2013-05-08   facebook twitter rss
Pasture-Fed Livestock Group Grows after Horsemeat Scandal

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) has experienced a surge in interest since horsemeat DNA was confirmed in some processed foods on sale in British supermarkets.

Membership of the group, which champions the benefits of raising and finishing sheep and beef cattle solely on grazed grass and conserved forage, has doubled since the New Year with nearly 70 full members. Seventeen of these are now approved producers selling pasture-fed meat around the country.

Russell Carrington

Russell Carrington

A number of existing suppliers have also noted an increase in sales, as consumers are looking for reassurances about traceability, as well as for meat that offers a superior taste and eating experience.

New members
Producers who have recently signed up include Malcolm Gough who farms at Chater Valley Farm in Rutland.

“We have been thinking for a while now just how best to describe the way we keep our animals, and how we differentiate ourselves in a way that customers can easily understand and trust,” says Mr. Gough. “I think we have found what we’ve been looking for in the PFLA.”

Andy Bragg of West Town Farm on the outskirts of Exeter agrees: “It seems senseless that people in town are buying meat that has been mixed and muddled up from all over the country and Europe, when they can travel a few miles down the road, visit our farm and buy our grass-fed beef at a competitive price - or if more convenient, we will deliver it to them!” he says.

“We think that the PFLA is very much a part of getting that message across. We look forward to having further involvement and helping take the messages and PASTORAL branding forward.”

Fidelity Weston of Romshed Farm in Kent recently joined after discovering the PFLA on Twitter: “Pasture-Fed is great because it recognises the value of encouraging biodiversity in our grassland, which is good for the wildlife and helps the environment.

“We believe that the excellent flavour of our meat is partly due to the stock being reared on our diverse swards.”

Fully traceable
The ‘Pasture-Tracks’ meat traceability system developed by the PFLA is now coming into its own. It enables anyone who wishes to view the details of the meat they are going to eat, quickly and easily via the internet.

Consumers can scan a QR code on the product label at the point of sale with their smartphone, or enter the unique number into the PFLA website. From this they can access detailed information including details of the farm the animal was born and reared on, its provenance, breed, birth date, processed weight, and how long the carcase has been hung for.

“We are very encouraged by the level of enquiries from sheep and beef farmers at the moment,” says PFLA executive secretary Russell Carrington.

“There is much promise in pasture, alone or within a mixed farming system. From small trials we carried out with consumers last year, there appears to be clear demand for this kind of meat – even more so in the wake of the ‘horseburger’ scandal.

“It costs £50/year to join the PFLA, and farmers do not have to be already on an all-grass feeding system to become involved. We want to help any producer keen to increase output from their grass and forage crops.

“We have active internet discussion groups, are developing regional groups, and planning initiatives with organisations like the British Grassland Society, to provide technical support on grassland management.”

The PFLA will be attending some of the key agricultural shows and events this summer and are keen to meet prospective members – starting with Beef Expo on 23 May at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire.

Pasture Fed Livestock

  Related Links
link Allanfauld & Ronick Bulls Sell to 6000gns at Stirling
link Mereside Godolphin Races to 40,000 at Carlisle
link Record Year for Beef Shorthorn
link Beef Cattle

Stackyard News   xml