‘Thy choicest gifts in store’
GRANNY Smith salutes The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee this week with our blackboard at the front of the store. Elizabeth II is monarch first but a countrywoman and farmer, too. Her Majesty – through her Crown Estates – owns 105,000 hectares of grazing and arable land in the United Kingdom. Management of these farming interests includes ‘Project 2020′, which seeks to ensure that the Crown’s agricultural enterprises contribute to the maintenance of Britain’s food security. An Estate initiative called ‘Supply Chain’ helps provide a secure market for estate tenants’ produce, with a pilot programme enabling Estate farmers to provide milk directly to leading food retailer Waitrose, for example. The Crown Estate also sponsors a Nuffield Scholarship for farming, The Prince of Wales’ Farming and Food Summer School, and contributes to The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which supports improvements in the sustainability of British farming and rural communities. ‘Activities throughout the year on our farms to support local education initiatives allow young people to learn about where their food comes from,’ the Estate says.