10 minutes with: Lord Newborough, Rhug Estate

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th December 2015
Supplying his famed turkey to some of the most prolific Michelin-starred restaurants including Alain Ducasse, The Dorchester and The Connaught, Lord Newborough established an organic environment which produces some of the most sought after meats. Lord Newborough, The Hall & cows 1 low resFrom running an air-charter company to buying a circuit-board manufacturer, Lord Newborough has tried a variety of business ventures, but it was his passion for sustainability which led him to transform the Rhug Estate from a low input/low output farm into a sustainable organic farm. He said: “It's something I've believed in for a long time but never had the opportunity to do, and it wasn't really until my father died that I started to focus on farming a viable unit organically. “I think we all have a responsibility to protect what natural resources we have and unless we all sit up and think about our future, for ourselves and our grandchildren, there won't be one. “ It was this attitude that has led to The Rhug Organic Dee Valley Turkey - acclaimed as one of the best tasting turkey’s around. "We have the turkeys on the farm here for seven months," explained Lord Newborough. "So they're very slow maturing and completely free range, outside all day long. They get fed on organic seed and also 20% of their diet is oats, which are grown on the farm, here at Rhug. "They are lovingly cared for by the person that looks after them. We go to great lengths to make sure the bird is never stressed. It's not being rounded up every week to be injected or drenched. You can go out into a field and you can see that they are completely relaxed.”turkey quote He added: "They are a breed that has self basting properties under the skin so it is a wonderful nice bird to eat.” With its traditional rich flavour and moist delicate meat, it is a public favourite, especially around the Christmas period. Lord Newborough said: “It’s the most important meal of the year for a lot of people and if they can afford the best, not only in flavour, taste and texture, but also the most healthy turkey they can buy for a family affair, I think it’s important we set out to produce the best. “We supply to various delicatessen's in London like Harrods, Planet Organic stores, Partridges, As Nature Intended, and they also go to a number of hotels, both home and abroad. Quite a lot go to Hong Kong and there is a ban on sending poultry to Dubai, or they would be going to Dubai as well." But the Rhug meats are not restricted to the culinary elites at Michellin-starred restaurants and organic stores. The produce is also accessible by the general public. He added: “We send an awful lot out via mail order. So if a person rings up, or they can order online, and it gets delivered direct to their door. It's really convenient and at the same time they order the Turkey they also order the rest of their meat requirements for the Christmas and the New Year period.” Rhug Estate & sheep low resBut you’ll need to get your orders in as soon to make it in time for your Christmas dinner, as demand is extremely high. “[Ordering] anytime up until about the 14 December is fine. Obviously we have a limited number of Turkeys so, it is done on a first come first served basis so the sooner people order the better.” The organic process has proven supreme for the Rhug Estate in the instance of quality and distribution and as Lord Newborough explained before, taking the stress out of the production cycle produces the best quality meat you can buy. He said: "That's what organic farming is all about, limiting the amount of stress on the animals and I think that's why we sell to some of the best restaurants in the world - because they know quality when they taste it.” By Renee Bailey

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th December 2015

10 minutes with: Lord Newborough, Rhug Estate