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|Hampshire - Rother Valley Organics|
Rother Valley OrganicsSandilands Farm,
Tel: 01730 821062
Fax: 01730 821323
Organic beef farmers, Shon and Simon Sprackling launched Rother Valley Organics in early 2004. The idea was to sell organic meat direct to customers’ doors – handling the entire process literally from pasture to plate and in doing so help preserve some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the South Downs and provide a lifeline for other local farmers.
The brothers sell their own organic Aberdeen Angus beef, pork and lamb, but are also working with other local farmers to offer a wider choice of organic meats such as chicken and other organic breeds. Part of the company’s proposition is that all the meat is fully traceable and the Spracklings have even built their own on-site butchery where they employ master butchers to ensure the meat is cut and presented to the highest standards. The venture is already attracting custom from people who not only care where their food has come from and how it has been treated, but also want to help the local environment and economy.
The animals are fed on a variety of organic grazing and are rotated around the farm to benefit from the best seasonal grazing. This includes high, clover rich, herbage on the hills in the winter to lush river bottom pasture and sea frontage marshland in the warmer months. This varied diet, which includes wild plants such as sorrel and wild herbs like rosemary, thyme, marjoram and garlic, gives the meat an exceptionally delicious flavour. It is a traditional mixed farm where crops and livestock are cultivated and reared naturally, without GMOs, artificial fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, growth-promoting hormones or routine antibiotics.
However, the Rother Valley Organics approach to producing great tasting meat does not stop with the rearing of the animals. Shon and Simon take a holistic approach to farming and believe that everything in the food chain should be carried out to the highest standard.
All the animals are slaughtered at a local organic abattoir – travelling is kept to the minimum and the animals have time to relax in straw pens when they arrive. This important time to ‘de-stress’ in not only better for the animals, but really improves the taste and texture of the meat.
The meat is then collected and brought back to the farm’s own butchery where its traditional master butcher cut, prepare and present the meat. Ensuring it not only tastes good, but also looks the way it should and cooks well.
WORKING WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Part of the remit of Rother Valley Organics is to help preserve the environment. Much of the Sprackling’s grazing land is either a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) or an ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Area). It has joined forces with the ‘Three Harbours Grazing Marsh Products’ – a new food initiative between the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) - aimed at securing the survival of the coastal grazing marshes. Aberdeen Angus sucklers are now grazed on Thorney Island on the South Coast which will help preserve the environment and maintain it as a habitat for rare plants, wildlife and birds, such as the skylark and lapwing.
To conclude, Colin Hedley, Kent and Sussex FWAG, who has worked closely with the Spracklings in their quest to launch Rother Valley Organics comments,
“What Shon and Simon are doing with Rother Valley Organics is so positive in so many ways – not only for the environment and local farmers, but also for local people. If you buy your meat from them you can – as a consumer – tick all the right boxes - you have great tasting organic meat which is good for you and your family – you have supported local farmers and the local economy and helped preserve some the most beautiful countryside in the south of England – what more could you want?”
Creation date : 27/04/2007 @ 20:11
Last update : 17/07/2010 @ 09:27
Category : Hampshire
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