I wrote this draft earlier in the week, and didn’t get a chance to post it. I’m being a little lazy – no pics for a change, just boring text:
Since giving up the day job and embarking on this new career as a charcutier it’s been rare that I’ve had time to take a minutes pause and put my feet up. Although things are extremely busy, I’m slowly managing to get into the groove of coping with all the bits and bobs that need doing. This week for instance is one of those rare non-production weeks. We’ve a few days holiday planned for May, so I’ve slowed down a little in order that I can take that time off – when products take so long to mature, you’ve got to calculate the ordering of the raw product weeks in advance. It’s a juggling act, but I’ve got one of those brains that loves organising timings. I get to do it with my delivery rounds too, and it takes me back to my time driving film productions around on recces – though I don’t get to schedule a long leisurely lunch at a favourite eatery anymore.
So, what’s happened in the life of the business recently? Well, a couple weeks back we had a new piece of air drying kit delivered from Italy. Sadly it took a knock in transit and I’m waiting on a replacement – it’s not ideal, it’s pushing timelines further back, but it’s been an interesting experience, me with a screwdriver trying to fix it here, while Skype-ing with a technician in Italy.
Things are progressing, albeit slowly with the planned new facility. I secured a Food Business Development Advisory grant from the Welsh Government recently. The grant was spent on revising my business plan; my original plan, written over a year ago has changed so much, largely due to what I learnt on the HCC Scholarship to the US and Canada last year. Thanks to Landsker Business Consultancy, I’ve now got a shiny new business plan that should see me through the next three years.
From a whole-farm perspective I’ve also been looking more at how we can reduce our CO2 emissions, reduce our water and electricity usage and investigate possible renewable energy projects. A local Farmers Co-operative had secured funding via the Local Energy Assessment Fund to look at possible sites for community renewable energy projects and last week Guto Owen from Ynni Glan came to take a look at some possible sites. We might not have the ‘right type of wind’ or enough flow in the river but it’s a worthwhile exercise to see what we could be potentially doing to make the farm, and the business far more sustainable.