Food & DrinkHow one man's quest to avoid wasting his household...

How one man’s quest to avoid wasting his household farm led to a lockdown success story


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In 2012, Giel Spierings got here residence from faculty someday to discover a on the market signal on the Cornish farm his mother and father had purchased 14 years earlier after shifting from their native Holland seeking a higher life. 

Regardless of the household’s finest efforts, plummeting milk costs had made the farm unviable – however Giel, aged simply 17 on the time, was decided not to surrender and persuaded his mother and father to let him strive his do-or-die concept to safe the household’s future: Dutch cheese. 

Some eight years later, the Cornish Gouda Company – the artisanal enterprise arrange by Giel after he was handed his grandmother’s recipe for making the well-known cheese – this week discovered itself inundated with orders after it featured on a brand new BBC series celebrating Cornwall by tv chef Rick Stein.  

Stampeding viewers briefly crashed the corporate’s web site as they positioned round 1,000 orders in a few hours, leaving Giel and his staff working flat out in what is often their quietest time of 12 months to dispatch deliveries from the farm and cheese manufacturing facility in verdant countryside close to the seaside city of Looe. 

Talking to BBC Radio Cornwall, he stated: “It was form of unbelievable actually. We simply had so many orders from all throughout the nation. It was unbelievable to see folks’s response. January is often a extremely quiet time of the 12 months for us. So it has actually helped us throughout these troublesome instances.” 

An assortment of cheeses . The household’s cows are ate up grass harvested from the farm’s fields and the ensuing cheeses matured for a interval from six weeks for a standard farmhouse Gouda to 5 years for the sought-after ‘classic’ model (Picture: Unsplash)

Pedigree herd

The sharp rise in demand is the fruits of a lengthy journey for the Spierings household, who left the Netherlands in 1998 after deciding that cheaper, high-quality pasture in Cornwall would enable them to realise their dream of proudly owning a farm and elevating their very own pedigree herd of Friesian dairy cows. 

That imaginative and prescient was imperiled as years of falling milk costs pushed hundreds of British dairy farmers out of enterprise and left the household getting ready to having to surrender. It was at this level that Giel noticed the potential in reviving a household custom of constructing Gouda, the ubiquitous semi-hard cheese named after the Dutch city round which manufacturing was based mostly from the medieval period onwards. Each his grandmothers had made Gouda throughout the Second World Struggle and Giel was handed the household recipe. 

He then undertook a largely self-taught apprenticeship in cheesemaking, returning to the Netherlands to be taught the fundamentals from a relative earlier than returning to Cornwall to start the arduous means of constructing a enterprise, paying his mother and father Joost and Annemarie a sustainable worth for milk used to provide the cheese and setting up manufacturing in a transformed Nissen hut on the farm. 

The ensuing award-winning product, which is regarded as the one Gouda produced within the UK and persuaded Stein throughout filming to declare Giel a “maestro”, bears little resemblance to the flaccid slices of pale, mass-produced Gouda to be discovered on grocery store cabinets. 


The household’s cows are ate up grass harvested from the farm’s fields and the ensuing cheeses matured for a interval from six weeks for a standard farmhouse Gouda to 5 years for the sought-after “classic” model much like an aged parmesan. 

Manufacturing has elevated from an preliminary weekly output of 120kg to 1,200kg, with some 2,700 wheels of artisanal Gouda within the farm’s maturation shed at anyone time. Giel stated: “We took our first cheese to a [local] WI market. We took all of the cheese that we had and inside hours we had offered out. Since then we now have been chasing our tail to satisfy demand.” 

Another sought-after Cornish foodstuffs 

Cornish sardines

As soon as upon a time referred to as pilchards, these fish have been hitherto a mainstay of the Cornish economic system. After falling out of trend in latest many years, they’ve been rebranded as a sustainable, high-quality foodstuff wanted by restaurateurs and gastronomes. 


Maybe the unique Cornish cheese, this semi-hard cow’s cheese is assumed so far again to the 13th century. It was revived within the Nineteen Sixties by Cornish farmers Alan and Jenny Grey. The title for the fashionable nettle-wrapped cheese is in truth the couple’s surname spelled backwards. 

Cornish pasties 

The definitive Cornish foodstuff originated because the “packed lunch” for the county’s miners, consumed by utilizing the attribute crimped crust as a deal with. Gross sales at the moment are price some £65m yearly and account for as a lot as 5 per cent of the Cornish economic system.   

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