Swillington’s organic fruit and veg has been shortlisted for a Taste Award!


This year our organic produce has been shortlisted again at the Taste Awards, hosted by Deliciouslyorkshire and the Yorkshire Post.

The Taste Awards are an annual celebration of local Yorkshire produce, with 22 different award categories recognising the very best food and drink from across the county.

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On the 1st December the city will come together to celebrate Leeds’ best food and drink at the first ever Leeds Food & Drink Awards. It’s even more exciting for us as our very own Ed Cartwright has been shortlisted for the Food Hero award.

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Swillbritish farming awards logoington Organic Farm in Yorkshire have been recognised as one of the top small agricultural businesses in Britain. The family run farm have been shortlisted for ‘Farming Partnership of the Year’  in the British Farming Awards.

The British Farming awards celebrate the creative thinking, innovation and dedication of Britain’s farmers  in ever changing and challenging conditions and climates. The awards are about recognising farmers who are taking positive steps to achieving a bigger and better business thanks to the innovations they have made.

Innovative Agriculture

Jo Cartwright has been running Swillington Organic Farm, just outside Leeds, since 1981 and, by her own admission, had been struggling to make the farm a success ever since. The farm has been fully organic for 14 years and Jo opened one of the first organic farm shops in Yorkshire, later adding an on-farm butchery and slaughter unit to improve traceability.


Jo & Ed celebrated a double deliciouslyorkshire award win with Radio 2’s Nigel Barden last year.

She produces organic Aberdeen Angus and Hereford beef, grassfed organic lamb and free-range organic poultry along with rare breed free-range pigs.

However, she says her son Ed was always the one with a head for business. “I started selling on farmers markets helped by Ed (then 12), right from the start he had a keen business sense and had good ideas on marketing.”

Following his degree and involvement in local food with deliciouslyorkshire and the Leeds University Food Society Ed started a meat box scheme, initially doing everything including packing boxes and deliveries – the team now includes a part-time delivery driver and packer leaving Ed to concentrate on developing the business.

Shared values 

Other initiatives include a community-supported agriculture scheme (the first to be started in Yorkshire) and Kids club, a chicken co-op, an egg club and educational visits with the focus on food production.

Jo says, she and Ed each have their own areas of expertise: “Mine is a lifetime of working with stock and growing. I am also passionate about conservation and farming and making them work together. Ed’s is spending time and effort to communicate what we do to our customers, we share our story on social media and put on Meat Ups to invite our customers to experience the story behind their food.

I do the farming and Ed does ‘the clean stuff’ which suits us both as I’m not a natural saleswoman!”

Ed is optimistic about the future of the business and sees being shortlisted for the national award as a great achievement. “We’ve won awards for the quality of the food we produce, but this is all about the business and how working together we’re growing organically and helping provide the connection between field and fork that the community want and supermarkets can never offer.


Meatboxes, butchered on the farm and delivered across the UK, have been key to the farm’s growth

Meat 350“This is a great time to be involved in local food, our business grew throughout the recession and month on month we are consecutively getting more and more subscribers for our meat boxes. This demand for our meat boxes is allowing us to continually invest and grow the business in line with the values that founded it.”Meat 350

The farm’s recent agreement to graze the land on a neighbouring RSPB nature reserve means they can grow production to meet demand whilst still keeping the exacting standards and commitment to wildlife, animal welfare and quality that set them apart.

Meat 350However, a major hurdle for the business is that it is on the initial route for phase two of HS2 which would destroy the farm. Ed has spent a lot of time liaising with councillors, MPs and others but ultimately it is something out of their control. Despite this, they are optimistic and Jo says she can see more of a future now, whereas before Ed’s involvement in the business she seemed to be working non-stop going nowhere.

The Partnership of the Year category was judged by industry leaders including Vickie Robinson, Deputy Editor of the Farmers Guardian, Stuart Thomson of English Food and Farming Partnerships and William Neville, Partner in Burges Salmon Law. The judges were looking for a partnership or team which is passionate about building a successful farm business.

The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in October. You can find out more about the awards at www.britishfarmingawards.co.uk

Interested in visiting the farm? Register for a forthcoming meat up event here – tickets are free with any meatbox.

We’re celebrating after being a finalist in and then winning two categories at this year’s deliciouslyorkshire awards which were held at the National Railway Museum in York as part of York Food Festival.

Our produce came out top in both the Best Meat and Best Fresh Produce categories, beating off strong competition from around the region. The judges, chaired by BBC Radio Two’s food expert Nigel Barden who presented the awards, gave the accolades to Swillington Organic Farm’s Free Range Organic Chicken and Organic Garden Share.

It means a lot that a panel of local food experts, writers and chefs thought our produce was the best in Yorkshire and to win both awards shows how our organic and eco-friendly approach to food production gives great taste and quality whether it’s growing a lettuce in our walled garden or rearing our free range organic chicken.

This is the third year in a row that we’ve won these awards which is testament to the whole team’s approach to making sure everything we produce is the very best.

You can try our award winning produce yourself by ordering a meatbox. We now offer delivery nationwide freshly butchered straight from the farm so you can get the best meat in Yorkshire wherever you live.

 [bold_title]Our Awards [/bold_title]


Best Meat

Organic Chicken
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Swillington Organic Farm

Judges Comments

“Looks good, tasty appetising, smells good and like a roast chicken should. Great flavour. Nice bite to it, you can tell it’s free range.”



Best Fresh Produce

Organic Garden Share

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Swillington Organic Farm

Judges Comments:

“Love the salad presentation, interesting and surprising, peas beautifully sweet, leeks good, lots of points of difference. Range of different textures. Great selection , very traditional, home grown style”