Swillington Celebrates 15 Years of Being Organic
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][banner_simple_height title="15% off 15th Birthday Offer" subtitle="Just use the code 'happybirthday' at the checkout" title_color="#ffffff" subtitle_color="#ffffff" inner_stroke="2px" inner_stroke_color="#ffffff" bg_color="#009930" height="150" sep_padding="5px" sep_color="#ffffff" with_bullet="no" bullet_bg_color="#000000" bullet_text_color="#ffffff" link_url="/meatboxes/"][/vc_column][/vc_row]Swillington Organic Farm is coming up to a very special milestone as we celebrate fifteen years of gaining our organic certification. Our status as an organic farm means a lot to us, as does the welfare of our animals and the quality of the food we produce.With a history going back as long as fifty five years, the farm has always made the effort to go that extra mile to care for the environment and local wildlife.Since gaining organic status fifteen years ago, a lot has happened as we have developed from selling our produce at the farm gate to distributing UK wide with our meatbox schemes.We speak to Swillington Farm's meatbox founder, Ed Cartwright as we discuss the past fifteen years and what the future looks like for the farm.What has happened in the last 15 years?We’re coming up to our next organic inspection which means it's fifteen years since we first gained our organic certification. At first we were just selling from the farm gate before we started selling at local farmers markets in 2002.Since then we have opened a farm shop, and started our garden growers scheme.We then added our own butchery and poultry slaughter unit which helped us to increase traceability and reduce food miles, reducing our own carbon footprint.We have gone from Jo farming, butchering and selling on her own to a strong team enabling us to provide our organic produce to more customers.What recognition has the farm had in that time?From the start our produce has been recognised by local, and more recently national, chefs who value provenance, authenticity and great taste.We’ve worked with Harvey Nichols, local restaurants such as Dough and Salvos and our produce has been used by celebrity chefs along the way (Jamie Oliver, James Martin, Raymond Blanc).We’ve won awards nearly every year for the quality of our meat and fresh produce, most recently a double win for best meat and best fresh produce at the local food awards.This year we’ve also been shortlisted for a national award in the organic awards for our monthly meatbox for four (you can vote for us here). How has the farm grown the last 15 years?We’ve increased our production to provide more to our local customers and now sell nearly everything direct to the consumer offering field to fork traceability, whilst still sticking to the same values and organic standards.We now have now agreed to graze the land of our RSPB neighbours adjacent to the farm; this will give us much more room to raise additional livestock with the added benefit of converting more land to organic farming, improving the way the land is managed for wildlife and conservation. How has the farm’s organic offering changed?Although we’re still busy in the farm shop and farmers markets we’ve had massive demand for our meatboxes with more families opting for a monthly meatbox to enjoy a seasonal mix of organic meats whilst sticking to a budget, planning their meals and cooking more.We also created our on farm ‘Meat Ups’ to allow customers to experience the story behind their food and trust that when their meatbox is delivered each month they know where it’s from. What can you see happening in the next 15 years?We hope to keep providing award winning quality produce to ethically minded customers. I think as more and more people become aware of how far supermarket food travels and intensive farming’s impact on animal and human health they will be choosing to buy direct from a local organic farm.Since we started offering our meatboxes nationally our monthly subscribers are increasing every month and we hope this will continue.We’ve also got some great plans for offering more delicous local food products that can be delivered with your meatbox and have created some innovative ways to get our customers involved in the food we eat - watch this space for our 'cow'd funding' herd. How easy is it to switch to organic food?Many of the supermarkets have cut back on the organic food they stock, and much is air-freighted in so it makes sense to shop locally.There’s some really well run community farmers markets around Leeds which sell organic meat and veg, our meatboxes also offer a convenient, contract free way of ensuring your fridge or freezer is always stocked with traceable high welfare meat. This avoids that need to buy low welfare meat from the supermarket if you can’t make it to a farm shop or farmers market.As the meatboxes come with animal welfare, quality and farmers market value guaranteed it’s a simple switch to make that will allow you and your family to eat better meat and support a local business.
To celebrate organic September and our 15th Birthday we’re offering 15% off your first meatbox when you sign up for a meatbox subscription this month. Just use the code 'happybirthday' at the checkout. [vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][banner_simple_height title="15% off 15th Birthday Offer" subtitle="Just use the code 'happybirthday' at the checkout" title_color="#ffffff" subtitle_color="#ffffff" inner_stroke="2px" inner_stroke_color="#ffffff" bg_color="#009930" height="150" sep_padding="5px" sep_color="#ffffff" with_bullet="no" bullet_bg_color="#000000" bullet_text_color="#ffffff" link_url="/meatboxes/"][/vc_column][/vc_row]Sign up today and you’ll also get free tickets to our next Meat Up on Saturday 27th September – a truly unique event that will feature nose to tail butchery and tapas prepared by innovative Leeds’ foodies The Greedy Pig.As a small business we love to help, so if you have any questions about our organic farming, our produce or want to tailor a meatbox to suit your diet just get in touch.[product_category category="monthly-meatboxes" per_page="3" columns="4" orderby="date" order="desc"]