Somerset cereal farmer named first White’s Organic Grower of the Year

Pete Cheek from Godminster Farm in Somerset has been awarded the inaugural Organic Grower of the Year award by White’s Oats.

Cheek was given the accolade for his ecological farming practices and commitment to producing sustainable, high-quality organic porridge oats.

Since 2010, Cheek has been part of the White’s Oats and Organic Arable supply chain partnership and is one of 40 dedicated organic oat farmers striving to deliver top quality milling oats.

Godminster Farm, which recently won UK Best Organic Farm at Soil Association’s BOOM awards, delivered White’s best organic oats from harvest 2020 with the best ‘Oat Quality Score’.

Commenting Pete Cheek said: “I am delighted to receive the award on behalf of Godminster and immensely proud to be part of the White’s oats and Organic Arable supply partnership.

Organic farming challenges you to approach things differently and we operate a number of pioneering trials that allow our small team to work more closely with the natural environment.

“It’s an exciting time for organic farming and we want to continue to work with the flourishing landscape around us to deliver the highest quality and standard of organic oats possible.”

Judging

Judging for the award was based around three key areas including:

  • Mill quality (for example hullability, kernel content and screenings);
  • Sustainable farming practices; and
  • Technical development around commitment to oat research and trials.

Sean Kane, agri supply-chain coordinator, who works in partnership with White’s growers commented: “This award is testament to the hard work Pete and the team at Godminster have been doing to farm in a way that is great for the environment and nature while delivering top quality organic food.

“Pete’s willingness to learn from our research trials and other growers through knowledge sharing has seen him continually improve the yield and quality of his oats.

Pete’s Mascani winter oats yielded up to 2.3t/ac with kernel content as high as 78% – this has shown that the right variety and management of oats can perform excellently in an organic system.”

Robin Maingay from Organic Arable said: “We at Organic Arable are delighted for Pete and Godminster for winning this year’s award for best oat quality and the BOOM award for best organic farm in the country over 10ha.

“It’s such an honour and a real testament to the hard work Pete and the team have been putting in here year on year.

Pete is constantly striving to be a better farmer, to innovate with different trials and work with companies such as White’s on shortening the supply chain.

“This illustrates how well he and his team farm, and how skilled the team at Rushall Organics are with their grain conditioning they carry out on Pete’s oats. We look forward to working with Godminster, Pete and White’s for years to come and hope to see more awards going to Organic Arable farmers for all the hard work and dedication they put in growing outstanding crops year in, year out.”