The Food Partnership is working with Sussex landowners, farmers, residents and food businesses to design a local meat buying scheme that benefits local people and the environment.
We expect to setup a handful of collection/ delivery hubs for a meat share scheme along the coast between Shoreham and Eastbourne (feel free to forward this blog to any contacts in these areas). Potential meats include lamb, goat, beef and pork. We want to know more about how to best design the scheme to meet the needs of local customers.
How it works
Local meat buying schemes often work by collecting orders in advance for the farmer, who then produces the right amount of product. This is then distributed in ‘shares’ (usually larger quantities which are pre-butchered and ready for the freezer, but can include smaller quantities of sausages/ burgers/ mince etc).
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Why are we setting up a meatshare scheme?
The Food Partnership promotes sustainable diets and food choices, and supports local food producers. We have received funding to explore ways to connect local people to the chalk grassland downs surrounding us, including local sheep grazing (funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, via the National Trust as part of the Changing Chalk project).
Conservation grazing of sheep, cattle and other animals is often a very sustainable way to manage and conserve our local environment. However, the animals used often go into the national food chain rather than feeding local people. We want more local people to understand the value of this conservation method and to support the local farmers involved with a fair price for their meat.
For our supporters who prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet – please be assured that the vast majority of the recipes we share and the food cooked at most of our cooking classes is vegetarian or vegan. But we also work with a wide range of people from all sectors of the community and many people do of course eat meat and fish. We therefore promote the purchase of higher welfare products from local producers, alongside reducing and replacing meat consumption.
Where to buy local meat (and fish) for now…
We have listings on our website for Brighton & Hove butchers and meat suppliers, including the Brighton Sheepshare and Pigshare schemes which have helped inspire this work to offer more direct buying.
We do not currently plan to offer fish, but there are listings on our site for where to buy sustainable fish, including a new Sussex-wide fish box scheme.