Food & Drink
ISSUE NO: 122
New butchery keeps local community fed during lockdown www.intwoodfarm.co.uk
Located just outside Norwich, Intwood Farm is a family owned farm with over 350 acres of arable land and 50 acres of grazing land, with additional land being grazed for neighbouring farmers.
Farmer Nigel Darling is a passionate livestock enthusiast who began keeping various rare breeds as a hobby. However, he believes the best way to preserve native and rare breed livestock is to find a viable market for them. As a result he has created a state-of- the-art butchery specialising in home reared, native breed beef, pork and lamb, as well a range of artisan sausages, meatballs and burgers. They also offer local chicken and duck and a selection of sauces, as well as oils from Hillfarm in Suffolk .
The £400,000 new butchery has been built in a converted dairy shed and includes a farm office, reception, an operations room, a chilled meat storage room and a large freezer area. Work started in November, but as the Coronavirus pandemic began to gain momentum, the family worked night and day to finish the facility.
The butchery started trading in April, since which time the free delivery service has been a life-line for customers during lockdown, with over 600 orders shipped since mid April. Offering premium local meats at affordable prices, the butchery is already enjoying repeat orders and rave reviews, with many customers claiming it is “the best steak they’ve ever had”.
Nigel explains what makes native breed beef so special “With native breeds you don’t pump them full of grain, you feed them on grass and forage crops and let them roam the fields. Not only is this switch to less-intensive cattle farming positive for the environment, when cattle live on a grass-based diet, it imparts more flavour in the meat. In addition, traditional native breed cattle, including Welsh Black, Highland and traditional Hereford are slow growing, meaning they have more intramuscular fat than their modern counterparts, making the meat more succulent. Add to this the fact that our beef is hung for 21 days and it all goes to improve the quality of the meat, which our customers are enjoying.”