Pleased to meat you, royal tells farmers

Farm owner Robin Tuke greeting The Princess royal to his Borders beef farm at Gordon.
Farm owner Robin Tuke greeting The Princess royal to his Borders beef farm at Gordon.

A visit to Hardiesmill Place near Gordon gave the Princess Royal, patron of the Scotch Beef Club among her many roles, an insight into ethical meat production.

Princess Anne was given a tour of the farm by owners Robin and Alison Tuke, whose farming ethos focuses on producing exceptional-quality beef while making animal welfare a priority. Her visit included viewing some of the 130 breeding Aberdeen Angus cows on the farm, all from the original Scottish bloodlines of the breed.

Princess Royal on a tour of the farm with owner Alison Tuke, showing some of their 130 breeding Aberdeen Angus cows.

Princess Royal on a tour of the farm with owner Alison Tuke, showing some of their 130 breeding Aberdeen Angus cows.

The Tuke family, whose farm extends to around 480 acres, focus on three key areas to deliver top quality beef – breeding, feeding and handling.

“We are rearing cattle to produce the best possible eating experience that we can,” said Alison.

“We see our farm as the Scotch beef industry’s equivalent to a fine chateau in the French wine regions.

“We take great pride in the fact the beef we produce is distinctive as a result of our terroir – the land and environment of where it is produced.”

Jim McClaren, chairman of Quality Meats Scotland introducing The Princess Royal to workers and neighbours during her tour of Hardiesmill Farm.

Jim McClaren, chairman of Quality Meats Scotland introducing The Princess Royal to workers and neighbours during her tour of Hardiesmill Farm.

The Princess Royal was also shown the on-site butchery and product development premises by the farm’s butcher, Brian Grieve.

“We are proud to work at the leading edge of British butchery, and we seam-cut our beef to produce one of the largest ranges of steaks in Europe,” said Robin.

“In total we produce around 16 different types of steaks - some lean, some with fat; some big on flavour, some light; some to be cooked rare, others better done.”

Master butcher Brian Grieve gave the Princess a tour of the farm's chill rooms  and demonstrated the different cuts from a shoulder of beef.

Master butcher Brian Grieve gave the Princess a tour of the farm's chill rooms and demonstrated the different cuts from a shoulder of beef.

Local celebrated chefs, Gareth Gilder, Bucclueuch, and Derek Johnson, Borthwick Castle restaurant, cooked and presented several dishes for the Princess Royal.

Local celebrated chefs, Gareth Gilder, Bucclueuch, and Derek Johnson, Borthwick Castle restaurant, cooked and presented several dishes for the Princess Royal.