Phone alerts for healthy heifers? Just one of the innovative ideas being trialled at Godminster Farm, the winner of Best Large Organic Farm at this year’s BOOM Awards.
Godminster Farm – an organic mixed farm in Bruton, Somerset – was judged the Best of Organic Farms Over 10 Hectares at the BOOM (Best of Organic Markets) Awards in London. A judging panel made up of industry professionals hailed Godminster’s achievements in organic farming, recognising their “progressive mixed organic farm producing top quality milk while caring for the environment and providing top animal welfare.”
Godminster Farm is home to pioneering trials that allow the small team to work more closely with the natural environment. Their ‘Healthy Heifer’ trial uses a wifi-enabled ear tagging system that lets the farm team to track temperature and activity on their calves. Any unusual activity triggers SMS messages to farm staff’s mobiles that allow for quicker interventions for any calf that needs it.
Pete Cheek, farm manager, says: “Trials like these are a great example of how organic farming challenges you to approach things differently. The payoff of organic farming is incredible.
“Since Godminster Farm achieved organic status in 2000 we’ve seen plenty of changes in the landscape around us: wildlife is booming, with more and varied insects, birds, mammals. An award like this is a real pat on the back but the true reward is the flourishing landscape around us.”
Richard Hollingbery, owner and Managing Director of Godminster, adds: “It is a great honour to have won the first ever award for best of organic farms – this is, of course, principally due to the dedication of the farm team and in particular the leadership and innovation displayed by Peter Cheek, who manages Godminster Farm and its herd. We will continue to challenge ourselves, ask the questions and seek to improve organic methods through our ongoing trials.”
This is yet another major accolade for Godminster who won the Nation’s Favourite Organic Product for their iconic Vintage Organic Cheddar range in 2019. Their flagship cheddar, made in the heart of Somerset and proudly bearing the Union Jack flag, has won them prestigious listings in Harrods, Selfridges, and the Houses of Parliament.
The awards, run by leading organic certifier Soil Association Certification in partnership with online retailer, Ocado, celebrated those who are working hard to produce certified organic food & drink – as well as recognizing businesses and brands innovating and delivering excellence in the organic sector more broadly.
Godminster’s win comes at a time when the organic market is booming, with figures suggesting the organic market is now worth GBP£2.79bn. It also comes weeks after DEFRA’s Organic statistics revealed that organic land conversion across the UK continued to grow by 12% in 2020, likely inspired by the increased consumer demand for organic.
Richard says: “For anyone considering conversion to an organic farming system these are very exciting times and Godminster Farm is extremely proud to have been able play it’s part in this increasingly relevant sector of agriculture.”