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Langley Chase Organic Farm Wins Best Organic Meat in
Britain at National Organic Food Awards

Produce sold at The Organic Food Festival in Bristol on 12 and 13 September

Langley Chase Organic Farm, Chippenham, Wiltshire, has won the Meat Category of National Organic Food Awards - recognising the farm as producing the best tasting organic meat in Britain.

Writer, comedian and Awards' judge, Hardeep Singh Kohli, presented the Award to farmer Mrs Jane Kallaway at the Awards Lunch in Bristol on Friday 11 September. Top chefs, food critics and writers judged the Awards, including Xanthe Clay, food writer; Henry Dimbleby owner, Leon restaurants; Sophie Grigson and Thomasina Miers, TV chefs and Matthew Fort, food writer.

The Farm – www.langleychase.co.uk - won the top prize for its organic lamb and was also highly commended for its organic mutton. Jane Kallaway exclusively rears Manx Loaghtan sheep, a striking four-horned primitive breed thought to have been introduced into the UK by the Vikings. The breed is significantly healthier than commercially reared animals and the farm prides itself in producing its lamb and mutton in a traceable and transparent manner. [Details below].

The prestigious National Organic Food Awards, run by the Soil Association, is recognised as the premier competition of its kind in the UK, attracting over 600 entries from supermarkets to small specialist producers. This is the second year the Awards have judged all organic meat in one category. Judges had the difficult task of selecting the winner from produce including fish, chicken, venison, beef and lamb, to name a few.

Commenting on Langley Chase Organic Farm’s winning lamb and mutton, the judges said: “Langley Chase Organic lamb is well butchered, tender, sweet with an essential grassland taste."

Mrs Jane Kallaway said: “To win the Meat Category of the National Organic Food Awards is thrilling! The win is even more special to know that we have been recognised as the best in the UK by some of the top chefs and food critics in the country, beating other specialist producers and supermarkets to this coveted prize, we are absolutely delighted.

“As a mother of four I know how important it is to provide good quality wholesome food. I started the flock in response to the BSE crisis and concern over what my family was eating, where it came from and how it was reared. I also wanted to help save a rare breed and produce food organically. This win means so much to me and my family. It is a testament to our focus of rearing our sheep in a slow and natural manner at grass and makes all the hard work and long hours worthwhile! Thank you to all our customers who helped us grow our small flock into the success it is today.”

Langley Chase Organic Farm’s award winning mutton was served at the Award’s Lunch. Hardeep Singh Kohli, commented: “I am a big fan of mutton and we should be eating more, especially when it is as tasty as this! You can taste the love in great food and you can certainly taste it here!”

Traceable Organic Lamb and Mutton
Langley Chase’s Manx Loaghtan sheep grow slowly and naturally on the farm’s wildflower pastures and herb rich meadows, the hay is home grown. This simple, natural, system enables the farm’s lambs to mature at their own pace and gives them their award winning taste.

The farm sells its produce to food lovers across the UK via its website – www.langleychase.co.uk. The website details all aspect of farm management and flock production, enabling people to find out exactly how their sheep are raised. Regular open days are held and the farm has an active education programme enabling school children and adults to learn more about organic farming. So far this year the Farm has been visited by BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme and BLUE PETER, with presenter Joel finding out about lambing!

Healthy Organic Meat

The Manx Loaghtan is significantly healthier than commercially reared lamb. The Scottish Agricultural Colleges found the Manx Loaghtan to be 23 per cent lower in fat and almost 10 per cent lower in cholesterol than commercial breeds. Full details at: www.langleychase.co.uk/healthy-meat.htm

Shimmering Sheep Skin Rugs and Warm Clothes

The farm produces shimmering sheepskin rugs made from the flock. Beautiful and exclusive, only a limited number are made each year. The Manx Loaghtan fleece has a unique silver tipped wool which catches and reflects light making rugs an eye catching addition to any room. The farm also makes clothes from the wool collected from the sheep every May. Deep, warm, natural and untreated, our 100 per cent pure Organic Manx Loaghtan wool, cardigans, jumpers, hats and gloves provide an ideal gift for any age! Full details at: http://www.langleychase.co.uk/farmshop.aspx

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The Importance of Rare Breeds
One breed of farm animal becomes extinct every month around the world, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. In the UK, industrialised farming has discarded those breeds that don't fit with commercial production. Between 1900 and 1973 the UK lost 26 native breeds of livestock, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The result is a farming system centred around a handful of animal breeds, crops and vegetables - with some traditional breeds, like the Manx Loaghtan, at risk. Shoppers purchasing rare breed meat help keep rare breeds alive by:

Assisting in the economic viability of farms rearing rare breed animals, thus helping these farms to keep going and the increasing the number of rare breeds animals.
Helping others taste these fantastic breeds and plants and become interested in our faming heritage

About the Manx Loaghtan Breed
The Manx Loaghtan is one of the oldest and most striking breeds of sheep in the UK. Termed 'a primitive rare breed' it is classed at as 'at risk' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Manx Loaghtan (pronounced Manx Lockton) is fine boned and late maturing, producing a meat with distinctive taste and flavour. The Manx Loaghtan is a hardy mountain sheep, with impressive horns and a dark brown fleece. Four horned rams are particularly striking. The breed has been around unchanged since the Iron Age. Traditionally the Manx was thought to have been introduced into the UK by the Vikings, but bone records from archaeological sites indicate the Manx was probably already here and probably pre-dates Viking invasions. The breed takes its name from the colour of its fleece, derived from two Manx words Lugh(mouse) and Dhoan (brown) or from Lhost dhoan(burnt brown). The lambs are born jet black acquiring the distinctive fleece by the time they are weaned. The Manx Loaghtan used to exist in high numbers on the Isle of Man and across the UK. However by the 1950s there were only a handful left. Today, as with many rare breeds, it is found in a few small flocks around the UK. Find out more here: http://www.langleychase.co.uk/the-breed.htm

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Mrs Jane Kallaway and Hardeep Singh Kohli at the presentation of the National Organic Food Awards 2009. Mrs Jane Kallaway is holding her winner’s certificate. Picture: Terry Rook.