Welcome to the world of Godminster where the aim is to create a more circular farming environment so the system can regenerate itself and continually provide, rather than erode the delicate ecosystem by the use of artificial and chemical substances.
Godminster Farm is set on the outskirts of the town of Bruton, Somerset, where the historic pedigree is recorded as far back as the Doomsday Book of 1086. With 1300 acres of beautiful landscape, the farm is not only home to 300 organic dairy cows, but also boasts fruitful orchards filled with a variety of delicious fruits and herbs that inspire many Godminster products.
Godminster owner and founder, Richard Hollingbery, arrived at Godminster in September 1993. By the time he had looked at the way he farmed here he was able to go into conversion from the summer of 1996. The farm gained full organic certification from the Soil Association in 1999, for both crops and animals.
The cows at Godminster Farm enjoy a simple and wholesome life. Richard sees them as the foundations for his entire approach to the business, with much of the farm’s milk turned into Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar.
Not only is the local (and some not so local) population benefitting from this rapidly expanding diverse business, Richard’s cows receive a holistic approach to their ongoing health. This includes the use of specially grown herbs as part of the treatment and prevention of diseases to enhance herd health. When the summer grazing months are over, the cows enjoy specially grown feeds planted at Godminster Farm comprising oats, barley, grasses and peas (to mention a just few) which provide the cows with a wholesome and balanced diet.
Over the last decade, Godminster has created and restored numerous natural habitats and reintroduced native species to replenish this ecosystem. The team uses a rotation system whereby crops themselves (and home-grown fertiliser) provide sufficient nutrients for the soil. Godminster’s ideal of becoming entirely self-sufficient involves the use of all these habitats, which in turn foster a wealth of life.
Godminster Farm is a testament to Richard’s passion to be environmentally neutral. With a mantra of “nature repays those who treat her kindly,” his humane approach to husbandry and pioneering spirit is a breath of fresh air. As a businessman, Richard has merged tradition with the spirit of innovation, and no doubt future generations and custodians of Godminster Farm will continue to expand upon his legacy.
The organic market is still growing in popularity in the UK as consumers become more aware of what they eat and how it is produced. Godminster is excited to be part of that charge. The increasing prevalence of organic lines made the BOOM award win for Godminster’s Vintage Organic Cheddar, crowning it the Nation’s Favourite Organic Product, all the more special, especially given that it was down to the public vote. Coupled with the Best of Organic Dairy, the BOOM Awards were just two of the many awards the Vintage Organic Cheddar has won over the years.
The First Cheddar
We made the first Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar to a 90-year-old recipe. It was a thank you gift from Richard to friends and neighbours who helped him on the conversion to organic journey. When they tasted it, he knew he was on to something special. Richard sold the first ‘commercial’ Godminster truckle at a local farmers’ market, and the business has gone from strength to strength ever since. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, Godminster is instantly recognisable in its distinctive burgundy wax. The gorgeous coloured wax emphasises the pedigree and truly special status of the cheddar, as well as enhances the shelf life.
The cheddar matures for up to 12 months. At that point, we select the best cheese for our multi-award-winning truckles. It is suitable for vegetarians, contains no preservatives, and is certified organic the Soil Association.
Godminster also produces an Oak-Smoked version of the Vintage Organic Cheddar, and most recently a Black Truffle Vintage Organic Cheddar, launched in September 2019, both award-winning in their own right. We also offer a range of delicious gifts to cater for the foodie in your life.
We now sell our milk locally in bottles across Somerset, Devon, Bristol, Bath and Gloucestershire. The remainder goes towards organic cheddar production. Today, we sell our cheddar from our shop in Bruton, with plenty of free parking to support the town. Our sales and marketing teams work from new offices beside the shop. Our finance and operations teams work just a few hundred metres away at our warehouse.
You can buy our cheddar and gifts online through this website. It’s also available from various independent farm shops and delis and some other carefully selected partners nationwide. Moreover, 26 countries (and counting!) globally too. You will also meet us at various shows and events throughout the year for both consumers and traders. It’s always lovely to meet our customers in person, so do come and say hello!
Our logo represents the cyclical nature of our vision of creating a self-sustaining environment. A delicate ecosystem that can regenerate and flourish, free from the effects of artificial, intensive farming.