Accredited Butcher, Jimmy Doherty, of Jimmy's Farm fame, at his
Essex Pig Company Farm Shop with his friend, Jamie Oliver.
In This Section...
(1) Eating Quality
(2) Animal Health
(3) Good Farming Practice
(4) All Done on a Local Basis
(5) The Skill of the Craft Butcher
Why is Meat from Rare Breeds so Special?
All Done on a Local Basis
© Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Company Ltd
Although we operate throughout England and into
Wales, everything is done on a local basis. Thus the rare breed
stock is sourced locally to the approved abattoir and the abattoir
delivers to his local Accredited Butchers. Thus there are numerous
hubs all acting locally. Accordingly, the Accredited Butchers get to
know their local rare breed farmers who supply them, giving the
customer further reassurance.
Low Food Miles. When everything is done on a local basis,
there are many advantages.
Firstly, thereís the animalís welfare. An animal born on the farm
and raised there may never have been transported by road so a
journey in a trailer or lorry may be a novel experience. So we keep
it to a minimum.
Then thereís the environmental issue. Minimising road journeys
impacts on all of us. Consider for a moment the differences between
our system and that used by the major retailers. Letís say that one
of our producers lives 20 miles from his nominated abattoir. He
takes six lambs to the abattoir and the abattoir delivers the
carcases to the Accredited Butcher, say 15 miles away. A total of
two journeys covering a maximum of 70 miles.
Now take a typical major supermarket. Their nominated abattoir is in
Devon. It suits the supermarketís systems to use only one or
occasionally two abattoirs per species. A farmer in Suffolk is
selling them 50 lambs. They get transported by lorry around 250
miles, often mixed in with lambs from other farms to give the transporter a full load.
Donít forget, our example is Suffolk but it could easily have been
Yorkshire, Cumbria or even Scotland, extending the journey by two or
more times. The lambs are slaughtered and butchered and sent to the
supermarketís distribution centre, say in the home counties Ė a
further 200+ miles.
From there, the meat can be sent anywhere in the country from the
north of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall but for our example, letís
say Manchester Ė a further 200+ miles. Thus these lambs raised in
Suffolk have reached the shelves of a supermarket in Manchester
having clocked up in excess of 650 miles. By taking extreme
examples, it could easily be twice that. That is a lot of lorry time
and congestion to the roads and utilising of fossil fuels Ė and a
lot of pollution. And unlike our own example, we have not factored
in return journeys with empty vehicles Ė doubling the Food Miles!
So, you can go to the supermarket and but anonymous lamb thatís
travelled hundreds and hundreds of miles, polluting the environment
as it goes or to an Accredited Butcher with local, fully traceable
product that is certified thatís incurred a journey of around 70
miles (including return journeys).
This example is not exceptional. Beef from Namibia, Chicken from
Thailand; Lamb from Australia; Pork from almost anywhere is on the
supermarket shelves day in day out. In these cases you can multiply
the Food Miles and the pollution etc 10-fold.
For more information on "Food Miles" see these
external websites (which will open in a new window):
How big a price can we keep paying for convenience?
Continue to "The Skill
of the Craft Butcher"