Saracens players and coaching staff were today given a guided tour of Laverstoke Park farm.
Situated in the serene Hampshire countryside near Basingstoke, the organic/biodynamic farm is the brain child of former Formula One world champion Jody Scheckter, and it supplies both the players and the stadium (many Sarries fans will be aware of the Saracens Pie) with its high class produce.
The farm believes in a strict ‘food to fork’ philosophy, and Scheckter himself kindly led the tour around the 2,500 acre site where the Saracens players were introduced to the farms soils laboratory, buffalo sheds, compost production area and abattoir.
After the guided tour the squad sat down to eat probably the best barbeque they are ever likely to experience, with wild boar burgers, black pudding, buffalo sausages and a hog roast all on the menu.
Scheckter passionately believes the farm produces the “best-tasting, healthiest food, without compromise” and explained hoe the burgeoning relationship between the Overton based farm and Saracens “excites” him.
“Saracens came to me and said they wanted the best food in any stadium and of course the best food for their players, and we were more than happy to jump on board” said the 1979 F1 Driver’s champion.
“On a personal level it was exciting for me” he added. “”Basically that is what I have been doing all my life is training to be a professional athlete so and looking how different foods can help you. So we here at Laverstoke take the same approach; we look at how we can develop special foods; we have an onsite chef who has worked with Garry Rhodes and Raymond Blanc and he develops all the added-on-value food like our back pudding and the famous Saracens Pie”.
“More recently we have had the RFU come down to us to begin talking about forging a relationship with them and their different teams. We have hired a sports nutritionist so we can understand about what elite sportsmen need, for example the dairy; buffalo milk has twice as much of nearly everything in it in terms of nutrients than normal cow’s milk.
Scheckter added “It’s really exciting for us at the moment, we are now talking to some other sports teams, the UK Ski team is coming down soon to take a look and we are looking at some soccer teams too who have declared their interest in what we can offer. It’s a really exciting area of our business and we want to work with you guys and look after the Saracens players and staff as much as we can”.