A MILFORD Haven firm is savouring the taste of success after winning praise in this year’s Great Taste awards – just six months into trading.

From Our Farm is based at Upper Robeston Farm, and is run by Mike George and his wife Rachel.

In February, the pair launched their own brand of biltong – grass-fed beef, hand seasoned and air dried in Pembrokeshire.

This month, the young brand was awarded gold stars in the 2018 Great Taste Awards – which recognise excellence in food and drink production.

Mike, 28, said he was thrilled to receive the award in its first year of production.

“What was really nice was that the judges talked about how good the quality of the meat was,” said Mike.

“We’ve got a much closer tie to the meat and put a lot of hours in as a family to produce the beef.

“We’re passionate because we can literally say it’s something we’ve done from start to finish,” he said.

The animals are fed on the family farm - run by his father and brother - fed with mainly local crops, and the biltong created by hand with the brand’s unique seasoning mix.

“We do the whole process, it’s 100 per cent ours,” he said.

“As a farm it’s nice to have something that goes all the way from us to the customer.”

Mike first tried biltong during a school trip to South Africa a decade ago.

“I loved it, but at the time it wasn’t common place in this country so the idea just sat in the back of my mind,” he said.

“Then we were trying to think of what we could do at home to give the farm another branch, so we tried to make some and friends asked to taste it and we thought ‘why not try to do it as a business?’.”

The couple do all their own branding and are always developing new recipes.

The firm’s chilli biltong earned one star in this year’s Great Taste awards, and its original flavour two stars, which Mike hopes will be a springboard for further success.

From Our Farm is stocked in shops across Pembrokeshire, Cardiff and mid Wales, and has recently moved over the border too.

“It’s a labour of love,” said Mike.

Other Pembrokeshire firms to make the grade this year included Coedcanlas in Lawrenny, Fire & Ice in Narberth, Bluestone Brewing Company and The Smokeshed in Newport, Pembrokeshire Sea Salt Company in Dinas, and Mabel George and Welsh Jerky in Narberth.

Out of a record-breaking 12,634 products to be judged this year, 177 Welsh firms gained a Great Taste star.

In September, the winners will find out if they have done enough to also claim the top awards for their region, at the Great Taste ‘golden fork’ dinner on September 2, in London.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging.

This year’s judges included MasterChef 2018 champion Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer Elly Curshen, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.