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Newly-opened rare breeds meat butchery in running for rural accolade

PUBLISHED: 10:16 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:16 08 August 2019

Oak House Farm's Red Polls  Picture: CHARLIE WOOLF

Oak House Farm's Red Polls Picture: CHARLIE WOOLF

Oak House Farm Ltd

A rare breeds farm on the edge of Ipswich is celebrating after scooping an accolade for its newly-opened butchery.

Ben and Georgina Woolf outside Oak House Farm's new on-farm butchery where they can now process their own Red Polls and Old Spots  Picture: CHARLIE WOOLFBen and Georgina Woolf outside Oak House Farm's new on-farm butchery where they can now process their own Red Polls and Old Spots Picture: CHARLIE WOOLF

Earlier this year, Oak House Farm at Sproughton - which is run by the Woolf family - launched its own on-farm shop and processing operation to sell meat products from its Red Poll and Shorthorn cattle herds and its Gloucester Old Spot and Large White pigs directly to the public.

Previously it had sold its beef and pork meat on a small scale from the farm, but Ben and Georgina Woolf had a long-held ambition to upscale.

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Now it's in the running in the eastern regional heats of the Rural Business Awards, sponsored by Amazon, after being shortlisted in the Rural Diversification category, and hopes to secure a place in the national finals.

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The state-of-the-art butchery has enabled the Woolfs to provide a far greater range of products to its growing customer base. The traditional mixed farm makes its own animal feed from crops mainly grown on site, and it aims to provide "the highest quality sustainable and traceable products to local customers at affordable prices".

The business has been in the family since 1984 when Stephen and Madeline Woolf - who previously ran ladies' fashion retailer Stuarts of Ipswich - decided to venture into farming.

The Rural Business Awards 2019/20, now in its fifth year, celebrates businesses across the UK's rural economy, which employ more than 3.4m people in more than 750K businesses in England alone.

Georgina, who manages the butchery operation, said: "It is an honour to be shortlisted for this award so soon after opening the new butchery, and a vindication of the hard work and effort that all our staff put into producing top quality products. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can make it to the national finals."

Awards director and co-founder Anna Price, said they had seen a record number of entries this year as she congratulated Oak House Farm on being shortlisted and wished it luck ahead of the regional finals.

"It's encouraging to see so many rural businesses express a desire to celebrate their successes on a regional and national scale," she said. "We are passionate about creating a nurturing environment where rural businesses can develop, and this starts by showcasing the great work they do."

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