West Midlands Project invites Farmers to Add Value

Julie White and Nick Platt, directors of Growing Rural Enterprise
Julie White and Nick Platt, directors of Growing Rural Enterprise

A West Midlands based Farming and Food Enterprise Development Project is hosting a variety of one day workshops across the West Midlands region, to inspire farmers and food producers to add value to their produce.

The portfolio of funded workshops includes an introduction to retailing and marketing as well as practical courses to cover techniques such as bacon curing, sausage making, meat cutting and the creation of pates, pies and terrines. A residential visit to a Cumbrian Smokehouse will also take place in February.

The courses are being delivered by Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd.

"We are really pleased to be working on this project as we like to encourage farmers to work with existing resources, make the most of what they already have and add value to agricultural produce" states company director, Nick Platt.

"In addition to skills learned there are two days which explore selling and marketing which are crucial to success. The courses will be practical, informal and are aimed at small businesses" he adds.

The practical courses allow participants to bring their own meat or carcasses with them in order to get the most benefit from learning the techniques.

Annamarie Stone of Woodhouse Community Farm near Lichfield attended sausage making, bacon curing and two theory based workshops last year. "After completing the courses I felt I was able to go away and do all I had been shown. I was confident to go away and research sausage recipes and start marketing my full range of products" states Annamarie. For further details on the farm and the produce available see www.woodhousecommunityfarm.co.uk or call 01543 432005.

This project is funded by LandSkills West Midlands as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. LandSkills West Midlands is managed by Lantra on behalf of Advantage West Midlands. Courses start at £31.00 per day including VAT.

Courses are taking place across the region and details can be found at www.growingruralenterprise.co.uk or by calling Julie White at Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd on 07971 666474, email Julie@growingruralenterprise.co.uk. Places are limited and early booking is advised.