Local, seasonal & ethical
It is critically important to us to know where the animals that we use for our artisan British charcuterie come from, who raised them, how they have been cared for, and ultimately that they have been slaughtered under the most humane conditions. We put a much higher value on the husbandry than on whether it carries an 'organic' label.
A perfect example of this is our main pig supplier, Sam Holloway from Locke Farm, Halstock, Dorset (www.samspigs.co.uk). Sam breeds Oxford Sandy & Black pigs and rears them free-range in his woods. They forage for acorns and hazel nuts in the autumn and eat roots, grubs, etc in the rest of the year. He feeds them with GM free pig nuts and supplements their diet with the milk whey from the Blue Vinny Cheese herd. The whey would end up in the slurry pit if Sam did not feed it to his pigs; instead, his pigs get high-grade protein and we get to work with the best pork available.
Wherever possible, we also work and innovate to reduce waste in the food system or, ideally, eliminate it entirely.
David explains, “We love to use every part of every animal and especially animals that might otherwise be wasted. That’s how the goose salami came about. We use ‘cull’ geese – these are geese from breeding flocks that have become too old (about 7 years) to lay enough eggs to remain commercially viable. These geese would normally be killed and then incinerated as the meat is too tough for eating. However, we use this meat to make into a Goose Salami (blended with pork and pork fat) and it has been very well received indeed. Another product making use of overlooked bits is our Venison Tongue Rillettes (not being produced at the moment) – the tongues of deer are generally discarded along with the rest of the head but we have developed a recipe to use it.”
The venison we use is all locally shot fallow, sika and roe deer from wild herds - there are so many deer around that there is simply no need to use farmed animals. Of course, being wild we cannot say that it is organic because we have no control over what the deer eat.
We also like to produce in accordance with the seasons so, for example, our Smoked Partridge is only available from October to December.