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Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Suffolk dairy farmer’s delight as his cheese features at royal breakfast

PUBLISHED: 11:26 18 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:56 18 May 2018

Bungay Dairy Farmer Jonathan Crickmore with his soft cheese Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Bungay Dairy Farmer Jonathan Crickmore with his soft cheese Picture: NICK BUTCHER

©Archant 2013

A Suffolk dairy farmer has expressed delight that his award-winning cheese is set to appear on Prince Harry’s breakfast menu on the day of the royal wedding.

Jonathan Crickmore stands with his cows Picture: SU ANDERSON Jonathan Crickmore stands with his cows Picture: SU ANDERSON

Jonny Crickmore of Fen Farm, Bungay, launched his Suffolk brie, Baron Bigod, just five years ago, but since then, it has gone from strength to strength. This year, he is moving his cheesemaking operations into a new building on the farm, which is three times the size of his present premises.

Harry is set to stay at Coworth Park in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on the night before the wedding. The breakfast menu includes full English with Baron Bigod and bacon toasted croissant.

Jonny, who spent Friday, May 18, in London, at top London store Selfridge’s promoting his cheese, which is sold there, said he had no idea that his produce would feature until he saw a mention in the newspapers.

“It doesn’t really sink in, the things we have achieved here over the last year or two. This is really amazing. It makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “This is what makes you want to get up in the morning.”

Bungay dairy farmer Jonathan Crickmore Picture: NICK BUTCHER Bungay dairy farmer Jonathan Crickmore Picture: NICK BUTCHER

He added: “It’s great to be able to mention Bungay and Suffolk, both of which I’m very proud of.”

This year, sales have really soared, he said, with his quieter months now enjoying the same sales as during the busy period up to Christmas. April and May sales were up 30 to 40%.

The Crickmores have 300 cows and about a third of the milk goes into making their own cheese and butter.

“The building is under pressure with the amount of product we put through it,” said Jonny. “We are just managing to keep the age of the cheese right at the moment.”

Jonny Crickmore, centre, of Fen Farm Dairy, with his mother Frances Crickmore and two helpers showcasing their raw milk and brie at an event at Bungay Castle Picture: SONYA DUNCAN Jonny Crickmore, centre, of Fen Farm Dairy, with his mother Frances Crickmore and two helpers showcasing their raw milk and brie at an event at Bungay Castle Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Jonny and wife Dulcie decided to branch out as milk prices hit the floor, but the diversification has meant they have been able to make farm more profitable, and they are now even selling small quantities of their cheese into Europe and Asia.

Suffolk organic eggs will also feature at the royal nuptials, with 500 going into Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s “ethereal” tasting wedding cake. Suffolk organic egg producer William Kendall of Maple Farm, Kelsale, near Saxmundham, said he didn’t know who was providing the eggs, but said it was a “coup” for the county. “We would be thrilled and honoured if they were ours, but if they are from Suffolk, we are thrilled anyway.”

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