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Castell Howell serves up sustainable menu at Nuffield dinner

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Guests at a Cardiff City Hall dinner enjoyed a special menu led by Carmarthenshire’s Castell Howell Foods to reflect Wales’ sustainable food and farming credentials.

The 420 diners, who had gathered in Cardiff for the annual Nuffield Farming Scholarships Conference, were served dishes featuring an array of local and Welsh sustainable produce.

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The centre-piece of the menu – created by Castell Howell and Cardiff Catering – was roast sirloin of 40-day aged *Celtic Pride beef, which came from a farm just seven miles from the centre of Cardiff. 

The beef produced at the Rees family’s 950-acre farm in Pendoylan has 26% lower emissions than a typical British farm of that size. Their recent carbon audit by National Farmers Union’s Energy team concluded that the farm is sequestering nearly 50 per cent of carbon from its activities.

Dinner guests also enjoyed certified carbon-neutral ‘Root Zero’ potatoes – a UK first – grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce Ltd. Also, leeks, heritage carrots, and parsnips grown on the Gower Peninsula, and cheese from dairy co-operative Golden Hooves.

The Nuffield dinner menu follows Castell Howell’s drive to create a sustainability blueprint for suppliers and customers, and several of Castell Howells’ suppliers and customers are already on a journey to build sustainability into their businesses. 

Edward Morgan, Castell Howell Group CSR, said, “Our aim at Castell Howell is to identify products and suppliers who are working towards sustainable methods of production, and this event has been a spring board for us to work closer with our customer, Cardiff Catering,  and our supply chain to deliver sustainable values on menus.”

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The need to rise to environmental and food production challenges has been recognised by the Welsh Government, which in 2020 launched the Food & Drink Wales Sustainability Cluster, and sustainability is central to the recently published Agriculture (Wales) Bill 2022.

Equally, agricultural industry stakeholders are focussing more on sustainability themes, including NFU Cymru Net Zero 2040 commitment and ‘The Welsh Way’ – Hybu Cig Cymru- Meat Promotion Wales’ environmental blueprint for the livestock. 

Castell Howell Meat Technology Consultant and Celtic Pride Director Tim Rowe said, “We were delighted to work with Cardiff Catering to build a menu with sustainability at its core. And to serve the guests at the Nuffield conference dinner with Celtic Pride premium PGI Welsh Beef – which came from a farm just seven miles from the centre of Cardiff.”

He said red meat is an essential part of a healthy diet, and Wales’ climate and suitability to sustainability for livestock farming methods, as demonstrated by Celtic Pride’s producer group, puts it at the forefront of the sector’s sustainability commitment and aspirations. 

Tim Rowe said, “Celtic Pride aims to produce premium quality beef from a farm-to-fork supply chain that promotes efficient, sustainable agriculture and encourages close working relationships throughout the supply chain from farmer to consumer.”

Mike Vacher, Director of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, said, “We were delighted to work closely with Castell Howell for our Annual Dinner which was held as part of the 2022 Nuffield Farming Conference in Cardiff. 

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“They coordinated multiple local suppliers to create a bespoke five-course menu which showcased a wide range of fantastic Welsh produce sourced locally from providers committed to producing sustainable food. The support we received both before and throughout the event was outstanding, and they played a crucial role in creating an exceptionally memorable dinner.” 

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