The diversification began in 2002 with a roadside takeaway selling organic meat burgers produced on the farm to people passing on the A5 in Wales. This side of the business grew so much he decided to invest in a new farm shop offering more than 2,000 products, many local or organic, as well as a bistro restaurant and takeaway in 2011. In 2012, he invested in a state-of-the-art meat cutting and processing plant. Orders can be taken daily and meat is butchered, packed and dispatched the same day.
The estate supplies Waitrose, but also some of the best restaurants and hotels in London, Hong Kong, UAE, Macau and Singapore. A wholesale quality meat business covers the country, with a weekly delivery service to London’s Deli’s & Restaurants and couriers for nationwide mail orders.
Further diversification started in 2011 into renewables, including solar, geothermal, wind, ground-source and hydro schemes.
Hard work, determination, and the desire to question and challenge the status quo by seeking out alternative business opportunities have opened up new and exciting markets for Rhug, both in the UK and overseas. Robert has created a bespoke “Rhug Organic” brand that guarantees customers total security of provenance and traceability.
Rhug now sells its own produce – directly to delis & mail order customers as well as top restaurants and hotels in London and the Far East.
The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. It has been described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world and the ‘epicurean equivalent of the Booker prize’. The Great Taste logo is the sign you can trust when buying local food and drink.
Since 1994 more than 120,000 products have been put through the robust Great Taste Award judging process. Each product is fastidiously blind-tasted by selected chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics, and writers over 60 judging days. Those accredited receive either three, two, or one star for their products. Rhug achieved one star for both its Dee Valley Turkey and Goose.
Lord Newborough, Owner of Rhug Estate said, “Gareth is already a winner in our eyes having won the Welsh Award. It is recognition for all the hard work and passion Gareth puts into the farm here at Rhug and the Welsh farming industry. He has made a huge contribution to the overall success of Rhug Organic Farm over the last 25 years.
He has also established himself as a highly respected member of many key organisations which help to inspire and guide the future development of farming in Wales. Gareth’s commitment goes further than his work at Rhug through his support of the local community, his pride in Welsh culture and language. Gareth is not only a pillar of Rhug he is also a pillar of the community.”
Lord Newborough has always believed in sustainable farming and organic food as providing a better and healthier option as well as having a genuine concern for animal welfare.
The Soil Association is Rhug’s organic certifying body and is the stamp that gives us and other organic producers their ‘Rolls Royce’ status. The Soil Association certification is proof that its members supply security of provenance to all customers.
The judges include Edward Berry of The Flying Fork; Stuart Gates, former managing director at Fortnum & Mason and senior buyer at Harrods; award-winning retailer, Tracey Colley and food writer, Patrick McGuigan. Graham Webster.
General Manager of Rhug Ltd, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as a finalist in the Guild of Fine Food’s Shop of the Year Awards. We pride ourselves on our customer service in the Farm Shop and the success of Rhug is built on always trying to go that extra mile for our customers.”