Well done to the UK’s Pasture-Fed Livestock Association for getting everything in place (on the tightest of budgets) to allow producers who feed only grass and conserved forage, to market their meat under the new PASTORAL brand.
Set up as a community interest company, the small but dedicated team has devised and registered the ‘PASTORAL – pasture-fed for life’ trade mark, developed a set of standards, and put in place a rigorous tracking and labelling system. This allows consumers to trace PASTORAL meat back to the farm where it was born, reared and finished, simply by scanning it with their Smartphone.
More members wanted
The PFLA is farmer driven and currently has 40 members. Roughly half farm organically. There are membership clusters in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire where producers are working together to generate consistent supplies of grass-fed meat to their local butchers.
“We want the PFLA to be farmer-led and not centrally controlled in any way,” explained PFLA executive secretary and beef farmer Russell Carrington.
“We have devised a brand identity and a legal framework within which farmers can go out and market their grass-fed meat to consumers, and have proved that everything works. Now we are ready to go and out and tell other livestock farmers about the PFLA and the benefits of joining us.”
Membership costs just £50 a year and includes free access to a useful internet- based discussion group. The focus on producing meat solely from grass allows participating farmers to cut their input costs (no expensive cereals to buy), and to produce products that have exceptional provenance and proven ‘green’ credentials – which may earn a premium.
For more information visit www.pasturefed.org.uk or call Russell on 07930 378413.
The PFLA team met with members of key industry organisations yesterday at the completely inspiring Sheepdrove Organic Farm, kindly hosted by PFLA member and environmental campaigner Peter Kindersley.
Farm Manager Dan Bull, fresh back from the Newbury Show with a big silver cup for the best Butchers Lambs, showed everyone around the 900ha farm.
Situated on fabulous chalk downland above Lambourn, in Berkshire with views for miles, the grass, clover and herb-rich leys are teeming with wild flowers and wildlife.
The grassland currently sustains a flock of 1,000 ewes and a 100-cow suckler herd. All youngstock is reared and finished on grass and conserved forage, slaughtered locally and hung on the farm – before being retailed at their own shops in London and Bristol, as well as on-line.
“What we do here is actually very simple,’ said Dan. “We produce happy grass-eating animals that taste really good!”