“To produce a sustainable future for fell farming in Cumbria.”
Lake District Farmers was founded in 2009 by the late Ray Armstrong to facilitate a quality driven and sustainable supply chain for family run fell farms in The Lake District. Since Ray’s sad passing in 2013, co-founder Dan Austin took on the LDF mantle to create a long and lasting legacy to Ray – a niche business that would be judged by those that know.
Dan spent much of his childhood on his Grandfather’s farm situated on the south-west corner of the Lakeland fells, and it was here that Dan first experienced life on the farm. Growing up with livestock around him enabled him to develop a deep understanding of how Cumbrian fell farms operate, with their animals wandering freely in the fields and on the hills. And it is that understanding, and the intimacy he has shared with the livestock, that has enabled him to cultivate strong and lasting bonds with the farmers that now supply LDF.
In 2015, it was fitting that Ray’s son, Hayden, should join the business to maintain the Armstrong family link, and to work with Dan to manage the business and drive it onward to the next chapter.
So, fast forward to 2020 and LDF is now working with over 50 Cumbrian farms. With a strong team around them, Dan, Hayden and Sales Director, Russell Dodd, are able to continue to nurture the relationships they have established with the LDF farmers and their animals. These relationships have been, and still are, crucial in enabling LDF to become synonymous with producing some of the best quality, breed specific meat available.
With quality being the LDF byword, it has been crucial to scale up the business slowly so that the core elements of the LDF ethos are not lost. This has been key in enabling the company to develop a customer portfolio that includes some of the UK’s best chefs, restauranteurs and hotels.
LDF remains closely connected to the people and landscape that produce, rear and raise their stock, being alongside them every step of the way. This ensures that the LDF team unequivocally understand the level of passion, patience and good solid hard work that goes into creating a second-to-none product. This connection and dedication to their farmers enables LDF to play a major part in protecting a long-standing way of life that is becoming increasingly rare, whilst supplying top quality produce to top quality customers – the perfect equation to protect and preserve traditional fell farming for generations to come.