Despite starting my working life as an electrical engineer I soon moved into farming with my wife which included pig breeding, egg production for retail and also mushrooms for our local shops in Hertfordshire.
Since then I have been associated with the meat industry and farmer co-operatives, firstly as MD of Herts Quality Pig Producers for ten years through whom we marketed our finished pigs. In 1975 we moved to Devon where for another ten years I was Development Manager of the North Devon Meat Company which was a co-operative with over 1,200 farmer members.
At that time they were one of the largest abattoirs and meat processing plants in the UK with a strong export trade and developing UK supermarket trade. Part of my responsibility was the setting up and importation of Texel sheep for the NDM farmer members, we also then had our own flock of Texels, plus store cattle and house cows.
It was during this time our two children outgrew their first Dartmoor pony, progressing to Exmoor, Arab/Highland, Suffolk/TB, Cleveland/TB and finally breeding two event horses by Shaab from our TB mare.
I then spent the next fifteen years setting up the Wessex Quality Meat Producers which was a farmers livestock marketing co-operative covering the West Country. During this time I was involved in setting up the Duchy Lamb Scheme under the guidance of Prince Charles marketing into Tesco.
Finally, I was invited to join the Organic Livestock Marketing Co-operative in 1998 which has now grown into the largest independent farmer controlled meat marketing co-operative in the UK. When I retired last Christmas I remained as a Director.
When you become a Member, you play an incredibly valuable part in keeping these gorgeous animals on the moor. You support the dedicated farmers who care for them and our efforts to promote the Dartmoor Pony for conservation grazing, helping secure a long-term future for them.