A FARMER-OWNED meat company in Sussex has begun supplying the county‘s butchers and retailers with local lamb.

The Billingshurst-based Farmers Meat Team, which will officially launch during the Horsham District Food and Drink Festival later in September, has begun supplying Sussex-reared lamb from its £1.25m plant.

Using a network of local abattoirs, including the recently-opened plant near Henfield, the Farmers Meat Team aims to reduce food miles and offer full traceability.

The on-farm plant is 60% farmer-owned, with the remainder funded through a regional enterprise scheme grant.

The firm‘s Andy Challis said the company would cut and pack meat on behalf of farmers selling through farmers‘ markets and farm shops, but would also be supplying local produce to retail and catering outlets under the Farmers Meat Team brand.