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Understanding food with Farmison

Blog • October 4th 2011

At Farmison & Co we understand food. We aim to deliver high quality, interesting, thoughtfully sourced fresh food that is in top condition to your doorstep. Nothing less. Customer satisfaction is our focus.

  • We provide home cooks with fabulous foods that would normally only be found in the kitchens of discerning, ingredient-aware chefs.
  • We provide a lip-smacking alternative to the year-round monotony of supermarkets.
  • We constantly change what we sell to reflect what's in season. When foods are not at their best, we don't stock them.
  • We support biodiversity in our food chain by promoting rare breed meats and searching out less common fruit and vegetable varieties.
  • We give small-scale food producers a UK-wide platform to showcase and sell their products, complementing their own local initiatives.
  • We source food from the UK first and foremost and only chooses imported food if there is no British equivalent.
  • We sell foods produced in a way that respects farm animals, producers and the environment.

We are super-keen on rare breeds. We look on them as crown jewels in our food heritage and believe that their meat has better eating qualities than meat from the handful of modern breeds that have come to dominate farming.

Many of our traditional breeds have come close to extinction because they don't take kindly to factory farming. (Who can blame them?) Farmers got the message that these traditional breeds had no commercial future. Happily, more people now reject factory farming and appreciate that we need to safeguard the natural biodiversity of our farm animals.

The more we eat meat from these valuable historic rare breeds, the more we encourage farmers to keep on rearing them.

We do not sell factory-farmed products. We think that keeping large numbers of farm animals in a confined space and putting pressure on them to produce food in record time makes for miserable livestock and low-grade food.

The vast majority of our meat and dairy products come from free-range animals. We stock some products that come from high welfare indoor systems. Before we list these, we have to be convinced that the animals are kept in small numbers, can move around freely in an environment where they can express their natural behaviours, and have ample fresh, comfortable bedding.

When we discover certified organic foods that taste great and represent good value for money, we delight in listing them. Organic farmers put animal welfare at the heart of what they do. By eschewing the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, and by using tried-and-tested traditional farming methods that respect nature, their farms bring clear benefits for wildlife, the environment, and both human and animal health.

Why aren't we 100 per cent organic? If we had a rigid 'only organic' rule, we would have to turn our backs on many really excellent and worthwhile products, such as heirloom orchard fruits, game, traditionally reared meats and artisan cheeses, just because they don't happen to be organic. And that would break our hearts!

We are great believers in letting the seasons influence our cooking. When food is in season, it reaches its nutritional peak and tastes wonderful. Eating the same food all year round is dull, but following the seasons adds excitement and the thrill of the new to the culinary year. At Farmison, we constantly change what we sell to reflect what's in season. When foods are not at their best, we don't stock them.

We are constantly on the look-out for small-scale farmers and growers producing foods with characteristics that mark them out as better and more interesting than the mass-market norm. Some of our suppliers come to us heartily recommended by chefs, others have distinguished themselves through supplying farmer's markets and specialist food shops.

Unlike supermarkets, we don't keep suppliers on the back foot. Instead, we like to strike up a strong, mutually supportive relationship with them. But before we list any suppliers, we check that their production methods and overall approach are consistent with Farmison's philosophy and values.

If you have any questions or would like to make a suggestion regarding www.farmison.com, please get in touch.