Mat Cole

Greenwell Farm, Dartmoor Farmers, Devon

Creating a sustainable future for not only his own family business but for other farmers on Dartmoor and the area in which they farm are the drivers for Mat Cole.

In partnership with his brother, he farms 809 enclosed hectares (2000 acres) on Dartmoor grazing sheep, cattle and ponies on five different shared commons.

They run a traditional system using hardy native breeds which have been selected and bred to thrive in and amongst the Tors of Dartmoor.

Mat was instrumental in establishing and is a director of Dartmoor Farmers which has created a new supply chain whereby 75 farmers who were previously in opposition are now working together supplying Morrisons stores in the south west with a range of five lamb products for their ‘The Best’ range.

By working together and marketing their product effectively they are able to achieve a premium price.


Last year Dartmoor Farmers seasonally sold 250 lambs per week to Morrisons who are, this year, looking to increase that to 300 and launch the products into another 25 stores.

Mat is passionate about engaging with the consumer and every year during lambing time the family opens up their farm to the public for a week.
He has also been at the forefront of a new project the Dartmoor National Park, in partnership with farmers, is working on which aims to provide the general public, tourists and residents with an insight into farming life.

Mat says: “Although we all still have our own businesses to grow and improve, what is different now for Dartmoor Farmers is that we are working together to secure our own markets and with it our future.

“We are reengaging with the most important partner in the supply chain, the customer.

“We are getting them onto our farms, educating them about the farming systems on Dartmoor which deliver food, amenity, health, environment, archaeology, landscape, carbon sequestration, clean water and air.”

The judges said about Mat: Mat has led an initiative which has brought farmers together to effectively market lamb from a disadvantaged area. The Dartmoor Farmers Association have partnered up with Morrisons to promote the area’s livestock, environment and the infamous landscape enjoyed by thousands of people every day.

On winning, Mat said: “I am very proud to be nominated to even be in the room tonight so to get this far is just amazing. This award is for the Dartmoor farmers who are part of the unique association we have formed to supply our niche product. In uncertain times innovation is even more critical. We are a group of farmers looking to add value to a quality product and we have the vehicle now to continue driving it forwards. “