Fine Farm Produce Awards 2015 best food product

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This year, the organic natural yoghurt from Ashclyst Farm Dairy near Exeter in Devon received one of the three key accolades in this year’s Fine Farm Produce Awards, winning best overall food product.

Martyn and Lorraine Glover have farmed at Ashclyst since 1998 but decided to go into on-farm production of dairy goods just three years ago. But despite this relatively short period of time their reputation and product range has gone from strength to strength.

As well as yoghurt, they also sell milk and cream; all of which are produced using milk from a herd of 80 Meuse Rhine Issel cows which graze on the 200-acre farm in East Devon.

This breed is well known for producing high-quality milk, and the Glovers work hard to preserve its natural goodness. Their cattle are organic and grass-fed while the milk itself is unhomogenised, so it retains more of its natural healthiness (and, yes, the cream still floats to the top!).

During the morning, the yoghurt starter is added before the Glovers set about pasteurising and bottling their milk.

After lunch, the cream and yoghurt is all potted by hand, then loaded onto delivery trucks. From here, it’s taken to a number of local independent shops, organic veg box sellers, cafés and restaurants.

But the day’s not over yet. Martyn returns to the milking barn where he will be until at least 6.30pm, preparing for another early start.

'We’re really proud to win the overall food award, especially in this 10th anniversary year,' said Martyn. 'Having the FFPA marque is a great achievement for our business, the award is recognised by our customers and the feedback we get from them is amazing.

'Winning the award is a great testament to our team; we all work together to produce our organic dairy products to a high standard of taste and appearance,' Lorraine said.