FARMERS producing lamb and beef in the Ceiriog Valley have been left ‘gobsmacked’ after their first ever awards entry has landed them a prestigious result.
The Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef Farm, in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, has been awarded the three stars from the Great Taste Awards for its Welsh Lamb Shoulder product.
More than 14,000 products from 108 countries were entered in the 2021 Great Taste Awards – and the farm’s Welsh Lamb Shoulder was named among the top two per cent of entries.
Glenda Crawshaw and her husband Mike, who run the business, were left feeling elated after learning their entry had achieved three stars – the most a product can be awarded.
“We were told we had achieved three stars for our product, putting us in the top two per cent of entries,” Glenda said.
“Products are given one, two or three stars, with three being the best. Winners of three stars are then entered into the Golden Forks Award.
“To be in the top two per cent from more than 100 countries across the world is amazing – to say we’re gobsmacked is an understatement.
“For us to have got one star would’ve been absolutely incredible, but to win three stars with our first product is really, really great – we’re chuffed.”
After being encouraged to enter their products to be judged for awards by their customers, Glenda and Mike decided to enter the Great Taste Awards.
After deciding to send in the lamb shoulder back in April, they received a call in early August from the awards’ base in London, telling them their product was among the top two per cent.
Dolwen’s lamb is one of just 10 products across Wales which achieved the coveted three-star accreditation.
Glenda said the award is so important to her, Mike and their son Llion who also works at the farm.
She said: “Our customers have been telling us for two or three years since we’ve been doing this about how good the product is.
“We have a good customer base who keep coming back and kept telling us the lamb is amazing, and so that’s what made me go on a workshop with a Welsh training company about awards.
“It’s very important to us.”
Dolwen is now able to use the black and gold Great Taste Three Star certificate on their lamb shoulder product.
Glenda admits comments from the judges were overwhelming and has thanked the farm’s customers for their continued support over the years.
“Without the customers we don’t have this business,” she said. “We have customers who keep coming back and we know some of them really, really well.
“We courier out as well and have customers as far away as London, the Cotswolds, Liverpool, Yorkshire and other places.
“But we are mainly very local – we’re an organic farm and we have lots of local customers who are so lovely and keep supporting us.
“They like that they know where the product is coming from and that it is consistently good.
“I think because we’re in charge of it from start to finish, a lot of customers like that and like that they know us on first-name terms.
“We supply West Arms Hotel in Llanarmon and their support is excellent and has never faltered.”
She added: “We have also started supplying The Townhouse in Oswestry recently which has been going fantastically well.
“It’s thanks to our customers that we ever thought of entering any awards. When I announced that we’d won three stars, some of the feedback from customers has been so lovely.”
Winning three stars means the farm’s lamb shoulder is now entered into the Golden Fork Awards, with only one winner named in each region.
The winner of the Golden Fork Awards will be announced at The Fine Food Show in Harrogate on Sunday, October 17.