Gin and Eggs The Farmers' Country Showdown


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Gin and Eggs

Poultry farmer Rebecca hopes to attract attention to her new egg products. Tom and Tina aim to impress potential buyers with their selection of gins.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Gin and Eggs. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Across the country,

0:00:020:00:03

thousands of farming families work tirelessly around the clock.

0:00:030:00:07

Bring them up, Isabel. Well done.

0:00:080:00:10

Here they come.

0:00:110:00:12

Shake it, baby. Shake it.

0:00:120:00:14

-But there's one day each year...

-Come on, girl. Up you go.

0:00:140:00:17

..when they get to leave the daily routine behind.

0:00:170:00:20

Yoo-hoo!

0:00:200:00:21

These are show days.

0:00:220:00:24

Welcome to the Pembrokeshire County Show.

0:00:240:00:26

When they come together as a community...

0:00:260:00:29

Salute!

0:00:290:00:30

..to showcase the fruits of their labour.

0:00:300:00:33

Had a quick look at the competition. I'm in with a chance.

0:00:330:00:35

And try to win prizes for their breed champions...

0:00:360:00:40

Well done. Wahey!

0:00:400:00:42

It's show business, folks.

0:00:420:00:44

..and award-winning produce.

0:00:440:00:45

I got first!

0:00:450:00:47

And the last two jars.

0:00:480:00:50

There will be highs...

0:00:500:00:51

..and lows...

0:00:540:00:55

No! No, no, no.

0:00:550:00:57

..for the dedicated farmers

0:00:570:00:59

who give everything to walk away a champion.

0:00:590:01:03

No way!

0:01:030:01:04

As a nation of food lovers, we're constantly seeking out new flavours.

0:01:130:01:18

Just squash this stuff to within an inch of its life.

0:01:180:01:21

This appetite is a lifeline

0:01:210:01:23

for thousands of farmers across the country,

0:01:230:01:26

as they seek out ways to satisfy our palates.

0:01:260:01:30

Hi, girls!

0:01:300:01:31

Farmers-turned-gin-distillers Tom and Tina Warner

0:01:310:01:35

and free-range egg producer Rebecca Tonks

0:01:350:01:38

are both getting ready to launch new high-end products

0:01:380:01:41

at one of the most prestigious food events in the world -

0:01:410:01:45

London's Speciality Food Fair.

0:01:450:01:47

Success here could make or break their business.

0:01:490:01:52

Oh, my God, I'm covered.

0:01:530:01:55

In the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside

0:02:060:02:10

is a 140-acre livestock farm

0:02:100:02:12

which has belonged to the Warner family since the 1950s.

0:02:120:02:15

Here.

0:02:190:02:20

Starting his herd at the age of 17,

0:02:210:02:24

Ben has spent his entire working life on the farm.

0:02:240:02:28

Look at that, years of experience.

0:02:280:02:30

He knows just what to do.

0:02:300:02:31

While his son, Tom, intends to be the third generation

0:02:330:02:36

to work this land.

0:02:360:02:38

Right, we're all fading.

0:02:380:02:40

-OK.

-And then come back...

0:02:400:02:42

If we could, cos I've got to get this distillation on,

0:02:420:02:44

so we need to go and get that done.

0:02:440:02:46

Well, we'll do it. Whatever you say, you're in charge.

0:02:460:02:49

You're in charge!

0:02:490:02:51

The eternal transition of power at the farm.

0:02:510:02:55

TOM CHUCKLES

0:02:550:02:56

-OK?

-Let's get going, then.

-Yeah.

0:02:560:02:59

Tom's wife, Tina, is also a farmer's daughter, and as so often happens,

0:03:060:03:11

they met at agricultural college.

0:03:110:03:13

I literally... I was walking across to the bar, to go to the bar,

0:03:150:03:19

and sort of crossed paths and I was like, "How you doin'?"

0:03:190:03:23

And she completely ignored me.

0:03:230:03:25

No, there was a spark, but I was playing cool.

0:03:250:03:28

At our wedding, we took soil from both our farms

0:03:310:03:34

and merged them into... You know, together.

0:03:340:03:37

-The priest actually blessed them together.

-It was awesome.

0:03:370:03:40

As he held the bowl up,

0:03:400:03:41

the sunlight poured in through the windows at the back.

0:03:410:03:44

It was like this magical... Aaaah...

0:03:440:03:47

-..moment of the soils being mixed.

-Yeah.

0:03:470:03:50

For the last 60 years, the family has traded in cattle.

0:03:530:03:57

Known as a finishing farm, they're not breeders.

0:03:570:04:01

Instead, they buy young cows to fatten up and then sell on when

0:04:010:04:06

they are ready for market.

0:04:060:04:07

-See these Belgian blue beasts here?

-Yeah.

-Done well.

0:04:070:04:11

I think they came off the Isle of Wight.

0:04:110:04:13

-Did they really?

-Mm-hm.

0:04:130:04:15

However, in recent years, it's been getting harder to make a living

0:04:150:04:19

and they've had to think of ways to diversify.

0:04:190:04:21

But with this particular piece of land, things are rather complicated.

0:04:230:04:27

These two fields that we are on here,

0:04:290:04:31

there's lots of lumps and bumps and they're actually...

0:04:310:04:36

They're Schedule Two monuments.

0:04:360:04:38

They're the terraced gardens of a medieval manor house,

0:04:380:04:40

so you can only graze these fields.

0:04:400:04:42

Living on a historical site has its challenges.

0:04:440:04:47

They can't build on or even plough the land to plant.

0:04:470:04:51

So Tom came up with an ingenious idea and the family

0:04:510:04:55

hasn't looked back since.

0:04:550:04:57

They started a craft gin distillery.

0:05:050:05:08

An idea that Tom dreamt up with fellow farmer's son, Sean Edwards.

0:05:080:05:13

Sean and I had always talked about potentially setting up a business

0:05:160:05:19

at some point on the family farms and we sort of said,

0:05:190:05:22

"If we're ever going to do it, we're early 30s..."

0:05:220:05:25

-Now's the time.

-Now's the time.

0:05:250:05:26

We're young, foolish, let's just get on with this.

0:05:260:05:29

So we decided to make booze and it's a really sexy market to come into.

0:05:290:05:34

-Yeah, that we had no idea about.

-None.

0:05:340:05:36

It was an idea that took them about as far from cattle farming

0:05:400:05:43

as you can get.

0:05:430:05:45

They would still use the farm's resources, but without touching

0:05:450:05:49

the protected fields.

0:05:490:05:50

The still would be housed in the farm's 200-year-old barn,

0:05:520:05:57

but most importantly,

0:05:570:05:59

the pure water would be drawn from their very own natural springs.

0:05:590:06:03

Hundreds of years ago, these same springs

0:06:060:06:09

were the source for the medieval manor that stood here.

0:06:090:06:12

So what hindered their farm ultimately could become its saviour.

0:06:130:06:17

Before he could launch his business, Tom needed his father's blessing.

0:06:260:06:30

-Came to Dad, probably 2010, and said...

-I think it was, yeah.

0:06:330:06:36

"I'd like to start a business on the farm."

0:06:360:06:38

What was your initial thoughts when I came to you with that?

0:06:380:06:42

Fortunately for you, I've forgotten.

0:06:420:06:44

No. I thought it was going to be a Mickey Mouse gimmicky thing

0:06:440:06:49

and...I was wrong.

0:06:490:06:51

I was wrong.

0:06:520:06:53

Tina was also slow to get on board.

0:06:590:07:02

I wasn't fully involved at the start.

0:07:040:07:06

I wasn't around for a lot of the decisions that the lads were making.

0:07:060:07:10

And it wasn't really until there was a couple of hiccups with

0:07:100:07:14

cash flow and process, and you don't want to get too involved

0:07:140:07:17

cos I kind of wanted to leave it to the lads, it was their thing.

0:07:170:07:20

And then things started to get a little bit serious,

0:07:200:07:22

and we needed a few more controls.

0:07:220:07:24

For four years, the fledgling business struggled to make money.

0:07:250:07:30

We just scraped everything together and literally...

0:07:300:07:34

..coughed our first bottle of gin out of the still,

0:07:340:07:37

with no money in the bank, no cash flow within the business,

0:07:370:07:42

and it was a nightmare.

0:07:420:07:44

But the couple took heart from some early industry awards as proof

0:07:440:07:48

that they were doing something right.

0:07:480:07:50

And dad Ben, has now become their biggest fan.

0:07:520:07:56

He comes over to the distillery probably once a day to get tonic

0:07:560:08:00

for the farmhouse, so he's...

0:08:000:08:03

Once a week.

0:08:030:08:04

TOM LAUGHS

0:08:040:08:06

Unfortunately, they've got "CTCV"

0:08:060:08:09

and they can see what I do.

0:08:090:08:11

Yeah.

0:08:110:08:12

Set in pretty countryside in the south-west of England

0:08:220:08:26

is Ventonwyn Farm, Cornwall, which covers 70 acres of land.

0:08:260:08:30

Rebecca Tonks live here with her family

0:08:310:08:34

and 14,000 free-range chickens.

0:08:340:08:37

These sprightly Lomond Browns

0:08:390:08:41

and Dekalb Whites can lay 14,000 eggs a day.

0:08:410:08:46

Quite a workload for a farming family.

0:08:460:08:48

Rebecca has been up since dawn

0:08:520:08:54

and one of the first jobs of the day is to check up on the hen houses

0:08:540:08:58

before letting out the birds.

0:08:580:09:00

SHE WHISTLES

0:09:000:09:02

Hi, girls.

0:09:020:09:04

Hello, birdies. Come on, then.

0:09:040:09:08

SHE WHISTLES

0:09:080:09:10

That's good, girls.

0:09:100:09:11

Normally come in and just check the general welfare of the hens.

0:09:120:09:15

There's quite a nice environment in here today.

0:09:150:09:18

They're pretty chilled out, looking forward to escaping outside.

0:09:180:09:23

The birds like to roost in the safety of the barns at night,

0:09:250:09:28

before spending all day in the open air.

0:09:280:09:31

The farm hasn't always produced eggs.

0:09:390:09:42

Come on, girls.

0:09:430:09:44

Rebecca's parents, Richard and Christine, used to be dairy farmers.

0:09:460:09:50

But when market forces turned against them in the 1980s,

0:09:500:09:54

they decided to explore other avenues.

0:09:540:09:56

The hens started when the milk quotas came in.

0:09:580:10:01

If we wanted to continue with the cows,

0:10:010:10:04

we would've had to borrow to do it.

0:10:040:10:08

Yes. It just didn't stack up.

0:10:090:10:12

They began with a flock of 1,500 birds in 1989

0:10:120:10:16

and soon realised the eggs had potential.

0:10:160:10:19

It was basically a case of...

0:10:210:10:23

the hens made the money and the cows made the work.

0:10:230:10:26

Richard and Christine eventually sold off their herd in 2002

0:10:260:10:31

to focus solely on eggs, becoming pioneers of the free-range movement.

0:10:310:10:36

Free-range was in its infancy, it was a quarter of 1% of the market.

0:10:370:10:44

With the benefit of hindsight, it was actually a very timely decision.

0:10:440:10:49

Back at the barn, the hens have finished laying.

0:10:570:11:00

SHE WHISTLES

0:11:000:11:01

-Hi, girls.

-And it's time to let them out for the day.

0:11:010:11:04

These are the new young babies,

0:11:060:11:08

they just take a little while to pluck up enough courage to come out.

0:11:080:11:11

Once one of the flock is out, the rest of them are like,

0:11:150:11:17

"Ah, that's all right."

0:11:170:11:19

They're lovely birds.

0:11:190:11:21

4,000 hens pouring out into the fields is a sight to behold.

0:11:220:11:27

They're certainly much more confident and ranging this week

0:11:270:11:31

-than they were last week.

-Yeah.

0:11:310:11:32

Although farming is in Rebecca's blood,

0:11:340:11:37

she hasn't always been a farmer.

0:11:370:11:39

When I was 17, Dad wanted to...

0:11:390:11:41

..offered me the farm.

0:11:410:11:43

And I was, like, "Whoa! No way. I'm way too young.

0:11:430:11:45

"I wouldn't know what to do."

0:11:450:11:47

So I went away and did a few other jobs and grew up a little bit.

0:11:470:11:50

But the lure of the land was too strong to resist, and in 2004,

0:11:570:12:02

Rebecca returned.

0:12:020:12:04

Good girls.

0:12:040:12:06

I've always wanted to move back home, really,

0:12:060:12:08

and just give the children the same upbringing I had.

0:12:080:12:11

Beautiful girl, aren't you? Beautiful girl.

0:12:110:12:15

So, we invested in the new hen house just to grow the business,

0:12:150:12:19

to be able to support two families, really.

0:12:190:12:22

Good girl.

0:12:230:12:25

A new hen house was just the start.

0:12:270:12:30

Rebecca has worked hard to expand the farm,

0:12:300:12:33

bringing in new breeds and building their own packing centre.

0:12:330:12:37

-She's brought lots of ideas and...

-Yeah.

0:12:370:12:43

..enthusiasm and...

0:12:430:12:46

A totally different angle, looking at selling things, basically,

0:12:460:12:50

or selling what you produce.

0:12:500:12:52

Keeping up with them is the problem.

0:12:520:12:54

Yes, we're moving a bit more slowly now, so...

0:12:540:12:58

I quite enjoy new projects, but I think the phrase one would use is,

0:12:580:13:03

"It's better to wear out than rust out"

0:13:030:13:07

and we'll be doing the wearing out bit now,

0:13:070:13:11

which is actually quite nice.

0:13:110:13:13

Back in Northamptonshire, Tom and his father, Ben,

0:13:220:13:25

are collecting water from the spring,

0:13:250:13:27

as the demanding gin still runs nine times a week.

0:13:270:13:31

That's...in.

0:13:330:13:36

-Right.

-Let's get some spring water.

0:13:400:13:42

Rev it up.

0:13:440:13:45

MOTOR RUNS

0:13:450:13:47

Looks good.

0:13:480:13:50

That's gin, that is.

0:13:500:13:52

Pay attention to what you're doing.

0:13:520:13:53

The legacy of this water,

0:13:570:13:59

these springs have had a fish farm running off them.

0:13:590:14:03

We now use it to make gin, but,

0:14:030:14:04

-I mean, it's also vital for the cattle, isn't it?

-Of course it is.

0:14:040:14:08

-In the '76 drought...

-Yeah. Never stopped.

0:14:080:14:11

-..the river ran dry...

-Yeah.

-..and the spring...

0:14:110:14:14

Yeah, never stopped. This kept the livestock going, that year.

0:14:140:14:18

-Indeed. And me.

-And you!

0:14:180:14:20

You were drinking from the spring, were you?

0:14:200:14:23

Is this where you came for a bath?

0:14:230:14:24

You get silly as you get older.

0:14:260:14:27

TOM LAUGHS

0:14:270:14:29

Right, Cam, let's get this filled up.

0:14:330:14:35

While extremely difficult to perfect,

0:14:360:14:39

the basic method of making gin is to combine almost pure alcohol with

0:14:390:14:43

spring water, herbs, spices and plants,

0:14:430:14:47

known collectively as botanicals.

0:14:470:14:50

Once this mixture is distilled,

0:14:540:14:57

the alcohol level is reduced by adding water.

0:14:570:15:00

It can also be flavoured with other produce, like sloes or rhubarb.

0:15:040:15:09

Just squash this stuff to within an inch of its life.

0:15:090:15:12

And it's these unusual flavours that are the root of their success.

0:15:120:15:17

Dad's got a picture on the wall of the landing upstairs which says,

0:15:170:15:21

"Don't wait for your boat to come in, row out and meet it"

0:15:210:15:24

and that's been his ethos in life and in business.

0:15:240:15:27

It wasn't Tom who initially thought

0:15:300:15:32

of flavouring their newly-created gin.

0:15:320:15:34

Credit for that goes to his late mother, Adele.

0:15:340:15:38

Adele came into the kitchen with a bottle of gin with some elderflower petals in it and it tasted amazing.

0:15:390:15:45

It tasted great and we said, "That's our second product."

0:15:450:15:47

Adele was a talented gardener,

0:15:540:15:56

which gave Tom further inspiration for his gin.

0:15:560:15:59

When I was a kid, vegetable garden,

0:16:030:16:05

and it's now the Warner Edwards botanical garden and it was

0:16:050:16:09

inspired by the borders around this garden,

0:16:090:16:11

the stuff that Mum grew when she was alive.

0:16:110:16:13

She was a keen cook, she was a keen gardener.

0:16:130:16:16

With over 70 herbs and plants growing here,

0:16:160:16:19

Tom could not have created a more fitting legacy for his mother.

0:16:190:16:22

-She'd be over the moon.

-I'm sure she is.

0:16:230:16:27

I'm sure she...

0:16:270:16:28

There are days when just these magical things happen in the business and you just think,

0:16:280:16:32

-"That's Mum just giving the rudder a bit of a touch."

-Yeah.

0:16:320:16:35

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:16:350:16:36

290 miles away in Cornwall, Rebecca is still busy in the hen house.

0:16:450:16:50

I've just come up here to check these hens out,

0:16:520:16:54

to have a look at the quality of the eggs that are going onto the grader

0:16:540:16:58

cos, obviously, if we have broken eggs,

0:16:580:17:00

like this egg is, very weak shell -

0:17:000:17:03

You can actually put your thumb through it.

0:17:030:17:05

If that's going on to the grader, it could break

0:17:050:17:07

and obviously slow the whole system down.

0:17:070:17:08

Lovely-looking eggs.

0:17:170:17:19

There's no sign of Rebecca slowing down any time soon.

0:17:190:17:22

She regularly works long hours.

0:17:220:17:26

It's been quite intense for the last few years, I have to say.

0:17:260:17:29

But I've got a great team here

0:17:290:17:31

and it's nice to be able to employ local people when we can

0:17:310:17:35

and there's something that everybody's very proud...

0:17:350:17:39

They've kind of grown with us.

0:17:390:17:41

We've got some long-term members of staff here.

0:17:410:17:44

With just six staff,

0:17:440:17:45

the farm's 12,000 eggs need to be graded and boxed every day.

0:17:450:17:51

We've grown into something that we never really imagined and it's still

0:17:510:17:56

growing, so, yeah, there's lots...

0:17:560:17:58

MAN SHOUTS INDISTINCTLY

0:17:580:18:00

Sorry.

0:18:000:18:01

While work never stops for Rebecca, her husband, Tog,

0:18:040:18:08

also has his hands full.

0:18:080:18:11

When I met Rebecca, I almost married into it cos every evening

0:18:110:18:14

I'd have to shut the hens up and I helped with the chicken moves

0:18:140:18:17

while working full-time as a physiotherapist.

0:18:170:18:20

It's hard work, but quite rewarding and often you come back smelling

0:18:220:18:25

pretty bad, but it's well worth it.

0:18:250:18:28

As if life wasn't busy enough,

0:18:280:18:29

Tog also doubles as a tour guide for the farm visits.

0:18:290:18:33

-This is where the chickens play around.

-Cool.

0:18:340:18:37

Now, chickens are woodland creatures,

0:18:370:18:38

so they like it in the shade underneath the trees here.

0:18:380:18:41

I help run the visits of the school parties here on the farm.

0:18:410:18:46

So I educate the children about eggs and where they come from

0:18:460:18:49

and chickens, chicken anatomy.

0:18:490:18:51

Basically, learning that eggs just don't appear out of nowhere onto a box, there's real farming behind it

0:18:510:18:56

and that the chickens here are very happy chickens and they love

0:18:560:18:59

roaming around, and they have

0:18:590:19:00

a very good life living here on the farm.

0:19:000:19:03

-Do you feel how soft it is?

-Yeah.

0:19:030:19:06

This year, Rebecca's hatched up another new venture for the farm -

0:19:110:19:15

a pasteurisation plant.

0:19:150:19:17

With this machine, they can sell separated egg yolks, whites,

0:19:170:19:22

or a blend of both to a specific ratio.

0:19:220:19:25

All pasteurised for a longer shelf life.

0:19:250:19:28

Even better, she uses eggs that don't make the grade

0:19:290:19:32

for the egg trays.

0:19:320:19:33

Rebecca's big ambition is to get

0:19:350:19:37

the eggs into high-end caterers and bakers.

0:19:370:19:40

It's amazing how this machine works.

0:19:400:19:42

It kind of grabs the eggs and then there's a blade that slices up

0:19:420:19:47

and just cracks the egg open.

0:19:470:19:50

It's really quite... The precision is amazing.

0:19:500:19:52

Today Rebecca's trying to convince Chris Eden,

0:19:520:19:54

a local Michelin-starred chef, to try the eggs out.

0:19:540:19:58

Essentially, we can then separate three lots of products,

0:19:580:20:04

so the whole egg, the egg white, and the egg yolk.

0:20:040:20:06

-I think it's brilliant.

-Yeah.

-I'm so excited.

-It's good.

0:20:060:20:09

And Matt will be able to

0:20:090:20:11

kind of do product specification for chefs as well,

0:20:110:20:15

so we'll be able to do

0:20:150:20:17

mixes of egg yolk to egg white ratios as to what...

0:20:170:20:21

-To get it exactly how you want it.

-Really?

0:20:210:20:24

The pasteuriser could open up the farm to new markets,

0:20:240:20:28

but Rebecca has taken a huge risk to buy it.

0:20:280:20:32

Our latest venture is very exciting, but that's taken

0:20:320:20:37

not far off half a million pounds' worth of investment,

0:20:370:20:40

which I've signed my house over to the bank

0:20:400:20:43

to be able to fund that.

0:20:430:20:46

It's a bit of a risk,

0:20:460:20:48

but it's a very exciting risk and hopefully it will work.

0:20:480:20:52

In London, preparations are well under way

0:20:590:21:02

at the Olympia Exhibition Hall.

0:21:020:21:04

Tomorrow, the Speciality Fine Food Fair will open its doors

0:21:040:21:08

and this hall will be filled

0:21:080:21:10

with some of the most influential buyers in the world.

0:21:100:21:13

The buyers who come, come here to find the best of the best,

0:21:150:21:20

but they also come to see the people they've done business with

0:21:200:21:24

over the years, who actually deliver those incredible products,

0:21:240:21:29

and it's quality that these people are looking for.

0:21:290:21:32

For our farmers, having a presence here

0:21:320:21:35

is a massive financial investment.

0:21:350:21:37

A stand costs up to £25,000.

0:21:370:21:41

It's quite expensive for us to, you know,

0:21:420:21:45

get a stand sort of designed and put together.

0:21:450:21:50

And a small brochure with regards to what we do and how we do it.

0:21:500:21:56

You know, it all costs money.

0:21:560:21:58

And, of course, time off the farm is never an easy thing to organise when

0:21:580:22:02

you have 14,000 mouths to feed.

0:22:020:22:05

The stakes are also high for Tom and Tina in Northamptonshire.

0:22:100:22:15

It's nearly three grand, I think, to be there, so if it wasn't important,

0:22:150:22:18

we wouldn't be paying the money to be at the event. It's a big cheque.

0:22:180:22:22

To stay ahead of the game, they're launching a new flavour.

0:22:220:22:25

They've invested £15,000 to produce their own honey for it.

0:22:270:22:32

They're convinced it's good, but feel duty-bound to give it

0:22:360:22:41

one final taste test.

0:22:410:22:42

That's gorgeous!

0:22:420:22:44

If no-one else likes it, it's absolutely delicious.

0:22:440:22:46

-Yeah, so this is...

-Really easy drinking.

0:22:460:22:48

-This is the one we're hoping to...

-This is it.

0:22:480:22:51

-..get a really good reception.

-This is what we're

0:22:510:22:53

pinning the hopes for, at Speciality.

0:22:530:22:55

And in Cornwall, Rebecca's challenge is to sell her liquid eggs

0:22:590:23:04

to a whole new clientele.

0:23:040:23:06

This is kind of the first time

0:23:060:23:07

we've really showcased our pasteurised egg.

0:23:070:23:10

We actually only got signed off last Friday,

0:23:100:23:13

so it's going to be three weeks from

0:23:130:23:18

starting to actually getting our products out to show people

0:23:180:23:22

what we can...what we have to offer.

0:23:220:23:25

So, yeah, it's a very exciting step, but a little daunting, as well.

0:23:250:23:30

With the family home staked on her new business venture,

0:23:300:23:34

the show could make or break the farm.

0:23:340:23:36

Yeah, it would be catastrophic if nobody showed up, so, yeah,

0:23:370:23:41

that would be a really bad day.

0:23:410:23:42

After months of preparation,

0:23:470:23:49

it's finally time for both families to pack up for the show.

0:23:490:23:53

-OK, let's get to London and sell some gin!

-Yes.

-Woo!

0:23:530:23:57

London's calling.

0:23:570:23:58

London is now considered one of the food capitals of the world,

0:24:120:24:16

and as the day breaks, around 700 artisan producers

0:24:160:24:20

from over 30 countries are heading to Kensington to make their fortune.

0:24:200:24:25

This is where the most innovative and skilled producers come

0:24:270:24:30

to showcase their food.

0:24:300:24:33

From avocado ice cream...

0:24:330:24:34

..to freshly-shucked oysters.

0:24:360:24:37

For producers and buyers,

0:24:390:24:41

it's one of the most important events in the trade show calendar.

0:24:410:24:45

In my diary every year.

0:24:450:24:46

And it's only open to people in the food industry.

0:24:460:24:49

-Want another one?

-Absolutely.

0:24:500:24:52

It's 9:15 and the exhibitors are busy setting up their stalls.

0:25:080:25:13

OK.

0:25:130:25:14

Whoa! Ooh.

0:25:150:25:17

Oh, my God, I'm covered.

0:25:190:25:20

Over at the gin stand, Tom and Tina and their trade manager, Ross,

0:25:200:25:25

are also having pouring issues.

0:25:250:25:27

We've only got five pourers, Ross.

0:25:280:25:31

Ach. Shall we keep the Honeybee as, like, a real special...?

0:25:320:25:35

-Yeah.

-We'll uncork it each time.

-Yeah.

0:25:350:25:37

The only annoying thing is,

0:25:370:25:39

that's the one that everybody will want to try.

0:25:390:25:42

Well, when they've pre-ordered a thousand bottles of it, they can.

0:25:420:25:45

Their new flavour has to stand out in this highly competitive crowd.

0:25:450:25:50

I think the reaction to that is the real sort of...

0:25:500:25:53

-what we're looking forward to today.

-Yeah.

0:25:530:25:55

-It'll be really interesting to see.

-See what people think.

0:25:550:25:57

Rebecca and Tog have finally got the liquid eggs onto the display.

0:25:570:26:01

-Ooh.

-Oh, my God!

-Oh, no.

0:26:010:26:04

-Or nearly.

-Where's the kitchen roll?

0:26:040:26:07

Just looking forward to hopefully seeing how our...

0:26:070:26:09

Hope we get some interest in the liquid egg.

0:26:090:26:11

The liquid egg's received, really.

0:26:110:26:13

People know eggs, but not many people know liquid eggs,

0:26:130:26:15

so just to see how it goes.

0:26:150:26:17

There's a nervous anticipation in the room.

0:26:210:26:24

Most producers here have high hopes for the show.

0:26:240:26:27

It's an opportunity to get in front of a lot of people who are coming

0:26:300:26:32

looking for the kind of thing that we make.

0:26:320:26:35

We love coming here.

0:26:350:26:36

It's a good chance to see all our customers and a good chance

0:26:360:26:39

to meet really exciting new ones.

0:26:390:26:41

There seems to be a great array of different products and

0:26:410:26:44

overseas buyers, UK buyers.

0:26:440:26:45

So, for us, it's really a chance to

0:26:450:26:47

get a sense of what the market's doing.

0:26:470:26:50

For Rebecca and Tog,

0:26:500:26:51

who have borrowed against a family home to finance the liquid eggs,

0:26:510:26:55

new customers are vital.

0:26:550:26:57

It'd be nice to have bigger bakeries come along and want the liquid eggs

0:26:570:27:00

to make their life easier and our life easier.

0:27:000:27:02

We've put all this effort into making this beautiful product

0:27:020:27:04

and it makes all the effort worthwhile.

0:27:040:27:06

Tom and Tina knows exactly how they want the day to play out.

0:27:060:27:10

It would be great to come away today with, I don't know,

0:27:100:27:13

at least 50 stockists around the country looking to stock it,

0:27:130:27:16

-that would be... That would be awesome.

-That would be amazing.

-Yes.

0:27:160:27:20

This way, please...

0:27:240:27:27

It's 10:00 and the show is open.

0:27:270:27:30

-TANNOY:

-We've got some amazing produce over the next few days.

0:27:300:27:35

Because the fair is only open to people in the industry,

0:27:350:27:39

everyone who walks through the doors could be a customer,

0:27:390:27:42

or a life-changing contact.

0:27:420:27:44

In our industry, the Speciality Fine Food Fair

0:27:450:27:49

is the biggest event of the year, really,

0:27:490:27:52

because I know that I can find everything that I'm looking for

0:27:520:27:55

under one roof.

0:27:550:27:57

So I've got my comfy shoes on

0:27:570:27:58

and I'm about to run around and tasting lots of...

0:27:580:28:00

I haven't had any breakfast

0:28:000:28:02

cos I know there's a lot of tasting to do today.

0:28:020:28:04

Like Manisha, most visitors come

0:28:050:28:07

to try as much food and drink as possible.

0:28:070:28:10

People want fine food these days.

0:28:100:28:12

They're fed up of boring, straightforward,

0:28:120:28:15

mass-produced products.

0:28:150:28:17

They want speciality food.

0:28:170:28:19

I'm on a detox at the moment, so I can't sample like I used to,

0:28:190:28:22

but I'm enjoying Jeremy sampling.

0:28:220:28:24

-I'm on a retox.

-He's sampling for both of us!

0:28:240:28:27

I'm on a retox. I'm already on the espresso vodkas. It's great.

0:28:270:28:30

-And we've only done one aisle.

-Exactly, exactly! Seven to go.

0:28:300:28:34

Detox and retox, we're perfect.

0:28:340:28:37

But not everyone is ready for hard liquor at 10:00 on a Sunday morning.

0:28:410:28:46

Hello, sir. Would you like to try some gin?

0:28:460:28:48

You're all right?

0:28:480:28:49

Bit early.

0:28:510:28:52

Do you guys make the gin yourselves?

0:28:540:28:56

Absolutely, yes. Would you like to try?

0:28:560:28:59

-No...

-We could put tonic in if it's too early on a Sunday for you.

0:28:590:29:03

It's too early. I wouldn't be able to make my way to the end of it.

0:29:030:29:06

Fair enough.

0:29:060:29:07

Luckily for Rebecca,

0:29:070:29:09

eggs are a more acceptable thing to contemplate at this time of day.

0:29:090:29:13

-At the moment we're buying eggs from the Midlands.

-Right.

0:29:130:29:18

And, obviously, if it came from the south-west,

0:29:180:29:20

-it would be brilliant.

-Yes, yeah.

0:29:200:29:21

-So, can I give you a card?

-Yes, please.

0:29:210:29:24

And then maybe catch up after the show.

0:29:240:29:26

Yes, that sounds marvellous.

0:29:260:29:28

I shall look forward to getting some samples to you.

0:29:280:29:31

-No, exactly, brilliant.

-Wonderful, thank you.

-All right.

0:29:310:29:33

-I'm a bit drier now. Sorry.

-OK, thanks a lot. Cheers.

0:29:330:29:36

It's an encouraging start and the first sign of interest

0:29:360:29:40

in her liquid eggs.

0:29:400:29:42

It's just nice to know that there's lots of creative people out here

0:29:420:29:46

and we could be a part of their business.

0:29:460:29:48

Tom and Tina also have some interested visitors -

0:29:530:29:57

two fellow farmers who have a proposal for them.

0:29:570:30:01

We've just started growing blueberries, which the fresh...

0:30:010:30:07

The top-class ones are going to the supermarkets.

0:30:070:30:09

They're easy to sell, aren't they?

0:30:090:30:11

But obviously, there's an amount of fruit...

0:30:110:30:13

Which is outside specification. Yeah, OK.

0:30:130:30:16

..it's too small or it's slightly damaged and it's what we can do

0:30:160:30:19

with that, really.

0:30:190:30:21

-We don't want to waste it.

-We could put it in gin!

0:30:210:30:23

It would be great to try and turn it into gin.

0:30:230:30:25

We have been thinking about this and talking about it,

0:30:250:30:28

-because blueberry is such a super fruit at the moment.

-Yes.

0:30:280:30:31

You know, you could put blueberry in anything and people would buy it

0:30:310:30:35

and you guys are so local to us.

0:30:350:30:37

I feel a blueberry gin coming on.

0:30:370:30:38

-It's such a wonderful story.

-Absolutely.

0:30:380:30:41

No, it would be brilliant.

0:30:410:30:42

Brilliant. Right, well, let's do business.

0:30:420:30:44

Great to meet you.

0:30:440:30:46

You'll have to come up to the farm.

0:30:460:30:48

-Well done.

-And we'll do a scan.

0:30:480:30:52

Yeah, then we've got your contacts.

0:30:520:30:53

-Need to be zapped.

-Zap!

0:30:530:30:56

ELECTRONIC BEEP

0:30:560:30:57

-OK.

-Brilliant.

0:30:570:30:59

It's a win-win solution and as the blueberry farm is only 25 miles from

0:30:590:31:04

the Warners, the gin would still be made from locally-sourced produce.

0:31:040:31:09

We can sell the first grade fruit to supermarkets with no problem at all,

0:31:090:31:14

but my wife doesn't like waste at all.

0:31:140:31:16

So hopefully we're going to be visiting them at their distillery.

0:31:160:31:19

They're going to come and visit the farm and we're all very excited that

0:31:190:31:23

we may have a new product that might actually...

0:31:230:31:26

-Hit the shelves.

-..hit the shelves.

0:31:260:31:29

So, fingers crossed.

0:31:290:31:30

Just sometimes these things, you trip over them, really.

0:31:300:31:33

-Some things are meant to be, hopefully.

-Yes.

0:31:330:31:36

-We met the rhubarb supplier at Speciality...

-At this show.

0:31:360:31:39

-..in 2013.

-Four years ago.

0:31:390:31:41

We launched the product basically a year later at Speciality,

0:31:410:31:45

and we've just met a blueberry supplier, and who knows?

0:31:450:31:50

We could be launching it here next year

0:31:500:31:52

and then if it goes as well as the rhubarb, happy days, yeah!

0:31:520:31:55

The blueberry farmers may have found a solution to their unwanted fruit,

0:31:590:32:03

but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

0:32:030:32:06

Over a million tonnes of food

0:32:060:32:08

from Britain's farms is wasted every year.

0:32:080:32:11

These producers are doing their bit to fight food waste

0:32:120:32:15

by making chutney.

0:32:150:32:17

At the end of the day,

0:32:170:32:19

the farmers put so much time, effort, care, water,

0:32:190:32:22

electricity into growing all this produce

0:32:220:32:24

and there's really nothing wrong with it.

0:32:240:32:26

They're just forced to plough it back into the ground,

0:32:260:32:28

it goes to animal feed.

0:32:280:32:30

And it's just crazy that's happening

0:32:300:32:32

and that they're losing so much money, really.

0:32:320:32:34

It makes delicious condiments, though.

0:32:340:32:36

-TANNOY:

-One of the great things about Speciality each year

0:32:360:32:39

is the combination of great-tasting products.

0:32:390:32:43

The show is steadily building.

0:32:430:32:45

But it's all gone a bit quiet on the egg stand.

0:32:470:32:50

Maybe nobody wants eggs for lunch.

0:32:500:32:52

Can we interest you with some lovely eggs?

0:32:560:32:58

-No.

-No? OK.

0:33:000:33:03

Well...

0:33:040:33:05

While it's quiet, Rebecca takes the opportunity to catch up

0:33:050:33:08

with some fellow egg producers.

0:33:080:33:10

I think it's great and I love your bird.

0:33:120:33:14

-What's she called?

-Oh, my chicken. I don't know, it's their doorstop.

0:33:140:33:18

THEY LAUGH

0:33:180:33:20

Briony and Dan Wood have a poultry farm in Somerset,

0:33:200:33:23

two counties away from Rebecca.

0:33:230:33:25

Becks has worked with Dan,

0:33:250:33:27

my husband, for a number of years, so, yeah.

0:33:270:33:30

We're not in competition, really, are we? Different things.

0:33:300:33:32

-No, we do very different things.

-Complementary.

0:33:320:33:34

Yes. That's what we like to say.

0:33:340:33:37

Rebecca has just put in a pasteurising plant

0:33:370:33:39

to do liquid egg, which is fantastic.

0:33:390:33:42

It is not something that I'm brave enough to get involved with,

0:33:420:33:44

so instead of doing that sort of diversification,

0:33:440:33:48

we've moved into other birds.

0:33:480:33:49

So instead of just being hen producers,

0:33:490:33:52

we do duck eggs and quail eggs and goose eggs, and things like that,

0:33:520:33:55

and we found that is a good way

0:33:550:33:57

for us to get our foot in the door with other businesses.

0:33:570:34:01

Back at the gin stand,

0:34:020:34:04

Tom and Tina have found a willing taster in a fellow craft gin maker.

0:34:040:34:09

Ooh, that might now just be my favourite one.

0:34:090:34:12

-Oh, yay!

-That is lovely.

0:34:120:34:14

They're too keen to show off their new honey gin

0:34:140:34:18

to worry about rivalry.

0:34:180:34:19

It's all gone.

0:34:190:34:20

See, we said there's a great camaraderie

0:34:200:34:22

-between different distillers as well.

-Oh, very much so.

0:34:220:34:25

-We all like to see each other doing well.

-Very much so.

0:34:250:34:27

It's such a friendly industry.

0:34:270:34:29

Everyone always wants to see everyone doing well,

0:34:290:34:31

especially when you can recognise a good product in your competitors,

0:34:310:34:34

it's a really, really good thing.

0:34:340:34:36

That is gorgeous.

0:34:360:34:38

We've got a bottle of their Northern Dry on the go in the distillery.

0:34:380:34:41

Oh, do you? Yeah, fantastic.

0:34:410:34:43

Well, if you'd like to do a bottle swap,

0:34:430:34:45

I think I know which one I'd be desperate to have.

0:34:450:34:48

Definitely got my eye on that one. That's lovely.

0:34:480:34:51

And it's finally gin o'clock in Kensington as people flock to taste.

0:34:510:34:56

-Big herbaceous oily gin, this one.

-OK.

0:34:560:34:58

Would you normally drink it neat, or would you drink it with tonic?

0:34:580:35:01

No, so the whole basis is, make gin good enough to drink neat.

0:35:010:35:04

But how is it going down with the potential customers?

0:35:040:35:07

Yeah. It's really good. A good flavour in there, really lasting.

0:35:090:35:13

Yes, we're definitely going to stock this. Definitely.

0:35:130:35:16

Fantastic. Fantastic.

0:35:160:35:17

Thank you very much.

0:35:180:35:19

We've just sampled their new Honeybee gin,

0:35:210:35:24

and having now tasted it, we'll definitely stock it.

0:35:240:35:28

We have weekly gin and street food promotions at the pub,

0:35:280:35:31

so it will pair fantastically with some street food.

0:35:310:35:35

And, yes, it's a win-win.

0:35:350:35:38

Really, really great feedback on the Honeybee, which is brilliant.

0:35:380:35:42

Which is what we really, really wanted cos we were a bit nervous.

0:35:420:35:45

Everybody that's tasted it is going to stock it,

0:35:450:35:47

so it's looking good so far.

0:35:470:35:50

Getting the word out about their produce is one of the biggest

0:35:550:35:59

challenges for new food entrepreneurs.

0:35:590:36:02

The Discovery Zone is the place

0:36:020:36:04

new producers can take their first tentative steps.

0:36:040:36:07

We just launched the UK's first smoked honey which we are

0:36:080:36:13

very proud of.

0:36:130:36:15

And it's got great interest from BBC Good Food Show and Harrods

0:36:150:36:18

and celebrity chefs as well.

0:36:180:36:21

So hopefully, hopefully, we'll do very well.

0:36:210:36:24

The Discovery Zone's great because you get to be amongst those that are

0:36:240:36:28

all on the same journey path as you are,

0:36:280:36:30

so you're not thrown into the deep end and you get to really introduce

0:36:300:36:34

yourself into the retail world and the food industry.

0:36:340:36:37

It's nice that everybody here is in the same situation.

0:36:370:36:41

We're all new, we're all starting up and we're all learning.

0:36:410:36:44

So to meet not only the buyers and the consumers,

0:36:440:36:46

but other businesses and get advice from them, it's great.

0:36:460:36:50

Half of all new businesses will fail in the first five years,

0:36:500:36:54

so growing fast is vital for survival.

0:36:540:36:57

We are specialising in smoothie bowls which have been inspired by

0:36:570:37:01

Instagram's love affair with the beautifully decorated bowls.

0:37:010:37:04

So, for a brand like myself who is just launching,

0:37:040:37:08

it's great because it gives me exposure to a lot of different kinds

0:37:080:37:11

of retailers and my aim at the moment is to kind of get into

0:37:110:37:14

as many stores as I can.

0:37:140:37:16

So the more buyers and owners of stores that I can talk to,

0:37:160:37:20

the better it is for me and the better chance I have of succeeding.

0:37:200:37:23

After the earlier lull at the egg stand,

0:37:260:37:29

there's more interest in the liquid eggs.

0:37:290:37:32

Much to Rebecca's relief.

0:37:320:37:35

It's been a big risk for us as farmers because that is my house

0:37:350:37:40

in there, so it's got to work.

0:37:400:37:43

-There we go.

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:37:430:37:47

So, it would be completely separate? There wouldn't be a mixed...?

0:37:470:37:50

You can do a mixed egg, yes.

0:37:500:37:51

We can do a white, a mixed or a ratio.

0:37:510:37:54

-Thank you.

-That's OK. Nice to meet you guys.

0:37:540:37:57

Nice to meet you. Keep baking.

0:37:570:38:00

A positive lead from a London bakery is just the result they're after.

0:38:000:38:05

So, I wasn't expecting to see the pasteurised eggs today and I wasn't

0:38:050:38:09

expecting to see the bottles

0:38:090:38:11

or the boxes of the eggs separated.

0:38:110:38:14

I haven't seen it like that before for a wholesale market

0:38:140:38:16

where it's in large batches. So I found that quite interesting.

0:38:160:38:19

In London, the afternoon is drawing to a close, but there is still

0:38:280:38:32

a flurry of activity in the hall.

0:38:320:38:34

Which means there are still opportunities for our farmers.

0:38:370:38:41

Thank you so much.

0:38:410:38:44

Tom and Tina are working hard to find new customers.

0:38:440:38:47

Right, how many would you like to try?

0:38:470:38:49

A passionate saleswoman at the best of times,

0:38:490:38:52

Tina's pulling out all the stops for this visitor.

0:38:520:38:55

-Do you want to try with some ginger ale?

-Yeah, why not?

0:38:550:38:59

You may as well. You're here now.

0:38:590:39:02

He's from the Savile Club,

0:39:020:39:04

a prestigious London private members' club.

0:39:040:39:07

The Honeybee, which is currently not available anywhere,

0:39:070:39:11

we are gifting it to aspirational accounts like yourselves,

0:39:110:39:15

to help us build. So we'd be really interested to...

0:39:150:39:19

Yeah, let's do it.

0:39:190:39:22

-ELECTRONIC BEEP

-Cool.

0:39:220:39:23

It's just the sort of high-end client they dream of.

0:39:230:39:26

A very exclusive members' club in London who we are trying to target

0:39:260:39:31

and wanting to target with the Honeybee.

0:39:310:39:33

-The day gets better.

-I know, isn't it great?

0:39:330:39:36

-What a great day.

-Yeah.

0:39:360:39:37

-Yeah!

-Yay!

0:39:370:39:39

Before they shut up shop for the day,

0:39:440:39:47

Rebecca and Tog have time for one last visit from a fellow exhibitor.

0:39:470:39:52

-Hello.

-Hello.

-How are you?

0:39:520:39:54

I have a range of pork crackling and I'm looking at doing Scotch eggs.

0:39:540:39:58

Have you got any kind of recommendations for me?

0:39:580:40:00

Yeah, I definitely have.

0:40:000:40:02

So, this is our range of eggs.

0:40:020:40:05

We've been working on a rich yolk egg, which might be

0:40:050:40:08

a really nice surprise for someone who's eating a Scotch egg,

0:40:080:40:11

as the yolks are really deep and gorgeous and rich.

0:40:110:40:14

This sort of colour, in fact.

0:40:140:40:16

-Are you serious? That's it?

-Yes.

-Wow!

0:40:160:40:18

Nick Coleman's pork crackling snacks reach pubs far and wide,

0:40:180:40:23

and his Scotch eggs could do the same,

0:40:230:40:25

so Rebecca makes sure he doesn't leave empty-handed.

0:40:250:40:28

There we go. I'll pop these in a bag for you

0:40:290:40:32

and give us some feedback.

0:40:320:40:35

-Can I scan you...

-Yeah, go for it.

-..just for your details?

0:40:350:40:39

And perhaps we can e-mail you and see what you think.

0:40:390:40:41

-That'd be great. I'll appreciate that.

-Let me just work this gadget.

0:40:410:40:46

Cool. Thank you.

0:40:460:40:47

-Lovely, brilliant.

-Excellent. Thanks so much.

-Cheers, bye.

0:40:470:40:52

I'm going to make the biggest omelette you've ever seen tonight.

0:40:530:40:56

I'm so excited!

0:40:560:40:58

As the fair draws to a close,

0:41:010:41:03

the final foods are tasted

0:41:030:41:05

and the last visitors' details are exchanged.

0:41:050:41:08

The hard work will begin again when following up those contacts,

0:41:080:41:13

but for now, our farmers can reflect on a successful day.

0:41:130:41:17

The whole concept of pasteurised liquid egg has been really

0:41:180:41:21

well received. Wasn't expecting that.

0:41:210:41:24

I didn't know what to expect, to be perfectly honest.

0:41:240:41:26

And I'm just very...relieved

0:41:260:41:29

and I think having the feedback so far today has given us a lot

0:41:290:41:35

of confidence that this project is going to be successful.

0:41:350:41:38

I know I said 50 sort of contacts at the start of the day.

0:41:430:41:47

I think we've probably had three or four absolutely awesome results.

0:41:470:41:52

Really good, amazing.

0:41:520:41:53

The future looks bright for our farming entrepreneurs.

0:42:120:42:15

Thanks to their farms back home...

0:42:160:42:18

Good girl.

0:42:200:42:21

..they've been able to show off their produce with pride.

0:42:210:42:24

I thought it was going to be a Mickey Mouse gimmicky thing,

0:42:250:42:29

and I was wrong.

0:42:290:42:31

Their success has shown how hard work and dedication can pay off.

0:42:310:42:37

What would I do differently next year?

0:42:370:42:39

Launch another product. Yes.

0:42:390:42:41

I think this whole platform is a great place to launch something new.

0:42:410:42:46

And to, you know, shout about it and share it with everybody.

0:42:460:42:50

I've got the seed for next year's plan!

0:42:500:42:53

As tired as you are, you're energised at the end of it,

0:42:540:42:57

you know, because all your hard work is paying off.

0:42:570:43:00

People are saying it's good, people enjoy it,

0:43:000:43:02

so I'm very proud of all of us.

0:43:020:43:04

-I think it's been great, hasn't it?

-It's been brilliant.

0:43:040:43:06

-Yeah, really good.

-It's been cool, yeah.

0:43:060:43:09

Cornish poultry farmer Rebecca Tonks hopes to attract attention to her new egg products at the Speciality Fine Food Fair at London's Olympia. Northampton-based Tom and Tina Warner aim to impress potential buyers with their selection of farm-produced gins.