With almost 600,000 acres of farmland and more than 1,500 tenant farmers, the Trust is one of the nation’s largest landowners, giving it a unique opportunity to work with food manufacturers and potential retail customers to help secure markets for its farmers’ produce.
But more complex prepared foods drawing upon traditional recipes used in the working kitchens in some of the Trust’s historic houses were also being explored, said a spokeswoman.
The range, which was launched late last year, has had a successful start, with its Pembrokeshire Potatoes (grown at Trehill Farm, Pembrokeshire, which is managed for the Trust by tenant farmers) now stocked at Asda, Nisa-Today's and the Co-op Group, and its Lancashire Lemon Curds and Oat Crumbles biscuits listed at Morrisons.
Its first beer, brewed under licence by the Westerham Brewery in Kent using hops from Scotney Castle (the Trust’s last remaining hop garden), is available via mail order and sold in some of the Trust’s own restaurants, tea rooms and shops, she said.
“All products are produced under licence by a range of manufacturers. Ultimately we are looking at a very broad range of products, but in the short term we are working on soups, chutney and Christmas products.”