Meet the Producer of the Year 2018

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The Wicks Manor farm has been part of the Howie family for three generations, with each generation growing up in the same farmhouse and passing on the strong family values of the farm.

The welfare of their pigs has been the family’s priority for 50 years and they oversee the entire process of creating their bacon, ham and sausages – from growing the pig feed to making the sausages – ensuring their products are of the highest quality.

Owner Fergus Howie runs the fully integrated farm business in Maldon, and supplies the East of England Co-op with a delicious range of pork products as part of their award-winning Sourced Locally initiative.

“I’m extremely proud to run a business that is recognised for actively and proudly selling great local produce made on our family farm in rural Essex,” said Fergus.

“The most important aspect of the business for me is the family. It’s amazing to see my two children growing up on the farm; exploring and discovering the same things that I did. I’m passing on my knowledge to my children and they’re happy to help out – particularly with product testing!

“The long-term aspiration for Wicks Manor Pork is ensuring its longevity for the generations to come.”

Wicks Manor Pork’s recent collaboration with the East of England Co-op on ‘The Great Sausage Mash Up’ celebrated 50 years of farming and gave fans the chance to create a unique new pork sausage flavour.

Fergus commented: “To celebrate our half century, we gave the community the chance to invent their very own new flavour of pork sausage. The winning flavour, pork with honey, was then created exclusively for East of England Co-op food stores.”

Being shortlisted in the East of England Co-op’s Producer of the Year awards may not have come as a surprise to the team, who have won many awards over the years. In 2013, they was crowned winner of Britain’s Best Sausage at the Meat Industry Awards and shortlisted in the 2016 finals for Britain’s Best Burgers and Britain’s Best Sausages.

Using only the best ingredients, sourced locally where possible, all of the Wicks Manor Pork farm products are prepared and packaged in their own butchery and smokehouse.

He added: “We are unique in that we grow and mill wheat and barley on the farm to feed the pigs that live at Wicks Manor Pork farm.

“The bacon is dry-cured by hand and smoked using a blend of beechwood chips to give a lovely aromatic flavour. We also offer a delicious range of premium pork burgers and sausages which have super high meat content and are made using prime cuts of shoulder. We eat our sausages, bacon and ham non-stop. We’re our own number one fans!”