Greetings from the North Yorkshire Dales. This month, I have
some very exciting news to share; a development that has been ten
years in the making.
This past decade we have built an alternative supply chain, one
that seeks to reward small-scale farms with a fair price for their
quality, all the while looking to provide an outlet for heritage
From the beginning, I was determined that naming the breed would
be part of our service - the squeeze put upon farmers by vast and
anonymous supply chains almost did for heritage breeds, but by
naming the breed, we could give consumers the chance to encourage
farmers to rear more of these wonderful creatures by demonstrating
demand. Alongside this, heritage breeds like the Highland do well
in extensive, free range systems. It's simply better. Following our
lead, other retailers have followed suit.
Now, however, we're going a step further.
The magnificent beast you can see above is a White Park. One of
Britain's rarest breeds of cattle, these wonderful creatures have
roamed the British Isles for millennia. My team and I are reviving
this ancient breed, with your help. Numbers plunged as low as 60 in
1973, but have since recovered to 950 breeding cows, though they
are still classed as "at risk" by the Rare Breeds Survival
We have financed one of our long-term farmers and friend, Stuart
Raw, to begin a new herd at Wensleydale, and grow it. Starting off
with a small number of animals, the White Park cattle will graze on
upland pastures in the shadow of Castle Bolton in the Yorkshire
Dales National Park. We will acquire a pedigree White Park bull
when the cows are ready to breed again.
You will be able to buy their meat late next year. By breeding
and eating them, we are saving the White Park, and guaranteeing its
future. We've already had considerable success working with Stuart,
increasing his Dexter herd from 8 to 150 head of cattle.