Local lamb and the long history of low food miles
Mick Wright has been breeding lambs within three miles of Crickhowell since 1986 and has been supplying Cashell’s butchers in Crickhowell High Street for more than 30 years. “I took a leg of lamb into Cashells to show Mike and I have been selling to them ever since.” Mick said.
Mick used to supply 15-20 lambs a week to Cashells, but the consumption of red meat has dropped, and they now take 10 lambs a week from his farm in Tretower to slaughter in Talgarth nine miles away.
“The short distances involved reduces the stress on the animals,” Mick says, “the lambs stay on the pasture for as long as possible until we take them the 20-minute journey to the abbatoir.”
Mick’s son, David, says this produces better lamb to eat: “If lambs go to market they can be hanging round in the pens while the buyer organises transport. They can then be driven across the country to an abbatoir which can be some distance away. All that stresses the animals for longer, which can affect the quality of the meat.”
By the time Cashells have collected the carcasses, the meat will have travelled less than 20 miles from field to butcher’s counter. Mick and David also supply another butcher in Brecon in a similar way.
But providing meat in this way is not as efficient for the farmer. “If we take 50 lambs to market, they are off our hands that day, and we could be paid for the whole lot in a week. Taking straight to slaughter means a journey up to Talgarth every week. But you do get satisfaction from going into the butchers and see your produce on the counter and knowing it’s the best they could get,” Mick said.
Article and photographs by Tim Jones, As You See It Media
Mick and David Wright: LambProducer
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