News

Dovecote Park producer hosts Country Trust event
Monday 18 June 2018
We are delighted to report the recent success of our Country Trust event held at Elizabeth Jervis’ farm in Stafford. A group of 30 children from John Randall Primary School were able to visit one of our beef farms as part of a cross supply chain initiative between Waitrose and the Country Trust.

The relationship has evolved with the Country Trust as one of our organic producers David Thompson has been instrumental in its success by regularly hosting schools at his farm in Northumberland, a commitment he was subsequently commended for by receiving a Waitrose Farming Award a few years ago. Elizabeth has a suckler herd comprising of around 90 cows all put to an Aberdeen Angus bull. The herd is closed with all progeny (except replacement heifers) being sent to Dovecote Park on the Aberdeen Angus scheme. Swinchurch farm was a great example for the school children as there is also an arable enterprise with combinable crops, some of which are fed as a home-grown ration to the cattle. Elizabeth has been supplying cattle to Dovecote Park for 9 years.

The aim for the day was to introduce the children to cattle and the countryside, we



also wanted to work alongside the school’s curriculum and therefore included a section on feed, beef breeds, cuts, traceability and lastly, cattle anatomy. We started the day with a farm walk, Julie Warburton (West Midlands Farm Discovery Coordinator) from the Country Trust led the discussions on breeds of the cattle seen in the field, the welfare associated with looking after cattle and Dovecote Park’s high standards, the children were able to look through binoculars at the dairy cows located in nearby fields and compare them to the Angus suckler herd at Swinchurch Farm.

We then discussed the crops grown at Swinchurch farm, children established the difference between barley and wheat, Elizabeth then discussed the root system and encouraged them to look at the leaf, ear, stem and roots. We were able to talk to the children regarding the calendar year on the farm, and what happens in the seasonal timetable. After lunch we split into 3 groups, to rotate around the stands where we heard more about cuts of beef, the children were able to guess what they were and how they may be cooked. We also showed the variety of British breeds, and



explained the difference between native and continental cattle. Children were able to touch a hide and ask about the abattoir process. Passports and ear tags were shown to the children to enable their understanding and necessity for traceability from Farm to Fork. 

The next stand supported the anatomy content of the curriculum. Children deciphered the difference between heart, lungs, liver, tongue and kidney and were encouraged to explain each of their functions in the body. As you can see from the photos this was hugely popular! Elizabeth hosted the final stand, which expanded their knowledge of animal feed, a silage bale was opened allowing them to smell the forage, the children were able to use a pestle and mortar to try and roll the barley (to illustrate the state in which it would be fed to cattle). Elizabeth explained the digestive system of a ruminant, including the four stomachs and how the ration is processed. We would like to say a big thank you to Elizabeth Jervis and her team at Swinchurch farm, the staff members at John Randall Primary School and Julie Warburton from the Country Trust. We thoroughly enjoyed the day, a day developed for a truly meaningful charity.



Archive


Dovecote Park and Newtech collaborate on latest addition to site
Wednesday 01 August 2018
We are pleased to be underway with the latest addition to our site's landscape - in the form of a robotic dry-age refrigeration system, currently being installed by our sister company, Newtech.

Phillippa Helme nominated for Women in Meat Rising Star Award
Tuesday 31 July 2018
We are delighted to announce that Phillippa Helme (NPD) has been among the first women to be nominated for the Rising Star award at the Women in Meat awards, scheduled to be held in London in November.

Dovecote Park producer hosts Country Trust event
Monday 18 June 2018
This June, our livestock team were delighted to organise a Country Trust event for 30 schoolchildren at the farm of Elizabeth Jervis, one of our beef producers. Here, Cattle Connect Manager Laura Masters shares her experience of the event.

Dovecote Park and WATOK: An update
Tuesday 12 June 2018
Over the last 2 years, Dovecote Park have continued to improve our standards as an industry leading business when it comes to animal welfare - including becoming a licensed animal welfare training centre in 2016, and now licensed to train independently from our site.

New lines introduced for Barbecue Launch 2018
Monday 30 April 2018
We are proud to announce the launch of several brand new products to the Waitrose shelf for barbecue season 2018. Among our new lines are several additions to our burger range, two new kebab products, and our Treacle Cured Flat Iron Steak, which celebrates our bespoke smoking facilities.

Dovecote Park CEO talks Brexit at NFU Conference
Wednesday 28 March 2018
This years NFU Conference, held at the NEC Centre in Birmingham saw Dovecote Park's Joint Chief Executive David Gunner join a panel of industry experts discussing the potential impact of Brexit on the agricultural sector.

Gender Pay Reporting 2017
Tuesday 27 March 2018
National statistics show that generally men are paid more than women are. Companies with more than 250 employees have been asked by the Government to publish any pay difference experienced by men and women (it is referred to as the ‘pay gap’).

Waitrose Managing Director Rob Collins opens venison facilities
Monday 19 March 2018
On Friday 16th March, we were honoured to welcome Rob Collins, Managing Director of Waitrose, to our Stapleton site to officially open our bespoke venison facilities.

New products for January 2018
Thursday 01 February 2018
The first month of 2018 has been one of our busiest yet for new products, with ten new additions to the Waitrose shelf over the course of January. 

Dovecote Park Carcase Competition makes a return to Skellingthorpe
Monday 29 January 2018
On Thursday 25th January, our Bi-Annual Carcase Contest made a much welcomed return to Skellingthorpe, with over 90 of our producers submitting cattle to the judging panel.

Dovecote Park launch 2017 Christmas products
Monday 11 December 2017
We are delighted to announce the launch of several new products for the Christmas 2017 season - including several returning products from previous years, and a number of brand new items such as the British Beef Top Rump with Honey Mustard Basting Fat and the Sticky Fig, Prosciutto and Parmesan Rib of Beef.

Dovecote Park at the 2017 Waitrose Farming Conference
Wednesday 15 November 2017
On 14th October, several Directors and members of the Livestock team, along with a group of Dovecote Park producers attended the 9th Waitrose Farming Conference at Telford International Conference Centre.  

Macmillan Coffee Morning
Monday 16 October 2017
We were delighted to once again host our annual Macmillan Coffee Morning at our Stapleton site, in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

September sees launch of new autumn lines
Monday 25 September 2017
We are pleased to announce the launch of several new products for the Waitrose shelf, including a new Easy to Cook line and a re-branding of two of our Waitrose1 products - available in stores on September 25th.

New developments at the Waitrose service counter
Wednesday 02 August 2017
We are pleased to see the success of several Dry Aged Cabinets in select Waitrose stores - the latest in a series of service counter improvements overseen by our Development Director David Redman.

Dovecote Park score top grade at BRC audit
Monday 17 July 2017
We were delighted to receive an A* grade at our recent unannounced BRC audit on July 17th.

Waitrose awarded Best Retailer in animal welfare awards
Monday 03 July 2017
We were pleased to see Waitrose awarded Best Retailer at the Compassion in World Farming Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards - the sixth time the supermarket has won the award.

Summer heatwave sees record production levels
Wednesday 28 June 2017
The searing temperatures seen across the country in June saw Waitrose customers flocking to stores for barbecue supplies - meaning record levels of production for our hardworking factory staff here at Dovecote! 

Dovecote Park at 2017 Beef Expo
Monday 22 May 2017
We were pleased to take part in the 2017 NBA Beef Expo on Thursday 18th May, where several members of the Dovecote Park livestock team travelled to Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire to represent the business at one of the industry's leading events.

April sees new products launch at Dovecote Park
Monday 10 April 2017
We are delighted to announce the launch of several new products into Waitrose stores - including a new Easy to Cook Mediterranean Encroute and three additions to our veal range. 

Dovecote Park receive award for apprenticeship scheme
Friday 31 March 2017
We were delighted to see our Apprenticeship scheme recognized at the East Riding College internal awards in Beverley on March 20th. 

Waitrose sees fifth year at top of Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare
Monday 23 January 2017
We were pleased to see Waitrose ranked - for the fifth year running -  in the top tier of the Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare, a leading global animal welfare audit which assesses food businesses worldwide on their apporach to animal welfare practices. 

Brand new Christmas products for Waitrose
Monday 12 December 2016
Merry Christmas from the team at Dovecote Park! To mark the Yuletide season, our NPD team have been hard at work developing a range of Christmas products for the Waitrose shelf! This Christmas marks the launch of bacon wrapped sirloin medallions and British beef rump, along with a dry aged sirloin for the Waitrose1 line. We caught up with the NPD team for a taste of the brand new products.

Dovecote Park at the Waitrose Farming Conference
Wednesday 02 November 2016
We were delighted to see the hard work of some of our producers recognized at the 8th Waitrose Farming Conference, held on November 1st at the Telford International Centre. 

Dovecote Park producers featured as Beef Farmer of the Year finalists
Monday 15 August 2016
We are delighted to announce that two producers who supply cattle to Dovecote Park have been named as finalists in the upcoming Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year award, to be announced in London on October 6th. 

Dovecote Park reaps benefits from wind turbine
Friday 29 July 2016
Dovecote Park are constantly looking into methods to become a greener business and reduce our carbon footprint, as well as reducing our energy costs. Our latest venture has seen an addition to our Stapleton site, in the form of a 50ft wind turbine, from which we have already seen considerable benefits.

Dovecote Park products feature in brand new Waitrose1 launch
Thursday 16 June 2016
Waitrose launched Waitrose1 its first premium range this month, the supermarkets first range in nine years. Among the 800+ products included in the new range are nearly 20 from Dovecote Park - including several existing products given an exciting re-brand, and a few brand new ones!

Dovecote Park at 2016 Beef Expo
Monday 23 May 2016
On Friday May 20th, our Livestock team were among 140 trade stands at the 2016 NBA Beef Expo, one of the most important events in the beef sector calendar.

Dovecote Park staff make another visit to Plumstead Manor School
Thursday 10 March 2016
On Tuesday 8th March, Laura Masters (Livestock) and Robyn Simpson (Commercial) visited Plumstead Manor School to share their experiences within the beef industry with a group of female secondary school students.

Waitrose receive top ranking in Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare
Monday 01 February 2016
We are delighted to report that Waitrose have been ranked in the top tier once again in a global animal welfare audit, conducted by the Business Benchmark in Farm Animal Welfare.

Producers defend their titles at 2016 Carcase Competition
Friday 22 January 2016
On 21st of January, over 100 producers, Dovecote park employees and Waitrose representatives gathered to our Skellingthorpe plant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dovecote Park Carcase competition.

PICTURED: Will Brocklehurst accepts the Champion Native prize.

New Christmas joints for Waitrose
Saturday 12 December 2015
We are delighted to announce the launch of two brand new products for the Waitrose Christmas line, the result of months of hard work from our New Product Development team.

Dovecote Park awarded A+* grade at BRC audit
Tuesday 04 August 2015
We are delighted to announce that Dovecote Park were awarded an A+ grade at our recent unannounced BRC audit on August 3rd.

Dovecote Park Open Day at JCB and Wootton Lodge
Wednesday 01 July 2015
On Monday 29th June, we welcomed over 400 of our producers and their families to the JCB Visitor Centre in Staffordshire for a different take on our annual Open Day.

Waitrose awarded Best Retailer at CIWF Awards
Wednesday 10 June 2015
We are pleased to announce that Waitrose have been awarded Best Retailer at the Compassion in World Farming Retail Awards, held in Milan on Tuesday 9th June. 

Dovecote Park at Beef Expo 2015
Friday 22 May 2015
On Thursday 21st May, the Dovecote Park livestock team headed to the York Auction Centre for the 2015 Beef Expo, an annual showcase which celebrates and promotes the British beef sector.

Summer 2015 Barbecue range for Waitrose
Thursday 07 May 2015
We are excited to announce the Summer 2015 barbecue range, available in Waitrose stores across the country now. This years range sees a re-imagining of successful products from previous years adapted to improve customer satisfaction, alongside several brand new products resulting from months of hard work from our New Product Development team.

New Boning Hall Management at Dovecote Park
Friday 01 May 2015
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Carl Hullah to the position of Boning Hall Manager at our Stapleton plant, and of Leon McDonald as Assistant Boning Hall Manager.

Highlanders at Dovecote Park
Monday 27 April 2015
On Friday 24th April, we welcomed a gathering of Dovecote Park Highland Cattle Producers and Highland Cattle Society representatives to our Stapleton site for a scheme meeting and factory tour.

Dovecote Park producer honoured by HM Queen Elizabeth II at Maundy Thursday
Monday 06 April 2015
We are pleased to report that one of our oldest producers, Bill Shepard from Laughton-en-le-Morthen, Sheffield was among the 89 men who received Maundy Money from HM Queen Elizabeth II at last weeks Maundy Thursday ceremony held at Sheffield Cathedral.

Producer Profile - Hereford Producer Richard
Friday 27 March 2015
Our March Producer Profile saw us visit Richard, in Warwickshire who has supplied our Hereford scheme since its origins in 1998, and who has played a key role in promotion of the breed through the Hereford Cattle Society.

Women in Butchery
Monday 09 March 2015
To mark International Women's Day on 8th March, we spoke to Dovecote Park's female butchers about their experiences working in one of the country's most male-dominated professions.

Dovecote Park staff visit Plumstead Manor School
Thursday 05 March 2015
On Wednesday 4th March, three staff members of Dovecote Park went to visit Plumstead Manor School in Greenwich, London, to speak to a group of over 200 female students about their career paths, and their experience working in the beef industry.

Waitrose see top result in global animal welfare report
Wednesday 18 February 2015
We are delighted to report that Waitrose have been awarded 'Tier 1' status in a global animal welfare audit conducted by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare which measured the approach to animal welfare of 80 worldwide food companies.

Elevating Women in Management
Tuesday 10 February 2015
Leadership & Management Development Programme
The EWIM course was developed by Parity Professionals who have over 23 years’ experience of successfully delivering leadership and management development programmes across a number of business environments... 

EBLEX Live to Dead Event
Wednesday 28 January 2015
On Tuesday 27th January, we held the first of our 2015 Live to Dead Cattle Grading Events at our Skellingthorpe plant, in association with EBLEX's Better Returns Programme...

Dovecote Park 2015 Annual Carcase Competition
Friday 23 January 2015
On Thursday 22nd January, we welcomed 130 of our producers and their families to our Skellingthorpe site for the ninth Dovecote Park Annual Carcase Competition, a highly successful event which displayed first hand the high standards of husbandry upon which we pride ourselves here at Dovecote Park...

Producer Profile: Cattle Connect producer Mark
Thursday 15 January 2015
For the first of our 2015 Producer Profiles, we sat down with Mark, one of the producers on our Cattle Connect scheme, to discuss his experiences with the scheme and take a look at his unique cattle housing system...

Producer Profile: Highland Producer Robert
Thursday 11 December 2014
With the Christmas season in full flow, and our Highland Cattle scheme now in its seventh year, we went to visit Robert Phillip - who has supplied us with Highland Cattle since 2007 - to discuss his experiences with the breed and with rearing cattle for Dovecote Park...

David Gunner receives Royal Smithfield Club award
Wednesday 03 December 2014
We are delighted to announce that our joint Chief Executive David Gunner has been announced as the recipient of the Royal Smithfield Clubs Bicentennial Trophy, one of the most prestigious awards in the UK meat industry...

Dovecote Park wins Product Innovation Award
Thursday 13 November 2014
Dovecote Park is very proud to announce our recent success at the Waitrose Supplier Awards 2014 our Dry Age Hereford Range won the Product Innovation Award...

Producer Profile: Ron
Monday 20 October 2014
For the first of our Producer Profiles, we caught up with Ron, one of Dovecote Park's longest serving producers, who has supplied us with Aberdeen Angus, Commercial and Hereford cattle since 1998...

Dovecote Park Open Day 2014
Wednesday 24 September 2014
On Friday 19th September, around 80 of Dovecote Park’s producers were welcomed to our Stapleton plant for the Dovecote Park Producer Open Day. This was the first time we had attempted a factory tour on this scale, and we were delighted to receive such a high turnout...

Dovecote Park and Waitrose Producer Open Day 2014
Tuesday 05 August 2014
Tuesday 3rd June saw 130 of Dovecote Parks producers gather at Home Farm in Withcall, Louth for the Dovecote Park and Waitrose Producers Open Day, graciously hosted this year by the AW Smith and Sons family...  

Dovecote Park wins Meat Management Award
Saturday 07 June 2014
Dovecote Park were highly honoured to see our very own joint chief executive David Gunner take home the Meat Management Excellence Award at the 2014 Meat Management awards on June 4th...

The Royal Visit
Monday 22 July 2013
On Monday 22nd July, Dovecote Park was honoured to welcome HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales to our Stapleton plant, where he undertook an extensive tour of the entire site, from the lairage and abattoir, through the boning hall and dry-age chiller through to retail and dispatches, meeting  the Dovecote staff in each department, and witnessing first-hand the plant operations...