We set out with one simple mission:
To deliver the finest Heritage Meat from
the Dales to your door.
Eat Better Meat
Passion to Eat Better Meat
Chris Berry (Yorkshire Post's Farming Correspondent) interviews the founders to Farmison & Co to unearth the passion which is driving their mission to get the nation to Eat Better Meat.
'Taste is everything. Without it there would be no Farmison & Co. It is that passion for sourcing quality heritage meat that drives us on', says John Pallagi founder of the UK's leading online heritage breed meat retailer.
Like Fine Wine
'I taste red meat in the same way sommeliers taste wine. Ultimately it doesn't matter what breed of animal it is or how well it has been hung if at the end of the day it doesn't taste great.
It's important that when you consume a piece of meat that it breaks down well in the mouth. Characteristics vary from breed to breed but heritage breeds have a massive role to play in our present and future.
They are what make our story unique and why our customers continue to come back for more. We highlight the individual farmers, the breeds of cattle, sheep or pigs they have and encourage people to become meat connoisseurs.'
Romance On The Menu... At Home
John's background includes running award-winning restaurants across the UK.
'What I learned from them is that understanding the value of provenance and sourcing quality heritage meat produces romance on the menu, but then the penny dropped that this amazing produce should also be more readily available to cook at home. That's where what we are doing is very much pioneering the growth of British heritage breeds and putting them back on the family's dining room table.'
'At Farmison & Co we are working together with farmers and actively promoting values that were in danger of being lost elsewhere through industrial processes.' says Lee Simmonds co-founder.
'We focus on traceability of produce, animal husbandry and the traditional, some say old-fashioned, ways of rearing animals in a contented environment.'
'Our aim is always down to that customer factor whereby everyone should be able, through our caring farmers, to eat better meat.'
Passion to Eat Better Meat
'Heritage breed meats of beef, lamb, mutton and pork are now very much in demand through Farmison & Co as the realisation that their taste is far superior to what is normally found pre-packed on supermarket shelves. Greater marbling has a key roll in what makes the difference. We believe that meat buyers have become far more discerning about what they purchase today and understand marbling more than they used to.' says Lee Simmonds.
Myths Around Fat
'There are a number of myths surrounding the fat content in meat and there was a push around two decades ago towards totally lean produce, but that’s when taste began disappearing and in the recent past there has been a realisation that marbling has an important role to play.
Heritage breeds, sometimes referred to as native or rare breeds, have maintained their appropriate amount of nutritional fat content and it is this that our customers are recognising is super important to the quality taste that we offer in helping everyone to eat better meat.' says John Pallagi.
Farmison & Co's belief is that quality starts with the farmer and ensuring they get a fair deal.
'Providing tasty meat that leaves a feel good factor when you've eaten begins with the way the animals are treated, to the highest of welfare standards and often quite honestly allowed to live their lives with freedom, grow naturally and grass reared outside rather than factory-style indoors. It's also about the way animals are ethically reared, fed and the care and time that is put in by the farmer to ensure they lead stress free lives. The baton is then passed over to our butchers to follow through what the farmer has brought about.' says John Pallagi.
Rather like wines or great whiskys, everyone is now developing their own list of favourite breeds of meat whether beef, sheep or pigs. Farmison & Co's expanding list of farmer suppliers is also contributing to customers' fascination.
'We started Farmison & Co back in 2011 and we now have the biggest range of cuts from the largest variety of heritage breeds online in the world.' says Lee Simmonds.
Several heritage breeds are recorded as rare breeds and there is sometimes a misconception that rare means that by eating meat from that breed somehow causes more of a problem for the breed in the future. John sees what Farmison & Co is doing is helping all heritage breeds.
'The reason breeds become rare is because they have not been as popular over the years due more to the fashion that sent the UK down the lean meat route. If we eat better meat from them there would be a greater quantity of them produced. That's the ethos of what we're trying to bring about through recognition of heritage meat quality.' says John Pallagi.
Understanding how to present heritage meat for customers is also at the core of Farmison & Co's philosophy. Every aspect from how the meat is matured and cut by experienced butchers is vital. That's why a recent acquisition has been a butchery business in North Yorkshire. Professional chefs are also part of the Farmison & Co experience offering advice on cooking online. The Farmison & Co's story is still developing as they carry their banner high as Guardians of Great Heritage Meat.
John & Lee - The Men Behind Farmison & Co
John Pallagi was born in Middlesbrough. He's the son of a Hungarian father and a Yorkshire mother who met in a bakery. His life has revolved around food since watching his Hungarian grandparents cooking everything from scratch at home. His career has taken in hotels, restaurants and catering.
Lee Simmonds and John have worked together in senior management marketing restaurants. He's Leeds born and bred. His background also includes managing the brand of the Yorkshire Post newspaper. Lee is the branding and online marketing half of the management duo at Farmison & Co and ensures that the customer experience online mirrors the quality of the heritage meats available.