Farmer Network open evening at Cranston’s Food Hall

Members of the Cumbria Farmer Network enjoyed a tour of Cranston’s Food Hall, Penrith on Wednesday 31st May. The event attracted farmers from throughout the county, all interested in learning more about Cranston’s business, their products and relationships with suppliers. Cranston’s have recently become corporate members of the Farmer Network.

The tour was led by brothers Roger and Philip Cranston together with Marketing Manager Jane Silburn, a local farmer’s daughter. Networks members discovered how the business grew from humble family beginnings in the early part of the last century to a multi- million pound turnover in the present day employing over 200 staff. The presentation gave a very honest and forthright view of the business covering the growth and success of the company but also the day to day difficulties that are experienced in such a business.

The farmers were keen to know what buying criteria the butchers were looking for to satisfy their purchaser’s requirements and also modern techniques used to age and prepare the meat for sale. One young farmer was keen to learn because he aspired to produce the type of beef cattle and lambs that Cranston’s are looking to purchase.

Many farmers were surprised when they realised that all of the meat products and lines were prepared and created in- house. It is clear that Cranston’s are constantly testing the market with new lines to see what the consumer likes and to extract maximum value from each animal.

Local Farmer Network member Jonty Stalker from Ratten Castle was shown the carcass of a lamb he had sold to Cranston’s in Penrith Auction Mart the previous week for £114.

The tour finished off in Oswald’s restaurant above Cranston’s food hall with a selection of hot sausage rolls and coffee. Adam Day, Managing Director of The Farmer Network thanked the Cranston’s team for an excellent, enjoyable and informative tour.

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