British Beef Week 2021: Our Aberdeen Angus
We don’t usually need an excuse to shout about our herd of heritage Aberdeen Angus cattle and award-winning, organic, grass-fed beef cuts here at Eversfield Organic. However, British Beef Week 2021 gives us the perfect opportunity to! The weeklong campaign celebrates British beef alongside the farmers who produce it. This year, as always, the campaign has the environment in mind, particularly focussing on sustainable British beef production.
From the beginning we’ve always worked on our sustainability methods at the farm, finding that because looking after our resources and livestock has multiple rewards. From protecting our native Aberdeen Angus, working with the Pasture-Fed-for-Life (PFLA) and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, to building our closed loop sustainability system. British Beef Week is a great opportunity for us to reflect on our place in organic British beef farming and how we’re helping…
What is British Beef Week?
As mentioned above, Great British Beef Week is a weeklong celebration of British beef and the farmers who produce it. Each year, the campaign focusses on the environment and illuminating the truth behind beef farming in the UK. FarmingUK suggests that figures show British beef production has a carbon footprint of less than half of the global average.
This year Ladies in Beef, a collective of over 150 female beef farms from across the country, are heading up the campaign. They are hoping to highlight what farmers in the UK do to make British beef highly sustainable to back up the figure suggested above.
Jilly Greed, the co-founder of Ladies in Beef alongside the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) president Minette Batters, says:
“This year we wanted to demonstrate how the beef sector is progressive and wanted to demonstrate its environmental sustainability credentials”
- Source: Jilly Greed for FarmingUK
Our Aberdeen Angus
Once we achieved our Soil Association organic certification in 2004, our founder Mark began to work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to rear his own herd of native Aberdeen Angus. Bringing back an old bloodline, these heritage cattle are truly the best of British beef. With their friendly and inquisitive demeanour, looking after our herd is a top priority on the farm.
The cattle are fed on an 100% pasture diet, certified by the PFLA, meaning they live a longer and happier life by growing at a slower, more natural pace. Our Aberdeen Angus are naturally designed to feed on grass, so feeding them cereals and soya and keeping them inside is bound to upset them. The freedom to express normal behaviour by foraging and grazing our fields for a minimum of 200 days a year (even the highest welfare supermarkets only guarantee 120 days outside grazing) keeps them healthy as well as happy. They are less likely to suffer from disease, meaning less veterinary visits and antibiotics are needed. In addition, grass-fed cattle produce less methane than those fed on a grain diet – win, win.
When the herd do make their way inside for the winter months, they are fed on preserved pasture in the form of hay. Cattle can feel stress when their natural routine is changed, affecting their immune system. This is why we let them live their most organic life, as well as feeding them on only grass. Vitamin E in grass can help improve their immune response.
We try to keep their time spent indoors as short as possible. Just last week, our herd were released back into the fields, and the joy they expressed was second-to-none!
What is the PFLA?
The PFLA (Pasture-for-Life Association) are an integral part of sustainable beef farming in the UK, bringing together British farmers across the country. Their aim is to unite such producers to create high quality food in a more natural way.
PFLA certified farms ensure their cattle and lamb are fed on a 100% grass diet, the way nature intended. Not only does this make for some very happy and healthy animals, but it also makes them that much tastier. Their slow growth and natural diet produces a gorgeous marbling effect on cuts like organic steak and grass-fed Rib of Beef, reducing saturated fats and boosting Omega-3 fatty acids. These health benefits are then passed onto you and your family when you choose the purchase organic, grass-fed beef produced in Britain. Not to mention the exceptional flavour presented though our well hung and minimum 28-day dry aged beef, ethically butchered on our very own farm.
Sustainable Beef Farming
As we continue to take care of our heritage Aberdeen Angus, they continue to give back to us. By allowing the cattle to graze the fields for a large part of the year, our ground becomes naturally fertilised. Organic farms avoid the use of manmade fertilisers, so our cattle are vital to healthy soils. Developing and maintaining healthy soils means the grass can draw CO2 out of the atmosphere in what is known as carbon sequestration, beginning to reverse the effects of traditional agriculture.
We also rely on our rotational grazing system to keep our ground fertile. This involves moving the herd to different fields to allow the earth to recover and ensure the cattle don’t chomp down too far on the grass. This also keeps the Aberdeen Angus entertained, not staying in one place for too long with lots of new places to explore!
With our British, grass-fed beef and delightful herd of heritage Aberdeen Angus, British Beef Week is always something that we can get behind. The celebration runs from 23rd to 30th April – plenty of time to add your favourite cut of organic beef to your next grocery box delivery.
We’ve also been working with some female chefs to bring you yummy beef recipes to try during Beef Week, keep an eye out for them soon…