Published On: Tue, Feb 4th, 2014

Jody Scheckter Launches His Own Range Of Organic Pet Food

Scheckter, formerly Formula One world champion, now heads one the UK’s largest and most diverse organic food suppliers from his Laverstoke Park Farm.

JodyScheckterPigPhoto

After ten years spent in the white hot atmosphere of the Formula One circuits of the world, driving for some of sport’s leading teams, including Ferrari and McLaren, South African born Jody Scheckter has settled down incredibly well to the rural lifestyle of England where he owns and operates Laverstoke Park Farm.

After building a successful business in the United States, which he took public, Scheckter returned to the UK in 2003, with a dream of buying some land and becoming self-sufficient in food supply. Jody and his wife Clare may have gone a bit over the top, at the outset buying a parcel of land more than 500 acres large. However, it didn’t take them long to realize that they did have the capability at their fingertips to produce enough food not just to feed themselves and their family but to sell to local outlets.

Within the space of five years, the Scheckters had sold off that first parcel of land and bought the adjacent Laverstoke Park Farm, which was five times larger, which they  gradually turned into a paradise of organic farming, hailed by organic food  experts as a model for 21st-century farming, while the food that the farm produces has earned the praise and admiration of the UK’s  top chefs and food writers.

Jody Scheckter won his first world championship in a fitting way as he swept to victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Laverstoke Park Farm is home to  1, 500 head of water  buffalo, which is the largest herd in  Europe. According to Scheckter, the mozzarella  cheese produced from water  buffalo is healthier  than that produced from cow’s milk  while the meat of the animal is leaner.

In addition to his large and unusual dairy cattle herd, Laverstoke Park Farm is also characterized by the  130, 000 trees and 31 different varieties of grass that grow there, as well as the revolutionary methods of farming that the Scheckters are strong believers in.

According to Schechter their principals are  based around breeding, slow growing animals and cultivating plants that  are generally healthier and taste better.

We go to extremes in every way to follow these two principles, ” summed up the ruddy ex-South African.

These same standards led the Scheckters to enter into a partnership agreement  with Sharon Daly, a canine nutrition advisor, where they agreed  to develop a range of pet food product, in which a principal ingredient will be  lean raw minced water buffalo meat.

Ms. Daly, who had heard about Jody’s prowess in breeding water buffalo for their lean meat visited the farm, more or less on chance, with a view to purchasing some  raw fresh meat to feed her dogs. One thing led to another, and now the Scheckters find themselves with another string to their bow, marketing  a completely natural diet for pets, with the meats produced exclusively from Laverstoke’s own abattoir.

Jody Scheckter was born in South Africa, but moved to the UK  in 1970 to further his career as a racing driver, joining the McLaren team in 1971, and making his Formula 1 in 1972.

Jody stood out on the Formula 1 because of his aggressive style of driving.  Aggressive driving  was more  common place in those days, although Scheckter was more aggressive than most. During his first season on the circuit, Jody was deemed responsible for causing a multi-car pile up during  the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which saw McLaren “ rest” the South African for four races to prevent the  Grand Prix Drivers Association demanding his immediate banishment from the circuit.

Jody Scheckter became a regular feature on the Formula I circuit during the Seventies, racing for the Tyrell and Walter Wolf teams, with little success before signing for Ferrari for the 1979 season.

Season 1979 was undoubtedly Scheckter’s best, winning the World Champion for Ferrari. However the following season, Jody Scheckter  struggled badly to maintain his form and he finished the season with just two points, enough to bring him to the decision to retire from the sport. Jody’s contribution to motor racing in particular and sport in general was recognized in 1983 when he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

After retiring, Scheckter’s founded FATS in 1984. FATS were involved in the  design and construction of  firearms training simulators for military, law enforcement and security organizations. The company went public in 1996, and Jody  used some of the funds raised  to  purchase  Laverstoke Park Farm, with a view to  specializing in  organic farming.

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