Image: Rhug Estate
Last year we blogged about how the risk of avian flu and our proximity to an RSPB nature reserve had forced us to re-evaluate how and where we produce our poultry.
Nothing is ever entirely predictable in farming and a change in circumstances has lead us adapt and expand the way we produce our meat to better meet the demands of our customers and the resources available in our team here at Swillington.
The farm is run by Jo who founded the organic business and expanded and grew the farm that her mother started. Jo has unrivaled farming and stock knowledge and experience within our team but due to an operation that has required her to be absent from the business we have needed to look at our production and the risks to it.
It was decided that to ensure a quality supply and a fair workload across the team we would scale back our pig and poultry enterprises in the short term and share production with our network of trusted suppliers.
As of January 2018 as well as the free range chickens expertly produced for us by Loose Birds in Harome we are also sourcing organic chickens from the Rhug Estate in North Wales.
We have decided to partner with Rhug due to our confidence in the quality and animal welfare of their enterprises, which are independently audited by the Soil Association, and their ability to produce and deliver fresh, traceable poultry of the same high standards as our home produced birds.
We have visited Rhug and having met Lord Newborough and his team through FARMA (a not-for-profit association of the best real farm shops and real farmers) we are confident that this is the best choice for our business and our customers.
We hope our transparency in telling the story of where your food comes from helps you to trust Swillington as a source of high welfare, high quality meat.
In an industry where it has become all to easy for unscrupulous retailers to invent farms, use misleading production terms and even label meat as from the wrong country (nay species!) we think it’s important that you understand how our team put our values at the heart of what we do and how anything that leaves the Swillington Butchery has our stamp of quality and provenance for you and your family.
As always if you have any questions about the food we produce feel free to contact us for help.
You can also read more about our chicken production in our ‘Foodie Factfile’ here.