From Farm To Fork
In this episode, Mike and Ben visit Elveden Estate to learn all about what it takes to get the produce we love from farm to table. Along the way, they discover how digital tools are helping growers be more sustainable. But how will they translate their new-found knowledge into the dishes they create in the studio?
Behind the scenes
The Sorted team drove out to Elveden Estate, one of the largest single farm units in lowland Britain. The Estate covers 22,500 acres of land, of which 50% is farmed and 30% is devoted to conservation, and produces potatoes, carrots, onions, some cereals and other root vegetables. There, they met Andrew Francis, Farms Director for Elveden Farms Ltd., and spoke to him about consumer demands have been changing their daily work, and which sustainability measures they incorporate on the estate. Next, they spoke with Mike Green, Sustainability Manager for BASF UK, who introduced them to the world of digital farming tools that are helping farmers increase sustainability on their farms, and chatted with Anna Hunt, who showed them precision application live in the field, and how this saves resources and protects biodiversity. Back in the kitchen, Mike and Ben used a variety of ingredients straight from the farm to cook the best farm dish utilizing local, seasonal ingredients.
Behind The Scenes Of "Beat The Chef"
Andrew is a first-generation farmer from Nazeing in Essex. After attending Writtle Agricultural College, he spent 4 years as a support tractor driver to a farm manager on a 600ha combinable crop farm near Billericay, Essex. Andrew joined Elveden Estate in 1994. He has held numerous roles at Elveden, resulting in the position he still holds today as the Farms Director for Elveden Farms Ltd. In this role, he is directly responsible for all elements of farming on the 9,100ha estate, plus 700ha of external farming, including managing up to 54 employees. Having worked his way through the industry, Andrew has learned the importance providing those demonstrating the right aptitude with every chance to add to and improve their knowledge base and skill set. He believes in the appliance of science and innovation whenever it can support sustainable farming measures and champions the demonstration of current best farming practices at Elveden to positively influence the perception of food production.
Mike has over 30 years of experience working in the agriculture industry. He is a strong champion of the need to balance profitable food production with a healthy, farmed environment, alongside the broader views of society. His experience ranges from being a field crop manager for the UK government’s advisory service in the 1980s to the national Arable Specialist at Natural England responsible for many of the environmental options being delivered on arable farmland. His current role as Agricultural Sustainability Manager for BASF in the UK and Ireland brings all those decades of experience together. Mike has a key role in promoting a healthy farmland ecosystem where climate resilience is embedded across the landscape, to enable farmers to grow quality, safe food in sufficient quantities to meet both local and global needs.