Andrew Hodgson of Cheverton Farm, an Isle of Wight Farm located between Newport and Shorwell, is 1 of 3 finalists for this year’s Farmers Weekly’s ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’ award.
Cheverton Farm is a family run business led by Andrew and Claudia Hodgson, who own 730-acres of beef, sheep and arable farmland, a meat wholesale and butchery facility alongside self-catering cottages and contract farming.
The Hodgsons are building a high-quality farm-to-fork beef supply chain that aims to maximise the value of beef finished on their Isle of Wight holding.
Andrew has been farming on the Island for a total of 40 years with 8 holdings the business now operates across. They currently employ 15 full-time staff members, including their son, Jack.
The team of farmers at Cheverton turned the negative of losing a key supermarket supply contract into a positive by starting up their own supply chain and establishing the Isle of Wight Meat Co.
Isle of Wight Meat Co. has now been operating their on-farm butchery and dry-aging meat cold store for a year and employs 6 full-time staff members to manage the butchery and sales.
The judges liked the good use of dry outdoor areas for fattening management groups, building relationships with other island farmers to mutual benefit through the purchase of crops and cattle and conservation management of steep scrub land using cattle at low stocking rates.
The judges have said:
“The Hodgsons have turned the challenge of being isolated from the mainland into a positive with the creation of a quality brand that should provide a good outlet for beef finishers from across the island.”
The other 2 farms that will be joining the Cheverton Farm in the final will be Mobberley Angus in Cheshire and Enford Farm in Wiltshire.
More can be read on the Farmers Weekly website at fwi.co.uk/events/awards/farmers-weekly-awards-beef-farmer-finalists-2020.