F&Co Sustainability

Farmison & Co are commited
to working towards a sustainable future.

Seeing The World Through Food

This year, we had the pleasure of talking to Carolyn Steel (architect and author of food books Hungry City and Sitopia). Her vision of seeing the world through food has inspired us all here at Farmison & Co, and this film chimes with our ideals of what food should be, and how people should consume food. Eating better meat, means understanding where it comes from, and the processes involved in producing that meat. We would encourage you to take the time to watch her small film below:

Carbon Neutral Commitment

Farmison & Co was founded by John and Lee in 2014 with a mission to get the nation to Eat Better Meat. Not only did this mantra include delivering restaurant quality meat conveniently with unrivalled quality and taste, it was with a priority on food provenance and sustainable, traditional farming practices that work in harmony with the environment.

As we’ve grown and expanded to new premises, our commitment and conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint has been a priority every step of the way. Our innovative practices not only expand from technology and NPD, we continue to strive to conform with industry best practices and government guidelines in every area of the business; most recently with our change in courier to DPD, now offering our customers deliveries that are carbon neutral.

Sustainable Farming

The majority (if not all) of the small, local farms we work with are carbon neutral/negative. They adhere to strict regulations according to Higher Stewardship Programmes commissioned by Natural England. Various guidelines and measures are implemented specifically for each farm, being surveyed and measured annually. These range from the annual return of wildflowers and the rare bird species that feed on them, to the hedgerows that line the fields promoting biodiversity and a haven for local wildlife.

With increasing noise in the media (often with an unbalanced view in perspective of UK farming), Farmison & Co are proud to be industry leading in not only food provenance and traceability, but championing local smallholdings that use traditional and sustainable farming practices. Our customers frequently say our produce reminds them of ‘how meat used to taste’, that’s because we do things the traditional way, far from the intensely farmed commercial produce you would find in modern supermarkets.

Local Butchers and Local Farms

We may be a multinational e-commerce butchers, but our operation is very much a local one. Being centred in Ripon, North Yorkshire, we benefit from an area with a rich farming heritage and our local supply chain and employees are very much a part of that. The majority of our butchers were once owners or employees of local butcher shops but felt the strain of supermarket demand. Not only can they still continue to practice their craft with Farmison & Co, customers locally and nationwide now benefit from their skill and passion to traditional butchery whilst training the next generation in our state of the art facilities.

We’re well situated here in the North of England. Our closest supplier is a mere 7 miles away. It’s a family farm that’s run for generations, much like the Galloway cattle that live there. Our local farmers continue to surprise our Master Butchers with the quality of their produce, paying virtue to the beautiful, rich pastures our animals mature on. The abattoirs are just as close, with one farm being just 4 miles from the local abattoir. Keeping food miles to a minimum is especially important to us as it reduces stress on our animals (which always travel in small numbers to help with this) and reduces our carbon footprint.

British Breeds and High Welfare

We believe British breeds are best - and by that we mean truly British, heritage breeds. This animal husbandry was moved around the world during the Victorian Era, leaving a legacy across most meat eating nations.

We source these heritage breeds from farmers and producers with the highest welfare standards and support of traditional animal husbandry. These breeds, which typically take longer to reach maturity than commercial breeds, are reared slowly and are always grass-fed and free-range with minimal human intervention unless required. Antibiotics are only administered if entirely necessary and only to the individual cow, not the whole herd. The same applies to all the animals we work with.

Many of the breeds we offer are listed on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust - this means they’re on a numbers watchlist showing the rarity of the species. By producing a demand for them, we’re helping with the resurgence of numbers and supporting the remaining farmers who continue to produce them. Without this demand, many breeds would die out altogether.

Delivery

DPD’s deliveries to you are carbon neutral, at no extra cost to you. DPD’s ‘Driving Change’ is helping to reduce emissions year-on-year by investing in hundreds of EV vehicles to decarbonise the DPD fleet, alongside Smart Urban Delivery and Innovative Entrepreneurship strategies to reduce ‘miles per parcel’. To offset remaining emissions, DPD finance renewable and cleaner energy production projects by purchasing carbon credits whilst respecting the most rigorous international standards.

Waste Reduction and Nose To Tail Eating

We have a nose-to-tail eating philosophy here at Farmison & Co, meaning we use every part of our free-range animals, letting nothing go to waste. This is reflected in our range, from including giblets with our free-range chickens, selection of offal, chicken schmaltz & beef dripping, to leaving the feet on our Heritage Chickens allowing customers to make tasty broths. Any parts left unsuitable for human consumption are supplied to help with the production of pet food.

Commitment To Plastic Reduction

Our goal in 2020 is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging, which we use to package and protect our products by 90%. We are already making solid inroads in reducing the amount of plastic we use to package our products, from our sausages to whole chickens. We are at the forefront of testing new materials which have a more environmentally friendly footprint and we are fully committed to constantly invest in and innovate, including the return and reuse of packaging wherever possible. We will keep you all fully updated on progress as we go this year.

Packaging

One of our top priorities for 2020 is reforming our current packaging. Although the cardboard box, wood wool and ice cells are fully recyclable, we appreciate our polystyrene boxes are not as easily recyclable depending on your local authority. Our cardboard boxes are FSC Certified, sustainably sourced and made from recycled materials and are 100% biodegradable. There are very few viable options to deliver food safely as per FSA standards. Some alternatives, although on the surface appear to be more environmentally friendly, are actually no better due to how the packaging is produced. A plastic-free future is what we aim for and we continue to trial alternative packaging and innovative materials as an ongoing priority.

Soil

If you were to speak to our farmers, they would tell you that if we look after the soil, the soil will look after us. Through the rotation of herds on our lush Yorkshire pastures, our farmers give these lands time to regenerate topsoil, not only storing carbon but helping to promote fertile soil that leads to a healthy environment. Farming this way is a balancing act and our farmers would describe it as ‘old fashioned’ but the modern term for this is regenerative agriculture. This isn’t a ‘movement’ or a change to the status quo, it’s something our farmers have always done and passed down through generations.