Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has today (21 October) visited a Lanarkshire farming family who pride themselves on their pioneering and very successful grazing management as well as their thriving farm butchery, online and farm shop business.
During a visit to Damn Delicious at Thankerton Camp Farm, Biggar, The Princess Royal was given a tour of the farm, butchery and farm shop by owner Michael Shannon, who is a passionate advocate of grass-based farming systems and top-quality Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI production.
A tour of the farm included viewing the paddock and rotational grazing system at Thankerton Camp as Mr Shannon explained the grass varieties and grazing management techniques he uses to ensure optimal grass utilisation.
Her Royal Highness also learnt about Mr Shannon’s participation in the UK GrassCheck project as well as his overwintering system where his cattle graze on forage crops with access to bales of silage - a system pioneered by Mr Shannon.
The Princess Royal was at Damn Delicious in her capacity as patron of the Scotch Beef Club, run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Mr Shannon farms 100 hectares at Thankerton Camp Farm, where he runs a finishing cattle system with no housing, making use of high-quality grass and winter forage crops. He currently finishes approximately 150 Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn cross cattle a year, two thirds of which he sells through Damn Delicious. He also runs a flock of 220 ewes producing finished lamb for the shop.
During today’s visit Her Royal Highness also viewed the Damn Delicious butchery units and farm shop, whilst Mr Shannon introduced his three staff members. He also explained his diverse product range and the importance of his online business.
The royal visitor then unveiled a plaque and signed a visitors’ book before being presented with a gift box of Damn Delicious Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb products.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to have Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visit us today to learn all about our family-run business,” said Mr Shannon.
“For us here at Thankerton Camp, we are extremely proud of all parts of our business from our innovative grazing management system which increases production and saves costs, to our successful online and farm shop business.
“We are committed to top quality produce and service and are currently investing in the expansion of the Damn Delicious butchery and farm shop business, with a particular focus on growing online sales.”
Kate Rowell, Chair of QMS was among those attending today’s event. “It is absolutely fantastic to see the passion and enthusiasm that Mr Shannon has for producing and selling top quality Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb – brands which are globally-renowned for their world-leading quality assurance, exceptional quality and taste,” said Mrs Rowell.
“Damn Delicious is a great example of using innovative farming methods to further build on the reputation the Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands have for provenance and quality.”