ur principal aim at Northfield Farm is to source and produce premium quality Beef, Lamb and Pork, which has lived well and humanely killed. We hang it carefully and appropriately and lastly butcher it toprovide the very best quality to all our customers.
Northfield Farm straddles the Rutland Leicestershire border midwaybetween Oakham and Melton Mowbray. When we first moved here in 1994 members of the more conventional farming fraternity observed with someamusement our small herd of Dexter cattle. The Dexter is a small, short-legged cow of ancient origin, believed to come from Ireland.
Thrifty in consumption, it produces prodigious quantities of creamy milk and truly succulent beef. The Dexter also happens to be one of thevery few breeds never to have had BSE. We gave cuts away to as many people as we could from the first steer we killed by way of a marketing exercise. We sat back and waited nervously for the verdict. The applause was deafening.
We also rear White Park Cattle, one of the oldest British Breeds. Legend has it that King John "Knighted" the roast loin of a White Park to create "Sir Loin".
The concept of consuming rare breed meat appears strange to the uninitiated. The majority of those breeds, which have become rare or 'traditional' are the old farm animals, which were developed by our predecessors for their eating qualities. This process of development was a gentle balance between old-fashioned husbandry and the advances of science. Since the last war, however, this balance has been destroyed. Achieving the lowest cost for the least effort in the quickest time became the sole preoccupation of most modern livestock production.
The bulk of the food crises we have suffered over the last few years have been the direct consequence. The old fashioned breeds are not cheap to produce, nor are they particularly efficient, they take time to mature. BUT! They are not as inefficient as they have been painted and their meat, rather like their appearance, is less bland and uniform than that of their modern cousins. Thanks to the efforts of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the support of the countless smallholders and their supporters, the corps of our declining agricultural and culinary heritage has been saved.
Northfield Farm Limited has been accredited as a butcher by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust since 1997 as a tribute to the quality of our produce and the principles according to which our stock is bred and reared.
Since opening our farm shop in 1997 when we supplied most of the meat from our own fields, the business has grown considerably. It has always been our aim to encourage others to breed, rear & finish rare and traditional breeds. We now have what is best described as an'informal co-operative' of around 50 such suppliers. This ensures that greater care & attention have been lavished upon the animals than is possible when sourcing from very large farming businesses. We also source beef & lamb from Buccleuch Heritage Brands in the Scottish Borders; and the Orkney Islands. We believe passionately that if farming & specialist food production are to survive the producer & consumer must strive together to ensure traceability and excellence.
We endeavour to visit every one of our suppliers whether they are only producing one or two steers a years or are gearedup for larger scale production.
We are a licensed dealer ingame and also supply truly free range Geese and Turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. These birds have been reared for us locally for the last eleven years. But please get your orders in as early as possible as supply is strictly limited.
To complement our sales of high quality meat we stock a tantalizingrange of predominantly British cheeses. We also stock a superb range of heather honeys and other condiments, locally baked fresh bread, vegetables, regionally brewed bottled beers, the list of wonderful food & drink goes on & on.
Whether you email or telephone to avail yourself of our overnight delivery service, or you decide to visit us in person at the farm, at Borough Market, Broadway Market or else where you can be assured of a warm welcome.