Suffolk food firms Hodmedod and Lavenham Butchers over the moon after reaching finals of BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017

Hodmedod founders Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson.

Hodmedod founders Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson. - Credit: Archant

Two Suffolk food businesses are celebrating after making it through to the finals of the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017.

Gareth Doherty and Greg Strolenberg outside Lavenham Butchers shop.

Gareth Doherty and Greg Strolenberg outside Lavenham Butchers shop. - Credit: Su Anderson

Halesworth-based beans business Hodmedod is vying for its Best Food Producer title, while Lavenham Butchers is named in the Best Food Retailer category. Both face stiff competition for two other finalists, and will find out in September who has won.

Hodmedod, which champions British-grown beans, pulses and grains, was founded in 2012, and is a small but growing business, offering a wide range of British beans and peas, as well as some of the first British-grown quinoa. It has a growing range of ready-to-use canned beans and peas and roast beans and peas to create ready-to-eat snacks.

Hodmedod’s Nick Saltmarsh, who co-founded the business with Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson, said: “We are over the moon to reach the finals of the BBC Food & Farming Awards. It is a testament to the many wonderful farmers and producers we work with – and to the potential of British farming to produce an ever wider variety of foods. We’re lucky to have built relationships with many skilled and innovative farmers who are brave – or perhaps sometimes foolish – enough to share our enthusiasm to push the boundaries of farming.”

Suppliers include Home Farm Nacton which produces organic quinoa and supports trials of pulses and grains, and Peter and Andrew Fairs of Fairking in Essex who have pioneered production of British quinoa. The team has also collaborated with Professor Martin Wolfe on his experimental agro-forestry farm in Metfield on trial plots of organic lentils.

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Lavenham Butchers embarked on a high high welfare, locally farmed meat to table mission in 2014.

“Passionate about traditional butchery, they recognised that good food can be locally sourced and sustainable, and they believe the truth is in the tasting,” said the awards judges. “Low food miles means less stress for the animal and ultimately delivers a better tasting meat and customers can read information all about the farmers that supply them from the local area.”

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Greg Strolenberg who owns Lavenham and Elmswell Butchers with business partner Gareth Doherty, said: “This is the big one. We are really chuffed, really pleased.”

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