Buying Top quality meat ? why so hard ?

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
My point is though for you livestock producers - why are not more of you not butchering and retailing direct, online at a premium?


why are the good places the exception?
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Then you are using the wrong chicken. Proper slow grown chicken on a diverse natural diet has a wonderful flavour. Good luck finding it though because the market is all for the meat you describe, bland and pumped full of water to make it cheap then smothered in a chemical sauce (often, ironically for this thread, a "smoky" one).

Red meat quality is all about the life the animal has led, stress free slaughter and respectful treatment of the carcass. This country does not value either.


I agree there is chicken and CHICKEN - again the later high-quality stuff is often not as easy to find .................. like the beef this is my point, producers are letting processors and retailers ruin their produce it seems ? why not "take back control"
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
My point is though for you livestock producers - why are not more of you not butchering and retailing direct, online at a premium?


why are the good places the exception?
Some of us are 😉 but it's hard work,
You need a fancy website, can I have that in smaller packs, why is there so little fillet steak, oh I didn't realise 10kg was that heavy.

Most of ours is sold on word of mouth
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
My point is though for you livestock producers - why are not more of you not butchering and retailing direct, online at a premium?


why are the good places the exception?
Because, certainly up to now, it just hasn't been worth the huge hassle. Try setting up your own farm grown food retail operation and see for yourself. Those who do it well put ENOURMOUS effort into it. Unless you enjoy dealing with the public it is anathema to most livestock farmers.

Edit: I'm aiming to see less of the british public, not more of it. I value my quality of life. If I wanted to retail our livestock I'd stay here where we have 1.5 million customers in the county before you even look at London next door. Our local "farmers markets" are full of everything but farmers selling food. They are professional food retailers jumping on the "farmers" branding.
 
Last edited:

Netherfield

Member
Location
West Yorkshire
Why is this SO hard ?

One of the positives of this awful lockdown year for me so far is that I have had time to do something I have wanted for a long time ............. learn to cook

I spent some money saved from a canceled ski holiday on a fancy smoker BBQ (Big Green Egg) back in March and have cooked almost daily on it ever since, surprising myself with what I am actually capable of cooking and as a bonus, no one has died yet !

So as you get into these things, join Facebook groups, forums, watch youtube etc you start to get more ambitious and want to try more unusual things, it becomes more than just food, its a new hobby at this point and as a result what you become prepared to spend raises accordingly.

I'm not alone, there is a big scene of other middle-aged twits like me all into this, mostly with money to spend - I can't help but feel the UK livestock industry is missing out here

YET (and here is the point of this thread) Top quality meat, particularly the unusual (expensive) cuts are very hard to get? why is this? I read constantly on here that British grass fed beef is "better" but where is it when I come to try to buy it ?

The first stop was the village butcher in a village a few miles away (my village has no shops anymore sadly) It's all very traditional looking and surely worth a premium over the supermarkets ? ............. but no, I've come to learn the meat is nothing special, no real provenance and pre-cut from wholesalers just being retailed. Ther first time I asked for a Picanha for example they hadn't got a clue what I was on about, I had to google it for them and what I got, in the end, wasn't really done properly.

I tried another local butcher (a bit further away but of BIG local reputation, I ordered Brisket and it turned up rolled ! I asked for "packer cut" they had no idea what I was on about despite the internet and a million youtube video's about cooking such cuts

Jacobs ladder, beef short rib, 4 rib, Tomahawks etc all command premium prices but are really hard to get until you discover the gems that do butcher their own carcasses like Tori nad Bens Fram shop etc Grass-fed Longhorn with quality and provenance worth paying for proving that these places do exist and do know how to provide what customers like me want and reap the premium price rewards to match, why are they so "hidden" though? why not the normal rather than the exception ?


One place I have found you can get the unusual and better cuts is Costco ..................... but it's more often than not USDA and imported! I don't want to buy that but have done as it's so much easier


My question is why is this rare? what are not more livestock farms not butchering retailing direct? surely the internet has made it easier than ever before to cut out the middlemen who from what I see are doing a very poor job of butchering and retailing your products?


My dad died last June age 95, he'd been a butcher since 14 , if you'd asked him for Picanha or Jacob's ladder he would have no idea what you were talking about. Show him the piece and yes he could have butchered it for you, I dare say if you'd asked 10 years ago not many butchers in the country would have known what you wanted, it's an american thing.

Why do butchers buy boxed beef?,
Because they know what the can sell nowadays no point in trying to get rid of the rest of it where there is no market, and a lot survive on selling sandwiches and the like to earn a reasonable living.

Why are not more livestock farmers selling direct?
A few good reasons, finance to keep the health inspector happy with your premises, as above you need to get rid of the whole beast, not just the bits you want Clive, and lastly tell me where to find quality butchers who are willing to do the job to the standards required, Morrisons have lot's of instore meat sellers, butchers they are not.

I bumped in to a chap trained by dad last week, around 40 years old, he left butchery when he got married, mainly for the money, went working for Vodafone in the shop in town, left that 5 years ago when they dropped all the bonus they got for selling, came back to butchery, but was back to the bottom of the ladder pay wise, his mate was a manager at Morrisons and persuaded him there, 18 months later he took his HGV and now drives a lorry, no weekends, no nights and better money.

I can tell you of a few smaller local butchers, take a young lad train him up, but then can't afford to pay him enough to keep him happy, so they drift away from the trade never to return.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
[
Because, certainly up to now, it just hasn't been worth the huge hassle. Try setting up your own farm grown food retail operation and see for yourself. Those who do it well put ENOURMOUS effort into it. Unless you enjoy dealing with the public it is anathema to most livestock farmers.
Friend has set up a couple of milk vending machines.
Nearly a fulltime job looking after 2.
Same as selling direct, updating news, liasing with butcher, making sure that you don't over or under sell. Getting the balance right so your not left with certain cuts, packing, posting, sorting issues out.


So why don't you sell flour direct @Clive baking has really taken off this year?
 
I've said it already: both my parents were chefs, the real deal commercial sort. You start with good ingredients and cook them right. A sauce is merely the icing on the cake.

There is no need to invest in crazy expensive kitchen accessories and try finding me any chef worth his salt who doesn't cook on gas. If I'm cooking steaks for example I cook them on a cast iron griddle plate on the hob, gets hot as hades and lets any moisture or fat run clear. The trick is in buying steak that is hung long enough, not-over cooked and then rested properly.

Lay off the salt and butter (which often contains a shed load more salt), there is no need for it and it is bad for you in excess.

The trouble with a selling boxed meat to average joe family is that they only understand sausages, steak and rib of beef etc. If you present them with a box containing beef skirt or flank or a T bone they wouldn't know what the fudge to do with it. Hence the popularity of burgers and beef sausages which you can nearly microwave if you are savage enough.
 

Hampton

Member
Location
Shropshire
taste is a matter of opinion - the fact people will pay big money for top chefs and pitmasters all around the globe to cook and prepare meat suggests to me there is more to it than "making it hot"

even those fresh peas and asparagus can be made better (IMO) with a little sea salt and a knob of butter, they can also be easily cooked badly and ruined as a result
Most pitmasters buy cheap brisket and cook it for days!
 

Hampton

Member
Location
Shropshire
I've said it already: both my parents were chefs, the real deal commercial sort. You start with good ingredients and cook them right. A sauce is merely the icing on the cake.

There is no need to invest in crazy expensive kitchen accessories and try finding me any chef worth his salt who doesn't cook on gas. If I'm cooking steaks for example I cook them on a cast iron griddle plate on the hob, gets hot as hades and lets any moisture or fat run clear. The trick is in buying steak that is hung long enough, not-over cooked and then rested properly.

Lay off the salt and butter (which often contains a shed load more salt), there is no need for it and it is bad for you in excess.
Total sense, listen to this post!
 
My old man is real old school, having been trained in a time back before supermarkets really took off in a big way. He would know how to cook all the offal and stuff the likes of which no householder has even seen in the last 20 years if not longer. The French have the right attitude to food, often local or national produce, occasionally artisan and very expensive but just done right. They also know how to cook and savour virtually anything which obviously went well hand in hand with their perchance for shooting and hunting virtually anything and farming anything they couldn't shoot or hunt.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
I've said it already: both my parents were chefs, the real deal commercial sort. You start with good ingredients and cook them right. A sauce is merely the icing on the cake.

There is no need to invest in crazy expensive kitchen accessories and try finding me any chef worth his salt who doesn't cook on gas. If I'm cooking steaks for example I cook them on a cast iron griddle plate on the hob, gets hot as hades and lets any moisture or fat run clear. The trick is in buying steak that is hung long enough, not-over cooked and then rested properly.

Lay off the salt and butter (which often contains a shed load more salt), there is no need for it and it is bad for you in excess.

The trouble with a selling boxed meat to average joe family is that they only understand sausages, steak and rib of beef etc. If you present them with a box containing beef skirt or flank or a T bone they wouldn't know what the fudge to do with it. Hence the popularity of burgers and beef sausages which you can nearly microwave if you are savage enough.
We had a BBQ for one of my lads team , they all brought their own "meat" for BBQ it was marinated kebabs etc etc, not many of them ate what they brought but all the lamb,pork chops and ribs , steak and own burgers went.
Sold a lot of meat on the back of that!
 

delilah

Member
My point is though for you livestock producers - why are not more of you not butchering and retailing direct, online at a premium?


why are the good places the exception?

What you are asking for, in a word, is 'niche''.
And if there is one word that I hate, is 'niche'.
Direct sales is bloody hard work, for all of the reasons stated by others.
Direct sales is just middle England pleasuring itself.
5% of the population eating local, provenance, fresh food.
95% eating whatever the cartel choose to feed them.
Drive round the midlands trying out the farm shops, fine.
But it's not the answer.
Market share is the root of all evil.
 

Bob lincs

Member
Arable Farmer
Why is this SO hard ?

One of the positives of this awful lockdown year for me so far is that I have had time to do something I have wanted for a long time ............. learn to cook

I spent some money saved from a canceled ski holiday on a fancy smoker BBQ (Big Green Egg) back in March and have cooked almost daily on it ever since, surprising myself with what I am actually capable of cooking and as a bonus, no one has died yet !

So as you get into these things, join Facebook groups, forums, watch youtube etc you start to get more ambitious and want to try more unusual things, it becomes more than just food, its a new hobby at this point and as a result what you become prepared to spend raises accordingly.

I'm not alone, there is a big scene of other middle-aged twits like me all into this, mostly with money to spend - I can't help but feel the UK livestock industry is missing out here

YET (and here is the point of this thread) Top quality meat, particularly the unusual (expensive) cuts are very hard to get? why is this? I read constantly on here that British grass fed beef is "better" but where is it when I come to try to buy it ?

The first stop was the village butcher in a village a few miles away (my village has no shops anymore sadly) It's all very traditional looking and surely worth a premium over the supermarkets ? ............. but no, I've come to learn the meat is nothing special, no real provenance and pre-cut from wholesalers just being retailed. Ther first time I asked for a Picanha for example they hadn't got a clue what I was on about, I had to google it for them and what I got, in the end, wasn't really done properly.

I tried another local butcher (a bit further away but of BIG local reputation, I ordered Brisket and it turned up rolled ! I asked for "packer cut" they had no idea what I was on about despite the internet and a million youtube video's about cooking such cuts

Jacobs ladder, beef short rib, 4 rib, Tomahawks etc all command premium prices but are really hard to get until you discover the gems that do butcher their own carcasses like Tori nad Bens Fram shop etc Grass-fed Longhorn with quality and provenance worth paying for proving that these places do exist and do know how to provide what customers like me want and reap the premium price rewards to match, why are they so "hidden" though? why not the normal rather than the exception ?


One place I have found you can get the unusual and better cuts is Costco ..................... but it's more often than not USDA and imported! I don't want to buy that but have done as it's so much easier


My question is why is this rare? what are not more livestock farms not butchering retailing direct? surely the internet has made it easier than ever before to cut out the middlemen who from what I see are doing a very poor job of butchering and retailing your products?
Our local cash and carry’s butcher is very good (Bookers Kings Lynn ) , Tomahawks are superb . That is a fillet next to it .
7D3502D4-274B-4948-8B23-53576683D79E.jpeg
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

  • 267
  • 0
https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F186160299%2F486662465563%2F1%2Foriginal.20211115-160823


Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​

Intro
This...
Top