We have come a long way since great grandfather, John Nichols, sold his meat around Langtree and Torrington more than a century ago. Then the animals were reared on the farm, slaughtered in the on-farm abattoir, butchered by us and then sold in our own shop in the village. Probably no more than a mile from field to table!
Compare that with what can happen today with much of the meat used in processing, catering or sold in supermarkets. The animal could be transported 100 miles or more to the livestock market and then on to the abattoir. The carcass might be taken a similar distance to the wholesaler’s cold storage and then huge distances on to supermarket distribution depot and shop. A lot of supermarket meat may even be sourced from elsewhere in Europe or beyond!
How can we reduce carbon emissions when we use so much energy just to get our food to the table? How can we be sure what meat is in the packet or on the shelf when it has passed through so many hands and travelled so far?
We intend to do something about it. This spring we shall open a butchers shop locally in Barnstaple so that we can butcher and sell much of our meat within a few miles of our farms. For meat and produce that we cannot grow ourselves, we plan to source it as locally as possible from small-scale family farms. Where possible we shall sell organic or traditionally grown quality produce. The details of our partner farmers and growers will be on our website and there will be a map of North Devon in the shop so that shoppers can check out where our meat comes from.
In this way we can ensure that you, our customers, will know the provenance of your purchases. You can support local family farms, but, more importantly, together we can save massive numbers of food miles, reduce our carbon footprint and do our bit to save the planet, while enjoying top quality, flavoursome, North Devon meat !