Steadman's Butchers - Animal Welfare
A current industry buzz word is 'provenance'. You may also hear it used often on the T V programmes "Antiques Road Show "or "Flog It". It literally means 'place of origin' although in wider usage its meaning has broadened somewhat to 'knowing the life history of the antique or animal'. This is especially relevant in the case of the vast majority of the products sold by Steadman's.
Most of our customers will have noticed our labelling system and the fact that most of them are headed 'Locally Reared Beef', 'Local Lamb' or 'Free Range Pork'. It is no idle boast to say that animal welfare and supporting local farmers and suppliers has been a passion of Garth's for many years. He knows all his suppliers personally and visits them often or is in telephone contact with them frequently. Garth is entirely satisfied that animal welfare is paramount. It is this personal attention to detail and quality control that ensures the very highest standards of meat not just week after week, but year after year.
Our animals are slaughtered at Bainbridge, only 15 miles away, at 'McIntyre Meats'. This is a small, low throughput, slaughterhouse where animals are subject to a minimum of stress and where their welfare is assured, resulting in the animals only having to travel a very short distance ensuring Low Food Miles.
Beef and lamb have been procured locally for years but the introduction of free range pork is something new. Sourced from 'Lakes and Dales Born and Bred' at Tebay this genuinely comes under the 'local' banner. Steadmans's Free Range Pork is the culmination of an 18 month search by Garth. He has had to balance his core beliefs of; animal welfare, quality, local sourcing, and value for money for the customers. We believe he has succeeded.
The free range philosophy that Garth subscribes to is "animals are free to roam and behave more naturally and that includes foraging for food". Sadly, that is not the case for animals that are bred intensively for the mass market with profit being the primary objective.
A final interesting point to consider is this. The Great British Menu was on BBC 2 each evening and featured top chefs from around the whole of the country competing against each other on a regional basis. The main course they cook is usually a meat dish and everyone so far has sourced their meat from a local farmer and had it prepared by their regular local butcher, including hanging the meat for a minimum of 21 days, and in some cases even longer. Not one top chef has said "I go to the chilled meat cabinet of my local supermarket and buy a joint that has travelled from Argentina and been hung for 2 days". Now what does that tell you?