What was the inspiration behind setting up a rare breed farm in Northern Ireland?
I decided I didn't like eating meat that had no traceability, when I had no idea where or how the animal was raised. So I decided to have my own herd, just for myself, but over time people wanted to buy from us, so it snowballed a little. I think the main seed would be the ethics behind raising animals and not wanting factory farming to continue on such a large scale.
We have heritage breeds because they taste good, they have thick fat coverings which benefit flavour, but it also means they are more hardy and can withstand the weather when being reared on pasture, which the factory breeds can’t.
Who buys your fresh, local, and seasonal produce?
We have a delivery service locally but we also regularly attend markets, such as the Warrenpoint market and other markets in the Newry, Mourne, and Downs area. I think the people who buy our meat are people who are more conscious and don’t want to support battery farming, they only want to eat food that has been produced sustainably. They are also health conscious.
Have You Noticed an Increase in Interest in Sustainable Food After the Pandemic?
I was very busy with local deliveries throughout the pandemic, it has reduced slightly but, over Instagram, we are getting more enquiries. More people are asking us about how we rear the animals and what goes into making our meat products. This is definitely showing us that people are more interested in sustainable food. I think that factory farmers around us have taken a hit, as more people have started shopping locally.
What are your best sellers?
Beef steaks always sell quickly. The pork sausages are popular. We have four different flavours: chili, leek, black pudding, and apple. Our butcher in Newtownards also makes us burgers which are 98% beef. The butcher is really good with sourcing ingredients and balancing flavours.