A LOCAL organic farmer has received an MBE in recognition for her services promoting Sustainable Food Production and Food Education in Scotland.
Pam Rodway (64) is best known locally for her work producing organic cheese from a farm in Wester Lawrencenton. Although the farm near Forres is no longer in production, she and husband Nick, who met while they were at university in Edinburgh in their twenties, have continued their work promoting all things organic.
This isn’t Pam’s only brush with royalty as she previously received a visit from HRH Prince Charles back in 2001 when cheese production at the farm, using milk from their own herd of animals, was at it’s height .The award recognised Pam’s life-long goals and work, which she said has been done “alongside” her husband. She said that she was “extremely surprised” to be honoured.
“I was very surprised but it’s a great honour to receive an MBE,” she said. “Everything I have done has been working alongside Nick.”
Together they started the Edinburgh Cyrenians Farm, which recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary of working to link social and environmental justice by providing a wholesome, family-farm context for people who struggle with poverty and homelessness to start to plan the rest of their lives.
“It was a real baptism of fire for us,” she said. “But it gave people a different way of working and looking at life.”
Pam has been a member of the Soil Association since 1972 and involved in sustainable farming, food production and food education for over 40 years. Her most recent work is with Soil Association Scotland’s highly successful Crofting Connections project, but her background lies in organic farming and artisan cheese-making, for which she and Nick have won several awards, including Radio 4 Food Programme Producer of the Year Award in 2001. She trained several cheese-makers, including three local school leavers, who have gone on to find good work in the food industry.
“The Crofting Connections project is really exciting,” she said. “I love working with young people and this can show them that they can have some sort of positive future.”
Pam has also led the way with a number of projects that celebrate Scotland’s small-scale sustainable food producers and help them find routes to market, including being a founder member of Moray Farmers’ Market in 1999 and helping to launch Living Food at Cawdor Castle in 2006 - a celebration of organic and local produce in the Highlands.Full story in next week's Gazette