Knowing that our products are from farms right here in the Isle of Man means you can always trust the quality and traceability of our beef, lamb and pork. That trust is based on the hard work and dedication of our fantastic network of 220 producers all year round, in all weathers – like Derek Kermeen, a sheep farmer at Lheakerrow Farm in Andreas which is part of Ballaseyr Stud Estate owned by 3 time Grand National winning racehorse owner Trevor Hemmings CVO.
Derek has enjoyed a lifetime in agriculture on the Island, growing up on a small upland farm in Maughold, then farming for himself before moving to Lheakerrow Farm. He may not have bred any Grand National winners, but he’s a champion when it comes to breeding top quality sheep! Together with Harry Best and Carla Kerruish, he looks after a flock of around 1,000 breeding ewes producing not only their own flock replacements, but also quality prime lambs which are supplied to Isle of Man Meats. A pure bred flock of Lleyn sheep are kept for breeding flock replacements and cross-breeding with New Zealand Suffolk for additional flock ewes, and Hampshire Down sheep provide great tasting lamb.
Derek says: “We chose Hampshire Down not only because they provide great tasting meat, but also because they are easy to manage and are a very hardy breed, so they are more than capable of coping with the Isle of Man’s unpredictable weather! A hardy breed is important because we’re focused on producing top quality, ethically reared, livestock as naturally as possible.”
As you would expect on a farm where everyone is immensely proud of the Isle of Man and its rich history, there’s also a flock of 20 Loaghtans.
Lheakerrow Farm also supplies delicious lamb to the chefs at Ramsey Park Hotel and the Bride Tea Rooms. Derek adds: “We’re really passionate about Isle of Man Meats’ #makesureitsmanx campaign, and all other initiatives which encourage Manx shoppers to buy local – which is why we’re especially proud to support great local businesses that create fantastic dishes with our produce.”