all about our new meat box.
Firstly, I'm stating the obvious when describing us as an organic veg, plant-first business. Most of us involved with ten mile menu/Sandy Lane Farm do however still eat meat, albeit far less today than we did 10 years ago. In addition to environmental factors, a key reason for this is a concern for animal welfare and our own health. Generally speaking, there is very little transparency in the UK's meat supply chain - in recent times scale of farming has increased and standards have been driven down in a supermarket price war that has altered our understanding of the price we need to pay for well produced meat. Our meat box will contain the meat that we are happy to eat, and I hope the same will be true for you. It feels peculiar to launch a new product and anticipate it meaning we eat a little less overall, but if more of us move away from large scale production and regular consumption, to high-welfare, small-scale, locally reared and appropriately priced meat, it will have just that effect.
What you get in a Ten Mile Menu meat box is very simple: high quality local meat, from farmers who care about their animals and the product on the plate. We have made connections with local farmers with high welfare standards so you know exactly where your food is coming from. It’s as simple as that. Tracing the meat from ‘field to fork’ is such an obvious idea but in reality it’s hard work to find local meat in a supermarket and sadly in more recent times, many of our butchers too. That’s where we come in. We’ve spent time building relationships with farmers who share our vision of what an animal’s life should be like, and want that connection direct to the customer.
The farms we have chosen are all local and small scale, they have significant consideration for their animal’s welfare and their environmental impact. The scale and methods of farming does mean there may be times when we have limited, or no availability of a certain product. When that happens we won’t plug the gap by ordering in from an unknown supplier, we’ll be patient and do without. We won’t buy in meat from anywhere to meet demand - we want to retain that connection to the farm and farmer so you always know what you are eating, where it has come from and how it has lived. We would like you to get to know these farmers and how they work. The photographs of the cows on our website won’t be stock images of any old animal, they’ll be taken on the farm and be a real representation of the animals that become the steak in your boxes. Buying meat is quite a responsibility and one that we don’t take lightly, we want to make sure that we can trace the product back to the field and farmer every time.
Buying local has many benefits - not least that you may often drive past (or even walk through) the field where your lamb is currently grazing. Keeping it local means on a practical level we can visit the farmers when we need to, maintaining a close working relationship and ensuring we are offering a fair deal to both them and to you. Buying local also means we keep food miles to an absolute minimum. We are also keen to limit waste so, while we will often have a steak box to offer, we won’t only take the most expensive cuts of meat and let the less fashionable ones go unsold. We have made the decision to deliver the meat frozen, again to make sure we cut down on waste and to enable you to choose when you would like to cook the meat, rather than being governed by a short use-by date.
We are aiming for quality over quantity - meat boxes that celebrate the hard work on the part of the farmer to allow the animals to behave as animals should, with longer, happier lives, out in the fresh air. We can taste that on the plate and hope you will too.
Steve, Jackson, George and team ten mile!