Business Development Officer, Allison Herbert, says, “We are delighted to see Ivy House Farm produce receiving the recognition it deserves, due to the care and attention of its organic production methods and the delicious taste of its milk and cream.

“Ivy House Farm has remained true to its local roots, participating in local markets, yet representing the best of Somerset on an international platform.”

The family-run farm supplied five litres of double cream to the G20, who were in London for vital economic talks. It was distributed by Neal’s Yard Dairy.

“It is nice that somebody so small, that can produce a quality product, can get to such a high place,” says Mr Bowles. “It is very fresh. The double cream is in London twelve hours after leaving the cow.”

Just six years ago, Ivy House Farm was struggling, with just Mr Bowles and a government-funded trainee. The family business decided to turn to sustainable farming and specialise in top-quality organic Jersey milk products – which have been taken up by the London market, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnums – and has never looked back.

Mr Bowles says he couldn’t find a better place to farm than in Somerset. “We enjoy good services and our products can be in London within a couple of hours. Somerset is recognised for the quality of its food.

Somerset boasts a dedicated network of 8,500 farmers and food producers – the most in the UK. The sector as a whole supports around 15,000 jobs.