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The Garsides are a farming family in Slaithwaite. The farm has been run by 3 generations of the family for over 100 years, and they were looking for ways to ensure that the farm would stay with the family for the next 100, especially as the younger generation are now approaching working age and looking for ways to be involved in the family business.
The farm breeds longhorn cattle which produce meat that is well-known for its flavour and tenderness, and this is primarily sold wholesale to butchers.
Over recent years the Garsides have also created a burger recipe using their own meat which was awarded a Bronze medal at the EBLEX awards. When they produced and sold the burgers the response was phenomenal; they sold over 2000 burgers in the 3 day Tour de Yorkshire weekend. They went on to sell the burgers locally at country shows, and again sold out every time, with requests to be able to buy the meat and burgers all year round from the public.
They realised that their product had promise and started looking at how and where they could develop it. They decided to invest in the local area by opening an Artisan burger bar and knew that Slaithwaite had a growing food tourism industry, so decided to create a new and vibrant business in the village.
They applied for LEADER funding to provide up to 40% of the eligible costs, working hard to gather the evidence needed to justify this investment from the programme. This helped them to hone their business planning; really thinking about potential turnover and what jobs this could create for the area as well as how they could market the burgers.
In September 2016 their application was approved and they were awarded 40% of their project costs, contributing a further 60% themselves. Work started on the building in November 2016, with the business planning to open in the spring of 2017. The burger bar will create 4 new jobs; 2 part-time chefs and 2 apprentices. In addition to these ‘hard’ outcomes the burger bar will represent a new opportunity for the family; providing a retail outlet for their high quality meat and creating diversification which will improve sustainability for the next generation, whilst also adding to the tourism offer of the local area.
CRIB FARM DAIRY
Old Crib Farm is a traditional Dairy Farm in Calderdale which has been providing milk for over 80 years, and is now run by brothers Frank and John Hitchen. The milk is processed and packaged on-site before being delivered to the public by independent rounds-men, as well as to schools, care homes and local businesses. By retailing directly in this way the farm has been able to remain profitable and sustainable in today’s difficult trading environment. This has also allowed them to buy milk at a fair price from other local dairy farmers, ensuring their sustainability too. Building further on this point of difference they got involved with the ‘180 day Pasture Promise’ which is about being a free-range dairy and raising awareness that not all milk is the same.
However, the milking parlour had been installed around 20 years ago and was now out of date as well as working to full capacity. They realised that by investing in more innovative products they would be able to increase production and extend the shelf-life of the milk; something that customers were asking for. They also wanted to produce their own butter, which would then be unique to the Calder Valley.
They applied to the LEADER programme for a grant to allow them to relocate the dairy into a new building and for a new cleaning and bottling system to increase production as well as the equipment needed to produce butter in-house.
They provided a very strong case, going to great lengths to demonstrate the demand for their products, including surveying their customers, and in October 2016 they were awarded a grant towards the cost of the project. Work will start in early December and the new milking parlour will be operational in early 2017, helping to deliver locally produced milk to local people for the next 80 years!