TV chef Lesley Waters launches #RealFoodHeroes campaign
Cornish Mutual has launched its Real Food Heroes campaign with Dorset-based TV chef Lesley Waters. Celebrating the people behind our produce, it puts the spotlight on Cornish Mutual Members running farms and rural businesses across the South West. Lesley Waters and Cornish Mutual launched the campaign at Rumwell Farm Shop in Somerset and The Udder Farm Shop in Dorset.
Over the coming months, Cornish Mutual will share stories from some of its Members involved with food and drink production, from farms, large and small, to artisan producers and retailers.
According to new research commissioned by Cornish Mutual, South West consumers are buying more local produce than this time last year. One in three respondents to an independent survey of consumers in Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall said they now buy more locally produced food and drink than they did 12 months ago. When asked why they chose local food and drink, ‘supporting local farmers’ came out as the top response (72%) with ‘it’s better quality’ (43%) the second most popular reason.
Well known for her TV appearances and as a champion for South West food and drink, Lesley Waters lives in West Dorset, where she runs the Lesley Waters cookery school. She said: “I am delighted to hear that more and more people are choosing to shop locally. It is something that we have always championed here at the cookery school, along with cooking with the seasons.
“If you have good quality ingredients then you don’t need to do too much to them to bring out their flavours, and you have the added benefit that you support local producers, farmers and their families at the same time.”
Cornish Mutual Managing Director Alan Goddard said: “From Cheddar cheese to Portland lamb, Red Ruby Devon beef to Cornish clotted cream, we think the South West makes some of the best food in the world. Our survey suggests this is a view shared by people who live across the four counties where we work. It is fantastic to see that so many are choosing homegrown produce to support their local farmers.”
“Behind all of our wonderful local produce is a bunch of hardworking people and we are very proud that many of them are our Members. Whether they are growing or rearing it, producing, distributing or selling it, they are united in their passion for helping to create the very best food and drink. That is why we are putting the spotlight on the people behind our produce: the real food heroes.”
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Do you know how much your tractor is really worth?
Graham Nicholls, Technical Leader at Cornish Mutual warns that an increasing number of agricultural vehicles are being inadvertently undervalued.
It is very easy for farmers to lose track of the true replacement value of tractors and other farm vehicles over time, particularly because the second hand market is currently very strong.
In line with the general insurance market, Cornish Mutual calculates the premium for agricultural vehicles based on the declared value provided by the policyholder. This should represent the cost to replace the insured vehicle with one of the same make, model, specification, age and condition.
In the unfortunate event of a vehicle being written off, the claim settlement will be the declared value or the market value whichever is less.
We are seeing an increasing number of claims where the declared value has been significantly below the actual market value which then results in a financial shortfall that may make it difficult to replace the damaged vehicle.
The market value will be increased by attachments such as fore-end loaders and the installation of permanent communications or navigational equipment. These attachments and accessories should not be overlooked when setting a declared value.
We strongly recommend that our Members review their vehicle values on an annual basis, seeking advice from an agricultural vehicle trader where necessary.
Members support South West hospital charities
Cornish Mutual Members have raised more than £3,000 for two of the region’s hospital charities.
At the Royal Cornwall Show, many of you enjoyed complimentary pasties, cake, tea and coffee in our marquee and generously donated more than £2,000 for the Cornwall Birth and Baby Appeal. This will provide additional equipment and enhance the environments in the maternity and neonatal units at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
At Dorset County Show in September, our Members donated £1,000 towards Dorset County Hospital Charity, helping their Cancer Appeal get closer to its £1.75million target. The Cancer Appeal is supporting the provision of world-class cancer facilities for patients in Dorset.
Thank you for helping Cornish Mutual to make a difference in our South West communities.
Chartered Insurer Status
Cornish Mutual has been awarded Chartered Insurer status from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) for the sixth consecutive year. Chartered status is only awarded to firms that meet the CII’s rigorous criteria relating to professionalism and capability.
Managing Director Alan Goddard said: “We are really proud to have achieved an unbroken record of receiving Chartered Insurer status for the last six years. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to best practice and gives our Members the assurance that we adhere to the gold standard in professionalism, expertise and ethics.”
In 2012, Cornish Mutual became the first mutual insurance company in the UK and the first insurer in the South West to achieve Chartered status from the CII. We now also have two CII Fellows and more than 70 CII qualified employees among our teams.
Expanding our team in Dorset and Somerset
Cornish Mutual is expanding its teams in Dorset and Somerset to meet growing demand in the two counties. Daisy Jackson and Shane Moore are the latest to join our Field Force team.
After leaving school, Daisy completed an apprenticeship with insurance firm Brokerbility before joining commercial insurer Alan and Thomas. She still helps with the running of her family’s dairy farm in Bruton, on the Dorset-Somerset border.
Shane has a background in insurance, finance and retail and has lived in East Dorset, on the edge of the New Forest, all his life. He worked as a financial advisor with Lloyds Banking group before spending three years with insurance firm LV.
Cornish Mutual Sales & Operations Leader Philip Wilson said: “We pride ourselves on offering a personal service so are expanding our Dorset and Somerset teams to ensure we have a strong network of knowledgeable, locally based advisors to support our Members.”
Do you need signs to protect your livestock?
Cornish Mutual has been advised of an increase in livestock worrying incidents in the South West in recent months. We know this is a year-round problem and is one of our Members’ number one concerns.
Putting up signage is a good way of informing dog walkers that there is livestock on your land. While the Police can provide signage on request, we wanted to do our bit to help and are now pleased to be able to offer signs to Members. Our hard-wearing, weather-proof signs are worded in such a way to ensure they comply with the law. To request signs for your farm, please contact 0345 900 1288.
Meet our Members: Knightstone Farm Luxury Glamping
At Knightstone Farm, near Ottery St Mary, Cornish Mutual Members Dave and Vicki Lawrence run a small glamping site alongside their 380-head dairy herd. Knightstone Farm Luxury Glamping is connected to land that the Lawrence family has farmed for decades.
The inspiration came in 2012 when a safari tent at Devon County Show caught Vicki’s attention, triggering memories of their honeymoon in Kenya two years’ earlier. Coming from a farming family, as well as being a trained landscape architect and former planning agent, Vicki immediately saw the potential in a tucked-away corner of their land next to the lake. The following year, the couple began welcoming their first guests.
Vicki explains: “Most older farms have buildings that you can convert into holiday accommodation. Because our farm is relatively new, we had to think outside the box. We had the perfect area for it, with the lake, a footpath into Ottery, and beavers on the river that had already got the farm on to the news. It just made sense.”
In 2016, the couple expanded the site by adding a shepherd’s hut. Like the safari tent, it balances simplicity and a connection to nature with comfort and luxury. With goats, chickens and Shetland ponies all on site, and farm visits on offer, guests can get a flavour of rural life.
The couple sought Cornish Mutual’s advice when they began researching the business. Vicki says: “Speaking to Cornish Mutual was a vital part of our business planning and having their advice was really reassuring, especially as we have so many children staying here.”
Cornish Mutual Field Force Inspector Gary Burgess has known Vicki and Dave since they were children, having advised their parents on their farm insurance. He says: “Every time I pop in, there’s something a bit different, whether it’s swings, hot tubs or a pizza oven. Dave and Vicki have worked really hard and deserve to make a real success of it.”