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Farmers in Gloucestershire celebrate produce for Great British Beef Week

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: April 22, 2013

Expert work:  Irayne Paikin  at Todenham Manor Farm, in Moreton-in-Marsh

Expert work: Irayne Paikin at Todenham Manor Farm, in Moreton-in-Marsh

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BEEF farmers have taken a bashing in recent months but they are determined to keep bringing the meat to the table.

As many mark Great British Beef Week, which runs until Saturday, they are aiming to remind foodies why the product is so good.

An annual celebration of the British beef industry, it was set up by Ladies in Beef and is timed each year to coincide with St George's Day.

This week's celebration comes at a time when farmers have been struggling with extreme weather, bovine TB and the horsemeat scandal.

The Ladies in Beef will be joining forces with the Royal Architectural Benevolent Institution (RABI), a grant-making, welfare charity which helps farming people of all ages in financial difficulty.

For farmer Irayne Paikin, who owns Todenham Manor Farm in Moreton-in-Marsh, beef is a source of pride for British farmers everywhere.

"It is typically British," she said. "When you think Sunday, you think beef with Yorkshire puddings."

The 47-year-old, started the farm eight years ago. Rearing both pigs and cows, it has picked up a Great Taste gold award since 2010, together with a BPEX award in 2011.

Irayne added: "A career as a farmer came as a very unexpected departure from the life that I have grown up with. I am very much a London girl."

She said the recent horse meat scandal had shed light on a number of issues which the industry faces.

"The recent horse meat crisis has probably shown just one of many problems which affect the food industry," she added.

"I don't want something like this to do a disservice to the industry, especially when farms like ours show exactly how the breed should be reared."

Jill Greed, who started Ladies in Beef in 2010, said the aim of Great British Beef Week was to help raise awareness of the product.

She added: "Great British Beef Week couldn't come at a better time.

"Consumer confidence has been shaken recently, but we hope shoppers will realise that the best way to ensure that the beef they buy is born, raised, processed and packed in Britain to the highest quality standards is to look for the Red Tractor logo on the label. You can't buy, or taste, better."

Adam Henson, who has livestock at Cotswold Farm Park, is patron of Ladies in Beef.

He said: "I wholeheartedly applaud the work Ladies in Beef are doing to raise public awareness of the true meaning of the Red Tractor logo.

"They have a real passion for the British beef industry, one that I share, and I'm sure they will be very successful."

OPINION, P8

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