National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award for Cwmcerrig Farmshop in Carmarthenshire

The leading Welsh farmshop at Cwmcerrig, near Gorslas, Carmarthenshire, has picked up another national award.
The latest prize for Cwmcerrig Farmshop and Grill comes in the shape of a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award.
The award was for the following products stocked on the butcher's counter at Cwmcerrig - 
  • Venison Steak
  • Venison
  • Red Wine and Onion Sausage
  • Venison, Red Wine and Onion Burger
They were first time wins for all products in the National Trust awards.
The Venison sold by Cwmcerrig is reared on the nearby 800-acre Dinefwr Estate in Llandeilo, a property looked after by the National Trust.
Will Watkins, whose family have farmed in the area since the 1950s and decided to open the shop in 2008, said: “We sell the Venison when it’s in season and it’s really popular. Particularly with people who have visited the estate and seen the deer running wild.”
The shop has been selling Dinefwr Venison, sausages and burgers for the last five years.
“The sausages and burgers are made from our own recipe,” says Will.
“It was adapted from a recipe we originally tried for beef, but it works far better with the Venison. They are really popular with customers because of their richer taste – and they’re something a bit different.”
Will added: “These awards are great for our business as they really help us with the marketing of our products.”
Cwmcerrig has picked up True Taste of Wales awards in the past and also won a National Trust Produce Award back in 2012.

Other West Wales winners of National Trust awards included  - 

Arwyn Davies – Dolaucothi Estate – Dolaucothi Lamb
Carl Willett – Dinefwr Park - Honey, Fallow Venison rolled Haunch, Venison & Black Pepper Burger (first time wins for all three products)
Winner of a Fine Farm Produce Award 2015 for their Venison Rolled Haunch, Venison Black Pepper Burger and Dinefwr Honey
Once the land of Roman forts and powerful medieval lords, Dinefwr Park today is a gentler place, home to a herd of 190 wild fallow deer and a cluster of bee hives that overlook the Towy Valley.
“We achieved National Nature Reserve status in 2007,” says Carl Willett, the National Trust Retail & Catering Manager for Carmarthenshire. “The landscape here is full of veteran trees, ancient woodland pastures, interesting lichens and meadow ant colonies.”
The deer have grazed here since the 16th century and today’s creatures can be traced back to their original lineage. “They still roam free in the deer park,” Carl says. “We’ve got such a happy herd here. Their natural diet is rich and varied and in the winter we leave out high-quality beet and vitamin blocks, so they have all the nutrition they need.”
Carl’s team only started selling venison commercially last year. “We ran out almost immediately,” he says. “That was a good indication of how much people enjoyed it. This year we’ve doubled our retail stock and manage it carefully. It’s generating a vital extra income for Dinefwr.”
The estate’s beekeeper, Stuart Horsley, produces honey for a number of places in Carmarthenshire looked after by the National Trust. The bees collect nectar from lime trees and flower meadows across the Dinefwr Park’s 800 acres.
“To be in a setting like this, going through the hives is a pleasure,” he says. “We treat the bees with respect and their honey too. We cold extract it and never take the honey above the temperature of the hives while jarring it.”
“This award celebrates the many years of local food production at Dinefwr,” concludes Carl. “It will give a huge boost to the products and to the team behind the products.”
Where can I buy?
Dinefwr Estate Shop, Newton House
Llandeilo Shop
Dolacouthi Gold Mines
National Trust Billiard Tea Rooms, Dinefwr Estate.

Justin Jacobi – Jacobi Brewery – Buzz Light Beer and Gold Miner Light Ale (first time win for Buzz Light Beer)

Some 62 products were bestowed with one of the food and farming industry’s highest honours, a National Trust Fine Farm Produce Award, at a special ceremony in London.
It was the first time – and fitting for the 10th anniversary – that so many products met or exceeded the strict judging criteria of the conservation charity’s food and farming awards.
Three producers excelled to be crowned overall food and overall drinks winner and a special award, for producer of the decade, was announced, which was won by Peter and Gina Smithies of Trehill Farm, Pembrokeshire.
Seven other producers from Wales were among the winners.
The annual awards were held at Vintage Salt on Selfridges rooftop as part of its yearly ‘Meet the Makers’ campaign, celebrate the very best produce from the National Trust’s 1,500 tenant farmers and estates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Products not only have to excel in the obligatory taste test, but entrants also have to pass a checklist of environmental standards to guarantee the quality and origin of ingredients alongside high standards of production. The winners were decided by a judging panel consisting of 10 food and drink experts, including representatives from Selfridges’ food team.
This year 37 producers in total were recognised for 62 outstanding food, drink and countryside products ranging from sausages to dressed brown crab and apple juice to beetroot.
The winners of the special producer of the decade award – Peter and Gina Smithies – grow potatoes across 600 acres on the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales.
The couple have been tenants at Trehill since taking over from Gina’s parents in 2001 and have entered and won an award for their crop every year since 2007.
Gina says: “This award gives our product a distinctive point of difference. The high profile National Trust brand helps drive sales by linking the charity’s core purposes with food production. The award itself gives us the confidence to present our potatoes to all customers, large or small.”
National Trust General Manager for Pembrokeshire, Jonathan Hughes, said: “I’m thrilled for Gina and Peter to have won this award. Not only have they consistently produced high-quality products, but they have farmed with biodiversity and conservation benefits in mind. Additionally, they have allowed improved public access and enjoyment on their land. So, this is a well-deserved accolade for their produce and the other benefits their efforts have brought.”
Rob Macklin, Head of Food and Farming at the National Trust, and chair of the judges said: “This is a landmark year for the awards and we are thrilled to be able to award more tenants and food producers than ever before. It really is the best way to mark the dedication and work our tenants put in to their businesses.”

For more information about the awards and to find out more about this year’s award winning products and producers, visit
The Fine Farm Produce Awards were first established in 2006.

About the National Trust
The National Trust was founded in 1895 to care for places of historic interest or natural beauty. In Wales it cares for over 45,000 hectares of countryside, 157 miles of coastline as well as some of the finest castles and gardens. The Trust is the largest conservation organisation in Europe, supported by 4 million members, more than 120,000 of whom live in Wales.
As a charity it relies on membership subscriptions, gifts and other voluntary support to meet its £148 million annual conservation and maintenance costs. The Trust’s properties have unique legal protection “inalienability” – they cannot ever be sold or mortgaged without permission of Parliament.


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