Jody Scheckter is truly a fountain of knowledge. From winning Formula One in 1979, to creating simulations for the police in USA, to getting degrees in micro biology and chemistry to find out about the soil and moving back to Hampshire to purchase herds of buffalo and create award winning cheese and ice cream… It’s safe to say life for Jody has been go go go. Now, he is taking some time to rest and teach us about all the amazing details he’s obsessed over to create a sustainable and inspiring business model at Laverstoke Park Farm.
00:00:00 Marks introduction
00:03:33 Meeting Jody, setting the scene in Hampshire at Laverstoke Park Farm
00:04:25 Mozzarella and buffalo! How did that come about?
- 00:04:44 “We follow nature very strictly. We have two main principles: one is slow grain animals and plants. That generally helps them taste better, and biodiversity is a key to a healthy natural environment.”
- 00:06:07 “I was very stupid, I had 109 products or 120 products at one stage…”
- 00:07:02 The best ice cream in the world… made with Jody’s buffalo milk!
- 00:07:32 “We’ll do, lets say, ten different chocolate ice creams and we’ll say ok, that ones the best. We want 2%, 4%, 6% more of that, 2% less of that… and that’s how we develop.”
00:07:48 Some cheeses that Jody stopped making – why? Consistency and big dreams!
- 00:09:04 “We made Brie for a while and it was brilliant but it wasn’t a good product for us.”
00:09:49 What changes can you make in creating mozzarella that affects the texture?
- 00:10:21 “We test three times a week. We test every batch until it’s well over the best before date.”
00:10:58 Is the Mozzarella we pick up from the supermarket shelves different to what Jody helps create?
- 00:11:19 “Cows mozzarella is more for pizzas. Buffalo mozzarella is a different product. and i like it only with tomato, some basil, some olive oil… see a lot of buffalo mozzarella has very little taste. So if you put it in a salad and put balsamic on it, you’re only doing texture. You’re not going to taste the mozzarella.”
00:13:08 The quality of the mozzarella – does what the buffalo eat affect this?
- 00:13:48 “Everything we eat comes from the soil, except from the sea. so healthy soil, healthy grass, healthy animals, healthy meat and healthy people – it can’t be any different.”
- 00:15:23 “I thought formula one was complicated but nature is much much more complicated!”
00:15:35 The lack of farmers caring about the soil
- 00:15:53 “Buffalo is an old type of cow. So you get half the milk from it, but the milk has got twice as much of most things in it. So it’s a beautiful milk – but is it commercially good? Unless you’re very specialised…”
00:16:32 A period of quantity and intensification in the hospitality industry – are we going through a change and moving away from this?
- 00:18:06 “If the chefs are doing it, they’re doing it because the public are accepting it and wanting it.”
00:18:54 Two and half THOUSAND buffalo! Where have they all come from?
- 00:19:44 “They will come up to you in the field, which a cow won’t. It’s quite frightening sometimes because if you stand there and you’ve got about 15 buffalo right behind you – only once I was there with a journalist and the buffalo just took me!”
00:20:38 Brexit may be a positive thing for the mozzarella industry!
- 00:22:54 “for some strange reason we are expensive compared to the Italian mozzarella! I really don’t understand it.”
00:23:40 Bring a 1979 Grand Prix winner… How obsessive do you need to be to win? What did Jody learn from this?
- 00:24:34 How do you go from Grand Prix winner to creating simulators for the police?
00:25:36 What was Jody’s impact on the Police simulation industry?
00:26:32 Going back to Jody’s experience being an F1 driver
- 00:26:41 “I think if you’re enjoying something you’re not trying hard enough!”
00:28:09 Coming back to a tiny village in Hampshire… Why did Jody do that? Starting out farming as a hobby
- 00:28:55 “I bought the land and then started to look at – what are the best lamb. What’s the best tasting lamb…I just went to extremes in every single way.”
00:30:38 Did Jody’s farm start organic straight away?
- 00:30:49 “Best tasting healthiest food without a compromise is what we do and organic was part of that.”
00:31:13 Biodynamic – what does this mean?
00:32:50 Building a lab!
- 00:34:45 “Whenever we thought we had a problem, with chickens or whatever it is… How is it in nature? Then we follow nature.”
00:36:54 What did Jody learn from his lab that changed what he did with his land?
00:39:36 The role of the government & their interest in the bigger issues
00:40:11 Learning about compost!
- 00:42:02 “The compost we produce is commercial, so we do have to surpass 100 and that’s the only one you can do if you’re getting green waste from the councils. When we put it back on our farm, we then take it and enhance it and start getting the bacteria going…”
00:44:10 Jody’s pure breed Angus Beef…
- 00:47:15 “We could not make that work, that is a very difficult sector to be in. I always say if your grandfather isn’t in meat, you shouldn’t be in meat…”
00:39:34 Regulations surrounding the hospitality industry
00:51:07 Diversifying into hops… Jody’s growth at Laverstoke Park Farm
- 00:52:57 “That was my problem, I needed an entrepreneur for every sector I was doing. It was hard enough getting a manager – getting an entrepreneur was impossible.”
00:53:33 Chatting about flour & Stoates’ flower
00:54:34 Deciding the farm needs to stand on its own
- 00:54:51 “I was rich and stupid, now I’m clever and poor. It’s all relative of course.”
00:56:08 The core Laverstoke products
00:58:15 What needs to change in the farming sector? What advice does Jody give?
01:00:14 Jody still has the Ferrari he won the grand prix in! Chatting a bit more about cars
- 01:03:53 “I’ve worked so hard in all three things I’ve done in my life, so I want to just relax and enjoy myself now.”
01:06:36 Marks final thoughts and sign off
If you’d like to learn more about Jody, Laverstoke Park farm and what it means to be buffalo-dad… Check out their social media channels and website below, or listen to the full episode here.