Exmoor sheep farmers strengthen local supply chains

Sheep farmers in Exmoor are set to benefit from a new initiative encouraging people to buy local produce direct from their farms.

Four organisations promoting the area and the grass-fed meat it produces have released a new list of farmers supplying lamb direct to consumers, to try to build on the momentum behind buying local since the coronavirus pandemic.

Exmoor Hill Farming Network (EHFN), Exmoor National Park Authority (ENPA), Visit Exmoor and Edible Exmoor are working on the project to showcase the area’s farmers and their role in managing the landscape.

See also: How local farming group became a Community Interest Company

One of the farmers supplying direct is Holly Purdey at Horner Farm.

“We farm in the Porlock Vale, working with nature to ensure biodiversity across the farm is being restored, building a healthy environment for us all while producing a delicious, nutritious product.

“We keep native-breed ewes, ensuring our lambs grow at their own speed, resulting in the perfect balance of flavour, fat and tenderness.”

Local supply chains

Katrina Munro, from ENPA, said it was important farmers continued to benefit from local support when the lockdown eases.

“One thing we should all be taking away from the lockdown experience is the vital importance of food security and supply.

“Local producers and shops have been at the heart of keeping people fed, and now we need to ensure they continue to benefit from our support.

“By buying produce from Exmoor, you’ll be helping our rural economy recover, as well as doing your bit to protect the environment and conserve the beautiful landscapes of Exmoor.”

The register of suppliers has been compiled by Katherine Williams of EHFN.

“Our farmers are protecting the landscape and the environment by using both traditional and modern, sustainable farming methods and keeping food miles to a minimum.

“They are passionate about conserving the area and also the high welfare of their animals.

“Traceability and provenance are also so important to us, and the animals here are all reared on a very high percentage grass diet, making the lamb both tasty and healthier to eat.”

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