10,000ha milestone is reached, but more farmers are needed to meet demand for Pasture Meat
The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association is looking for more farmer suppliers to meet growing demand for meat from cattle and sheep fed only on grass and forage crops their entire lives.
The farmer-led organisation started in 2011 to champion the virtues of meat reared this way through its ‘Pasture for Life’ brand. It now has 180 members across the UK, with 45 certified farmers adhering to its production standards, and 18 certified butchers through which their meat is being sold.
There are now 10,000ha of farmland being managed to the standards. This is sustaining around 6000 cattle and 9000 sheep purely on grazed grass and conserved forage, without any grain, soya or maize.
The organisation is looking to increase its membership rapidly over the next 12 months, to respond to requests from butchers for more supply of guaranteed 100% grass-fed meat.
“Beef and lamb reared like this is very saleable due to its taste, quality and health benefits, such as high levels of ‘good fats’ like omega-3s and vitamins and minerals,”
says Russ Carrington, executive secretary of the PFLA.
“We now need more farmers to join us to feed into existing supply chains and others we are currently helping to establish.
“In some areas of the country demand is outstripping supply; in others we are keen to work with farmers to form hubs around potential routes to market.”
Paleo and CrossFit gym followers
Feedback shows most consumers really appreciate ‘Pasture for Life’ meat. Some groups, like those following the Paleo or Caveman diets and CrossFit gym movements, are really pursuing it because it produces nutrient-dense and much healthier meat than that from animals that have been fed grain. These movements are substantial and growing quickly in America and are likely to do the same in the UK.
“There is a great opportunity for farmers to make the most of what Britain is good at – growing grass!”
concludes Russ Carrington.
If you are interested in becoming a Certified ‘Pasture for Life’ Farmer, please click here to find out more.