Berwickshire farmer backs Great British Beef Week

Business is booming at a Berwickshire farm after the pandemic forced customers to shop closer to home.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 3:00 pm
Peelham cattle.
Peelham cattle.

Denise Walton, who herds suckler Aberdeen Angus at Peelham Farm in Foulden as well as running the on-site butchery there, said sales have rocketed during the pandemic – so much so, they have had to take on extra staff.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on the direct sales from our on-farm butchery with an exceptional increase in online sales,” she said. “We have made changes to our processing and taken on extra help to cope with the increase in demand, which is brilliant.”

Speaking during Great British Beef Week, which runs until tomorrow, Denise said that the pandemic had shone a light on the importance of local communities and butchers.

Denise Walton. Picture © Andy Buchanan.

“Provenance and traceability of food has increased in importance,” she said.

“That’s why Great British Beef Week is so important – it highlights British beef and British farmers during this unprecedented time and aims to shine a light on the environmental credentials of British beef production.”

Now in its 11th year and run by Ladies in Beef, Great British Beef Week 2021 is focusing on the environment and celebrating the efforts farmers go to to make Scottish and British farming among the most sustainable in the world.

British beef farmers aim to be carbon neutral by 2040, with action taken ranging from improving grasslands and paddock grazing, to planting trees, maintaining wildflowers and giving cattle rainwater to drink.

Denise Walton tends the herd at Peelham Farm with grandson Blake.

Sustainability is central to the ethos at Peelham, where cattle are grass fed and grass reared. “It’s about working with nature for optimum profit, not against nature for maximum productivity which is the cause of so much damage to our countryside,” Denise said.

“Nature means business for us and is of growing importance to our customers.”

Minette Batters, NFU president and Ladies in Beef co-founder, added: “The British beef sector has so much to celebrate right now.

"Not only do we produce a fantastic, affordable product renowned around the world for its quality, but we do it in one of the most sustainable ways possible.”