Social and environmental responsibility report. 2020-2021



Our first social and environmental responsibility report.  2020-2021


The founders welcome

 

The Ethical Butcher was formed in 2020 with the express purpose of changing the nature of farming and reconnecting people with nature. We are changemakers, enablers and leaders. We are changing the market on the inside and enabling our farmers and customers to express their highest ideals to protect the planet, treat animals well, and live in harmony with nature. And we are at the leading edge of a new ethical wave sweeping through business. We are at the forefront of an expanding conversation and range of innovative practices across wider sectors from suitable to regenerative.

 

This is our first impact report, so it will include some background information and our history. We hope you enjoy reading about us, our mission and how we are achieving our aims. We believe that humans need to be humble in relation to nature; we are part of nature, and nature gives us life. So, we will try to be modest in our presentation of ourselves. Not too aggrandising but also not too shy, just an honest account of how we are getting on, including the things we need to work on.

 

This impact report covers our environmental performance and our social responsibility. We are delighted to be applying to become a Beneficial Corporation (Bcorp) which has prompted our writing of this impact report. Bcorp is an excellent thing to do because everything needed to gain certification has been something we believe any socially responsible and environmentally conscious business should do. 

 

We want to turn things upside down, especially the model of doing business. Traditional economics favours competition and self-interest. We believe in partnership with our suppliers, customers and staff; we all learn from each other in our aim to prove that business can be a force for good. Our principal partner is nature; we use a business model suffused with ethics and philosophy, science and environmental stewardship. You will find dozens of articles in our journal which outline our practices and ideals for the expert and newcomer to the world of ethical regenerative food production. Our aim is joined-up thinking, deep ecology and tackling many entrenched misconceptions about the potential role of farming in regenerating our endangered planet. We want to prove a business can work within the limits of nature, the highest ethical standards, and generate excellent health outcomes for our customers.

 

Whether you are a curious visitor, partner, investor, customer or supplier, please don’t hesitate to join our conversations. We should be delighted to hear from you.  


Glen and Farshad



True Cost accounting


Our business model is to restore humanity's balance with nature. and we use the principles of 'true cost accounting' which Prince Charles among others promote. 


We believe that cheap goods mean someone is not being paid fairly: the farmer, the driver, the packer, the butcher, the earth, the animal, the biosphere, even the health of the consumer. And the cost can be catastrophic.  We are examples of true cost accounting where costs are not out-sourced, and we are showing how the economy must be to contribute to a thriving world—an education that we pass onto our suppliers. We are also particularly proud of our education initiatives (journal articles) regarding the nutritional advantages of eating meat.


https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/true-cost-accounting-conference-videos/






Farmer partners


We are much more than a 'to-market' end of the supply chain.  Our relationship with our farmer suppliers is innovative, facilitative and generous.  Our farmers are more than suppliers; they are partners.  They are partners in the strictly business sense (owning 9.8%) and the vital but intangible sense of commitment, shared expertise, investment of resources and time.


More than 50% of our beef sales come from our farmer investors, who own 9.8% of our company.  Some of our Farmers have been with us from the start and have been stalwart advisers, and they provide members of our advisory board.


Working with us, our farmers are committed to doing the right thing for the planet and animal welfare, but they are often forced by market conditions to cut corners and compromise their principles. (or to sell their fantastic products at unsustainable supermarket prices). We talk with them and promise a route to market if their breeding methods are sustainable and, preferably, regenerative. We also create a market and then find producers to service that demand. We also work practically with our farmer-partners to find new solutions in production and bring these to our customers. 


Our farmers benefit from our digital assets.  We visit our farms, create digital assets and media packs, including interviews. We help devise and tell the farmer’s and farm's story, which we share with the farmer with an aerial video of the farm, and they can use it on their website or social media. We introduce each partnering farm to the community and tell their story to our crowd, customers, and social media audience (currently around 50k, including our customer list). We connect our farmers with press outlets and, where possible, get them featured in the media through our P.R. activities and collaborations with celebrity chefs and our wider network. E.g. Savernake Knives at Weston Park Farm.



Profitability cost.

 

We turn down an incessant barrage of offers for products that have the potential for high returns but which do not meet our standards.  These standards are not a written system of metrics, although we are working on this, so watch this space. For example, one pig producer might produce rare breeds (iron age pork); another producer will produce livestock using regenerative mob grazing.  Each offer from producers is evaluated flexibly, with ethical principles as an Ethos rather than a metric. That way, we enable farmers to do their best with local conditions and encourage them to innovate. This causes a problem for us. Because we do not operate at industrial farming levels, our farmers do not have the resources to provide scientific analysis.  But we can look at a beautiful pasture and see water retention, multiple thriving species, healthy soil, diverse habitat and well cared for animals!



Nothing in nature works on its own. Niether do we. 


Despite 50 years of wildlife programmes showing the survival of the fittest model of nature, in fact all of nature is deeply interdependent.  


Following natural processes, our business model is based on collaboration and cooperation, within ethical limits, of course.  We have an open-source ethos to knowledge and innovation. For example, we offer free advice when not-supplying framers come to us and ask how we achieve gains in production. We share innovations with our whole community; we are changemakers, educators and enablers throughout our supply chain. 



Change begins at home.


From the Ethical Butcher to Exquisite Range


We are truly proud of the impact our B2C model has had on our B2B parent company.


Exquisite Range, the parent company of Ethical Butcher, 100% of sales was started in 2014 by Farshad Kazemian and provided high quality but not the exceptionally quality regenerative meats of Ethical Butcher standard to the restaurant trade.  The Ethical Butcher has eclipsed Exquisite Range, and has profoundly changed our wholesale offer. 


Now, 90% of EqR beef, 50% of chicken, 50% of Lamb and 95% of pork is of Ethical Butcher range quality. 


Our B2C offer was a huge challenge, now we are helping restaurants to navigate the line between tight margins and increasing customer demands for ethics, traceability and environmental standards. As they fit with our border mission our selected early partners include Barings, Burro e Salvia, the Duke Wanstead, Players social, Withers Global advisors, The Pelican All Saints Road, Thomas Franks, Clays, Native, Silo, and The Warehouse at The Conduit and Appricity.


Chefs are increasingly concerned about the provenance of their food and are turning to us because our practices and reputation is their stellar guarantee.


Given the pressures on the restaurant trade to compete in a highly competitive market  we have shown that it is possible to change the B2B market profoundly. We plan to produce our sustainable meats at a scale that will enable Exquisite Range to move to 100% regenerative supply. 





Facing multiple crises.


The last decades have been the most difficult since the great depression of the 1930s. The 2008 financial crisis rocked the world economy to its core. The strategies used by governments, quantitative easing and austerity, may have stopped the collapse of the economy by the legacy of these actions has created an extremely difficult trading environment. 


These tools have directly clashed with the imperatives of the climate crisis. If the $1.4 quadrillion used to bail out the system had been employed to build a sustainable economy, we would not be on the cusp of an impending planetary calamity. We are facing the 6th Great Extinction. The planet is in danger of becoming inhospitable to human life as we know it. There is no argument that drastic, root and branch reform of our way of doing business is needed in every sector, principally in the two most despoiling sectors, fossil fuel and food production. This is not just a UK matter but a global problem where the world faces the problem of producing enough calories to feed a growing population using increasingly sterile land. The carbon locked in the soil is being released, and the soil's natural carbon capturing capacity is decimated. Globally, the tension between massive agri-chemical and technological solutions butts up against the need to support local indigenous food production to regenerate the land, retain people's relationship with nature and provide employment to local communities. 


Brexit has created many pressures on standards, and Covid has damaged the world economy on a scale equal to the 2nd world War. We now live in a world of infinite debt (300trillion, IMF) that will never be repaid, although every sinew of production and natural labour has to be squeezed in a pointless attempt to pay back the unpayable. The 2021 Russian invasion of Ukraine has thrown the world into further turmoil. It will have a massive effect on global food production.


We are faced with a choice, be part of the problem or work toward the solution. On the positive side, there are tremendous forces, from the UN to COP, NGOs, and sustainable businesses pushed on by citizens and consumers making individual choices attempting to avert disaster. We aim to tackle the problems head-on. 


Some argue that capitalism is the problem, but we disagree. The current world economic system may be egregious in many respects but well run socially and environmentally responsible businesses can be part of the solution. People want to trade; trading is as fundamental to human nature as language. Trading is creative, and how people have exchanged their needs and wants since the beginning of history. 


The problem is not trading; it's how it is done. The problem is not cattle, to coin a phrase, ‘it's not the cow, it’s the how’.  We cannot solve the world's problems; multiple solutions at different scales are needed; however, we aim to show how business can thrive and be a force for change. 


It is obvious that the world's problems will not be solved without farmers. Generations of farmers know this; the land contains vast reservoirs of carbon that have to stay locked into the ground, and the soil is the Earth's greatest carbon sequestration technology.  All the space-age science fiction technologies for carbon capture proposed by governments are as nothing compared with the already existent global sequestration technology of the soil’s natural carbon cycle.  Farmers doing the right thing are the Earth's and humanity's only chance of survival. Our business model is to show how this can be done while meeting people's need for nutritious, healthy meats. 



Regenerative food production


Agriculture has a huge planetary impact and a lot of damage has been done to global ecosystems, especially to the soil which supports us. We can change this. It is possible to change the impact of our food production drastically by changing the methods we use. This can go beyond mere sustainability and actually regenerate the land, improving biodiversity, locking carbon into the earth and returning fertility back to our soils.


This regeneration comes from a subtle but fundamental shift in mindset that our farmers share, the mindset shift is imply that we can and must start to farm using methods that put back a little more than we take by elbowing and encouraging nature to thrive and restore, shifting from a Cartesian reductionism approach to one of holism with the belief that what is good for all is good for one and vice versa.


Soil health, perhaps the Earth's equivalent of 'gut health', is becoming much better regarded, as are the benefits of pasture as the vital organism in the relationship between atmosphere, habitat, wildlife, species, invertebrates, microbiomes and organic carbon. The role of grazing ruminants in this cycle of nutrients has always been crucial and is not starting to be understood. Humans need to redefine their place in the natural system to see ourselves as a part of nature rather than controlling it externally.


To this end, our farmers raise animals as naturally as possible. Dung nurtures the insects; hooves dig in the carbon, cut-sword allows a 'the rainforest' of the grassland. Hives of insects thrive on pasture and no-till keeps the soil's microbial infrastructure intact and preserves water. 


It's a system that respects the complex symbiotic relationship between the four basic ecosystem processes: the water cycle, the mineral cycle (including carbon), the flow of energy through the food chain and the community dynamics, or the relationship between different organisms. It adds up to an ecosystem of carbon sequestration - one of the greatest weapons against climate change. 


We are helping to define the term by creating an enduring threshold for what 'regenerative farming' actually means. We need to do this because 'regenerative' is becoming a marketing term. Outside of us, there are no robust standards, and soon there will be a wild-west of claims. We feel defensive and want to hold the line because we are not sloganeers. With our farmers, we want to make a difference and bring the meat industry back to its natural roots, one order at a time.




The Carbon issue -  Sequestration


Nature teaches us to be humble and respectful. We cannot claim to have a magic bullet, but we can claim to be heading in the right direction; we are on a journey of continuous improvement, one footprint after another.


Neil Harley  - Mywood Farm


Neil is a substantial investor in The Ethical Butcher. On one of his farm sites he has taken over 216 acres of arable land, which had been farmed conventionally for decades with standard arable monocrops that had steadily trashed the land through the use of tractors, combine-harvesters, and chemicals including pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilisers. The soil was in poor shape when he took over the land, it was compacted, had poor friability and very low organic (carbon) content. This means that the soil had very little life in it, very few worms, beetles, insects, and very little bacteria and fungus.


Neil planted a diverse herbal ley on the land and introduced cattle to graze the new growth in strips being moved every 2 days in a 40+ day rotation meaning the land would rest for over 40 days after being grazed before being grazed again, this allows the flora and fauna to recover and restore.


As a business we realised that it would be very beneficial to have some metrics and certification to judge the efficacy of the system rather than relying on anecdotes so we decided to engage with Control Union’s certification regenagri.


Regenagri visited Neil’s farm for the first time in May 2021 and through a rigorous audit of both systems and process were able to certify Neil’s practices on this farm as regenerative, this was a game changer for us and allowed to state with certainty that the meat we sell from this farm is not just anecdotally regenerative but certified regenerative.


Apart from the important messaging of regenerative certification through our own channels we were able to offer wholesale supply of this meat to ready meals brand Wild Hare which is sold through Ocado, exciting in itself, but what is very exciting to us about this collaboration is that it represents a huge milestone of being the UK’s first supermarket listing of certified regenerative beef. 


References:


All of our grazing animals are Pasture for Life Association certified. PFLA are at the forefront of the pasture movement and their rigorous certification standards are guarded jealously. Our journal provides summaries of research showing the human health benefits of Pasture for Life meat.[iii] The entry, Pasture for Life: A solution to global warming, outlines the ecological benefits of pasture-based livestock production.[iv] Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-only diets can significantly alter the fatty acid composition and improve the overall antioxidant content of beef. [v] PFLA webinar by Gillian Butler and Hannah Davis describing a European-wide, multi-agency research project into human health benefits.[vi] There are a large number of papers, which establish the nutritional value of meats produced our way. [vii] Red meat from animals offered a grass diet increases plasma and platelet n-3 PUFA in healthy consumers.[viii] What is regenerative agriculture [ix] describes our regenerative mission and its deep-ecology links to permaculture, agroforestry and Silvopasture. 



Carbon footprint – supporting our claims


In sum, how can we claim our methods have the best carbon footprint


Never let sunlight hit bare earth. Sunlight hitting plant matter causes carbon to be taken from the atmosphere as CO2 and stored as carbohydrates, our farmers ensure that their land is always covered maximising ther potential for carbon sequestration.


Grain free 

The natural diet of grazing ruminats is pasture, grains have a higher carbon footprint due to the machinery and fertiliser used to plant, trend, harvest and transport them. This is one of the reasons that we do not support the feeding of grains to cattle or sheep.


Chemical use

Fertiliser and herbicide use is minimal and our farmers are working towards nil usem as they are producedn using and from fossil fuels.


Machinery

Ruminants left to graze require very little human intervention meaning far less diesil is used. Our farmers must log the amount of diesel used and work towards more efficient modes of transport such as swapping our tractors for quad bikes.



No-till.

On farms taht are mixed use producing arasble and animal based foods the arable part of the cycle should be cultivated using no till methods. Ideally the farm will be in rotation so taht action of the animals and return to pasture ofb bthe land can restore the nutrients to the soil to help future crop growth. 


People all around the world are shouting at the oil industry 'leave the oil in the ground'. We need another call 'leave the soil alone'. The earth's biggest carbon sink, if the soil becomes pasture, then the millennium-old cycle of human-animal-nature is restored and you have the potential for a 'rainforest of the grassland'. And, as all these new wonderful books on fungi and mycelium show we have an 'underground microbial carnival of interconnectedness' which is best left undisturbed.' [x].


Put simply, regenerative agriculture is a term that describes farming principles and practices that can reverse the damage done to the environment by the industrial food system. The principles of regenerative agriculture take in everything from soil health and the carbon cycle to biodiversity, land management, animal welfare and more, and draw from decades of scientific and applied research by the global communities of organic farming, agroecology, holistic management and agroforestry.


[i] https://regenagri.org/updates/ground-burger-from-the-ethical-butcher-achieves-regenagri-certified-status/

[ii] https://regenagri.org/updates/regenagri-certified-sustainable-lasagne-ready-meal-from-wild-hare-launches-on-ocado-com/

[iii] http://www.pastureforlife.org/media/2016/07/the-human-health-benefits.pdf

[iv] https://www.pastureforlife.org/research/pasture-for-life-a-solution-to-global-warming/

[v] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20807460/

[vi] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOCLn1aLnNU

[vii] https://www.pastureforlife.org/research/pasture-for-life-a-solution-to-global-warming/

[viii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20807460/

[ix] https://ethicalbutcher.co.uk/blogs/journal/what-is-regenerative-agriculture

[x] Perennial grasses put down deep roots during the growing season; a universe of biological activity occurs around the roots. The roots exude sugars to attract the previously unconnected microbes and fungi underground. These organisms network themselves and begin to break down bedrock into minerals the plant's roots can absorb. The plant can signal for nutrients and water or tell the underground miners it is under attack and create substances to help the plant fight insects and diseases



The education cycle


Our farmers, customers, scientists, investors, staff, chefs and collaborators form a virtuous circle of knowledge.


We are very proud of our journal written by our creative director Glen Burrows who is unashamedly evangelical about the role of meat in human nutrition and in sustaining a beautiful ecosystem.  Glen is a polymath who combines deep ecology, science, farming, nutrition, spirituality and love of good food and cooking.  With his background as a photographer all these are combined into an eco-aesthetics. 


Through our social media posts we educate our customers about regenerative agriculture; the benefits of livestock; the nutritional benefits of meat, proteins and fats; ecology; the science behind climate change and so on..  Our customers educate us through the formal customer feedback mechanisms discussed elsewhere and their prolific engagement with us on multiple platforms. Our customers are educating us about the tolerances they have for 'true cost accounting. Our Journal presents some of the extensive peer-reviewed evidence of the health-supporting and deficiency remediating features of meat consumption.


Environmental education is a crucial part of business strategy. We make a film of every supplier-farm showing how the farmers are contributing to the battle against climate change, restoring natural habitats and high animal welfare standards Blogs, Journal articles, media presentations and talks form the backbone of our social media interactions.  These articles are often not related to a particular product but are straight-up educational provisions. A facebook post on environmentally damaging agricultural production in Almeria in Spain, which produces up to 1/3 of Europe's fruit and vegetables, attracted 500,000 impressions. This paper outlined how these vegetables are entirely detached from natural processes in an agri-techno dystopia. 


Our Journal 


Our Journal is an ever-expanding educational resource on the impact of industrial farming and the solutions. We correct the misapprehensions about farming and show that while animal production can be devastating for the planet, it need not be.  Livestock production can play a vital role in restoring the natural balance between the biosphere, humanity, society, business and natural ecology.  ‘The thermodynamics of farming’. ‘The eternal dance of carbon’.The problem with soy’.#REGENAUARY Why grass needs to be grazed, and grazers need grass’.Can cows and trees save the planet?Just sunlight and rainwater. ‘What is regenerative agriculture?


We publish an ongoing series of articles on the benefits of regenerative agriculture, meat and fats on human health.  ‘Fats - Why animal-based fats are optimal.’Animal-based nutrition - Part 1’. ‘Proteins. Eating for mental health’.The importance of protein for older men’. ‘Liver is nature's true superfood’.


We even talk about our profound spiritual connection with life and our relations with the universe. ‘The first day of autumn - The time of Mabon’.Look up tonight for the Draconid meteor shower’.Lyrid Meteor Shower’.Ostara - The Spring Equinox’. ‘A time of rebirth’.The importance of connecting humanity to nature



The #Regenuary Movement


Back in 2020 we coined a new word and started a movement with one simple facebook post that received a million organic impressions. Since then the concept behind regenbuary and the movement has grown with the term trending globally in January and beyond throughout the last three years.


Regenuary started a simple intellectual challenge to the movement of veganuary that encourages people to pledge to eat a purely plant based diet throughout January. We considered that message was incomplete as there was no call to source your foods ethically as long as they excluded animal products.


Regenuary 2022 saw events taking place throughout the month. Eco-minded restaurant Native launched a special six-course menu designed to celebrate the British regenerative farming cycle, with dishes focused around vegetables and utilising ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.

Elsewhere, The Culpeper Family – the group behind London venues The Culpeper, The Duke of Cambridge and The Green – is ran a two-day event dedicated to the topic. Taking place on 20 and 21 January, this involved an open discussion about how we can restore our food systems and the challenges involved, with a line-up featuring the likes of The Cornwall Project’s Matt Chatfield and Richard Ballard of Zero Carbon Farms


Regenuary conversations - Podcast


A natural extension of the regenuary movement was to start a podcast with people we call ‘regenetarians.’ A reegenetarian is someone actively involved in regenerative agriculture, waste reduction or just a keen supporter ofb the idea, this can include the obvious farmers and chefs but also brand owners, thought leaders and policy influencers.


To date 13 podcasts have been recorded with more scheduled to be released throughout the whole year to keep the movement alive and fresh in peopel’s minds leading up to the next regenuary 2023. 


One. John Cherry of Groundswell Agriculture Festival


In this episode we chat to regenerative farming legend John Cherry of Weston Park farms and the founder of Groundswell festival of regenerative agriculture.


We cover the early days of regenerative agriculture and what led John and his brother to learn to farm arable this way as far back as the 1980s and where he sees the movement developing through his own experience as both an arable and beef producer as well as looking towards the future of food production and the role that events such as Groundswell can play in bridging the gaps between the consumer and the producer.


Two. Jack Mayhew of Ember Snacks


This episode is a brand discussion with Jack, the cofounder of Ember Snacks,  a meat based snack company. We discuss how his love of endurance sports led him to develop these high protein products as well as how to structure the price point asnf marketing that got the brand into major supermarket chains. We also discuss the supply chain issues of moving the brand into regenerative sourcing.


Three. Jules of Ham Street Wines


This is an inspiring conversation with Jules, the cofounder of Ham Street Wines.  We discuss how Jules and his wife Lucie founded a truly regenerative winery whilst working full time in different jobs.  We discuss the current and future state of the British wine industry and how sustainability and regeneration can be at the core of this expansion. A must listen for anyone interested in both wine and regeneration.


Four. Seth and Karl of Soil4Climate


In this hard hitting conversation we talk to Seth Itzkan and Karl Thidemann of Soil 4 Climate. These guys are climate change activists and researchers who make the case that we need more cows, many more, not less, to lead us out of climate change and that the plant based movement is about nothing more than control and profit for big industry. Fasten your seatbelts for this one, punches are not pulled.


Five. Nutritionist Tim Rees


We talk to Registered Nutritionist Time Rees who specialises in autoimmune conditions. We discuss the difference between nutrition and calories and how so many people are overfed but undernourished as well as taking a deep dive into the science behind his three basic rules for healthy eating. To wrap up, Tim puts a call out to anyone who suffers from Meniere's disease, a serious autoimmune condition that Tim himself suffers from and he wants to help other patients in a controlled diet study.


Six.  Tim Mead – CEO of Yeo Valley


We have a great lively chat with Tim Mead the CEO of Yeo Valley discussing all things organic, soil health and regenerative dairy production as well as diving into the history of the Milk Marketing Board, the effect of leaving the Europe and the future of dairy production in Britain, oh and why we all need to go to his festival


Seven. Nicolette Hahn Niman – Author of Defending Beef.


We are incredibly honoured to have spoken to author, rancher and environmental lawyer Nicolette Hahn Nimam. We discuss her incredible book 'Defending Beef' and look at how the second edition is updated from the first.


Eight. Polly Baldwin of Jolly Allotment and Jolly Food Truck


In this episode we talk to Polly Baldwin about her healing journey that has led her to discover the healing power of natural foods and the importance of taking care of the gut microbiome. Polly cooks on open fires to reconnect her audience back to a more primal way of eating and recounts some healing  stories from serving bone broths to her customers. Jolly Allotment gut health is at the core of everything we do - we create retreats, events and experiences in nature to inspire and motivate you to reconnect with yourself for a calmer, healthier and more abundant life. https://jollyallotment.co.uk/


Nine Will Rolfe. Two Fields Zakros, Regenerative Olive Oil.


We get to hear the wonderful story of two brothers on holiday, one fell in love with a girl on a Greek island and now they're teaching generations of olive oil farmers regenerative production methods. Join us on the journey.


Ten. Tom Parker Bowles.


We had a wonderfully animated conversation with the very engaging Tom Parker Bowles talking regenerative agriculture, restaurants and future food security


Eleven.   Helen Browning – Chief Executive of the Soil Association/Farmer.


In this episode with Helen we talk about everything organic from the history of the movement and the subtle differences between organic and regenerative and how just possibly changing farming methods could save the world.


Twelve.  Allan Savory


Allan Savory needs little introduction to anyone in the regenerative world as he originated Holistic management, a systems thinking approach to managing resources.


Holistic Management uses decision-making and planning procedures that give people the insights and management tools needed to work with the web of complexity that exists in nature: resulting in better, more informed decisions that balance key social, environmental, and financial considerations.


He is also the founder of The Savory Institute and continues to work as an educator and campaigner.  Alan's now famous TED talk has received almost 8 million views and courted controversy for its bold claims as to how animal agriculture can not just halt but reverse climate change



Traceability and provenance


Provenance is very important to us. We make a video of every supplier farm showing how they contribute to the battle against climate change and restore natural habitats while using exemplary animal welfare standards. While our ideals may sound idealistic, our videos show that what we do is grounded and very real. 


Traceability and transparency are of the utmost importance to our customers.  This is translated across our online presence, and we have introduced QR codes that enable customers to track to the farm from which meats were sourced. 

 


Ethical Butcher.  2020 - 2022


Since our launch we have created quite a stir. Maybe that’s because people’s ethical stance most likely defines who they are at a profound level.  Top of people’s concerns are the environment and animal welfare.  We should not be surprised that a brand that has the audacity to call itself ‘the ethical butcher’ would cause massive interest.


Crowdfunding.


2021 was a great year, with several innovations, including a successful £1.4m crowdfunding raise. We made investment available from £10, so anyone who shared our mission could invest. We really spread the love, with 242 investors. You need three teams on your side in business: suppliers, customers and investors. Combined, they gave us a significant vote of confidence in our mission to prove you can thrive as a super Ethical business.


The well-balanced range (Tom is writing this)


We live in contrary times. While vegetarianism is of great social interest, people are also becoming more aware of the benefits of eating meat. Especially post-covid, the health benefits of fat are understood, as are the high nutrient levels of offal. With these changes in mind, we have introduced our 'well balanced' range, a collection of our most affordable cuts offering the highest nutrition levels with absolutely no compromise on ethics and impact. This range is for everyday eating, feeding large families and meeting the nutritional demands of athletes without breaking the bank.


Fortified beef is now our second best-selling product


New product lines.


Venison


Venison is perhaps the most ethical meat we can eat in Britain today. Reproductive biology and survival rates mean that populations naturally increase; culling is needed to maintain a population that sustains its parkland in a fully integrated climate-positive system. We introduced a new range of venison from Packington Estates.


SOY free pork


In 2021 we introduced the country’s first 100% Soy-free chicken and other producers have followed our lead. In line with our mission to support young farming talent we partnered with the farmer’s daughter who has produced soy-free pork for us. After 18 months of trial and error, Redwoods Farm now offer a mix of rare breed pigs reared on a diet of woodland forage, pasture and homemade soy-free feed and taste unlike any supermarket pork.


Mutton


We are not just introducing new product lines, we are keen to introduce new ways of making the most out of what nature provides. Cull ewe, more commonly known as mutton, are retired breeding ewes that will no longer lamb for various reasons. From this we have introduced new product lines.  


This no-waste fully integrated approach has also led to a new partnership with SPRING broth where in our endeavour to illuminate waste we supply the bones.


Wild Hare. The first certified regenerative beef in supermarkets.


In partnership with Wild Hare we launched a co-branded product of a beef lasagne that we believe to be the first certified regenerative meat product to be sold in a British supermarket, launched through Ocado.


 -  The Wild Hare’s sustainable dishes are prepared with passion by professional chefs, using the freshest ingredients sourced from reputable farmers. Meat comes from grass-fed animals who are reared outdoors, and our poultry from high-welfare farms. We also use old-fashioned cuts of meat to capture that rich, unique flavour


https://regenagri.org/updates/regenagri-certified-sustainable-lasagne-ready-meal-from-wild-hare-launches-on-ocado-com/



Waste reduction


One of the obvious methods of reducing impact is reducing waste, especially where otherwise waste products can be upcycled. 


To that end we are supplying Spring Broth with our waste bones from butchery to be pressure cooked into their incredible rich and delicious bone broths using both chicken and beef bones.


https://www.springbroth.com/


Another waste reduction initiative we developed solved two problems in one. As we worked with farmer Mark Chapple to produce soy-free chicken for us we helped provide an alternative food source from the Brazillian derived soy that the vast majority of UK based poultry is fed. We had connected with regenerative rapeseed oil producer Farrington Oils and realised that the waste product of seed meal or ‘cake’ from this process could filfil this role and it has been very successful, a waste product is being upcycled into chicken for human consumption.


https://www.farrington-oils.co.uk/





Supporting the next generation.


We are delighted to partner with Waltham Forest College, to provide our first Butcher apprenticeship. Butchery is the Cinderella craft, the skills and creativity involved are barely understood by the general public but a two year apprenticeship is essential to learn how to get the best cuts to meet customer expectations, limit waste and treat meat with the respect it deserves. In keeping with our ethical ethos we top-up the apprentice pay rate to living wage level.


We are also pleased to support young people getting into work by joining the Government’s Kickstarter scheme.  We have taken on a ‘digital media wizard’ who we hope will build a future role as part of our team or will advance their career with a bag-full of skills learnt from us. Again, we have topped up the pay to living wage levels. 



From Start-up to SME


From a start-up in 2020 we have transitioned to SME.  This has involved all of the organisational and structural changes to be expected. We are regulation fetishists and believe that, at their best, regulations make the world safer for everyone, install thresholds for good practice, protect the public and enable government bodies to acquit their social and environmental responsibilities.  We support groups such as the ‘Better Business Act’ who are aiming to change UK laws to The Better Business Act will transform the way we do business, so that every single company in the UK, whether big or small, takes ownership of its social and environmental impact.


This year has been a busy one for us making sure our organisational structures, company policies and procedures meet and oftentimes exceeds all Govt regulations and industry best practices. 


Our Team


Our team is critical to the success of our business and the achievement of our mission. We take our responsibility to them seriously.


We pay at least the London Living Wage.


Our team is diverse: % female, % from an underrepresented community, neurodiverse. Andy to finish


Our Management/senior posts – white male.  We need to deal with this?????


Intros


Farshad


Glen


Molly.

Environmental science MSC


Tom.

Environmental lawyer.

Supplier assessment

Quality control


Andy Paris. Executive Projects Officer

Andy joined us in 2021 having worked in universities as a course director and senior lecturer in cultural theory, philosophy and art history.  He has PhD in Philosophy and has brought his academic skills to a range of projects most recently leading our B Corp application.


Richard


Ivan


Butchers. Drivers.


Eric Profile (copy agreed with Eric.


The staff team at Ethical butcher are a really interesting team. Is that because we place Ethics at front and centre of everything we do?  We are certainly diverse but we are also idiosyncratic with some fascinating stories to tell.  


Earlier this year, our driver Eric set up a football tournament for 300 youths in Ghana. This started on a shoestring, funded by just him and a couple of friends, but such was the success that next November they plan to bring a team from the tournament to play in the Gothia cup in Gothenburg - the youth equivalent of the world cup!


Football runs through Eric’s blood; he played football in Italy for 20 years, 4 as a professional. ``Playing football in Italy is easy, everything you need is there, he says, but when he looked back at his roots in Ghana, he found it really difficult. ‘There’s no infrastructure and it's impossible if you don’t have money and the right person to push you forward'. 


In August with support from football agencies in England, Italy and Denmark, they arranged a football tournament. After launching on social media and plugging in radio slots, word got around, and 300 children travelled from all over the country to the capital. Eric and friends paid for the players travel, accommodation and sustenance. The kit was sponsored by a new Ghanian start-up Glabamas, who produce pure organic shea butter. Eric is also excited that the Ghanaian second division team ‘Starmakers’ will take any budding stars under their wing and slot them into their academy system


Eric has called on his extensive contact list of fellow coaches and world-class former players who are taking an interest. Next year, contacts from the UK, Denmark, and Italy will be making the trip to Ghana. He holds a UEFA coaching Licence, and Oh, just space to mention, he speaks 6 languages! So we can expect no communication problems when his prodigies are picked up. 


For him, this tournament is not just about being spotted and heading for the big time. Football is unquestionably a beautiful game, but more than that, you learn about yourself, the importance of teamwork, how to become brothers (and now maybe sisters) and how to look out for others. You get stability and learn maturity.  He also says you can’t make it in football and not look back on your past and reckon with where you come from. Eric hopes that when a budding young star makes it, the effects will be felt across his extended family, friends and the whole community. He tells his youngsters, 'being humble helps a lot in football. Just look at the Liverpool player Sadio Mané who gave $694,000 to build a hospital in Senegal".


One of his protégées is a 14-year-old boy, unfortunately, orphaned. UEFA’s good practice rules mean you can’t just pluck a child out of a country and land him in Europe; extensive support and child safety rules come into play. Eric is currently navigating his way through this maze for this next Mané. 


He says football gives purpose to a young man’s life and builds the social fabric. ``We are trying to make a small change in society for those who don’t have anyone to help them, and we want to use our experience to be that help''.


Production team.













More conversations


Glen Burrows is steadily becoming a trusted voice on the subjects of regenerative agriculture and especially ethical omnivorism being asked to speak at events as well as guesting on other peoples podcasts.


Earlier this year Glen was asked to speak at a regenruary event held at The Culpepper Pub in support of the movement as well as speaking in May at Lambeth Palace Library’s first Eco-event debating with a Michelin starred vegan chef Alexis Gaultier.


Glen will be speaking at Groundswell on a panel chaired by The Sustainable Food Trust as well as presenting at regenagri’s summer party on Bailey Hill farm in June.



Awards


Our unique concept, brand and powerful digital marketing lead to the award of the 

British Farming Awards Digital Innovator of the Year.  We must immodestly say, this is a sterling achievement for a butcher.


Marie Claire Sustainability Awards. Highly commended


Butcher Shop of the Year Award 2020. Finalist On-line butcher business of the year. 


Butcher Shop of the Year Award. Winner Innovation of the year

Great Taste Awards


London on the Inside, Hero. Our founders Farshad and Glen have been recognised amongst the 50 London pioneers, change-makers who are championing sustainability.


Great British food Awards. Top five online retailer


Grocer Gold Award. Finalist 


Great British foods. Reader-voted top five online retailers.


Guild of Fine Foods, Great Taste Award – 3 Awards. Soy-free chicken. Iron age pork. Royal Persian chicken Kebab


London on the Inside  (London’s biggest lifestyle publication) the only butcher selected in London’s top 50 hero’s



Bcorp


The Ethical Butcher has applied to become a Bcorp ([i], a global community of benefit corporations.  Bcorp started in America but is now global with 4,320 members, including many companies aligned with our values - Ben and Gerry’s, Danone, Tridos Bank, Alpro, Riverford organic, Innocent drinks, Patagonia and hundreds more.

 

Companies awarded B Corp status have committed to using their businesses to work toward a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They strive to reduce inequality; lower poverty levels; and create a healthier environment, stronger communities, and purposeful jobs.

 

B Corp membership is a prize to be treasured. It is rapidly becoming recognised by an increasingly environmentally aware and socially conscious market. It is also a valuable B2B award; it signifies a reputable and reliable partner. It already informs our decision-making when reviewing potential suppliers and partners, and we hope this is two-way.

 

Certification involves assessing our operations across the company. As you might imagine, as our supply chain is superlative; our packaging recyclable, our mission ethical, the health well-being and safety of our workers is properly regarded and our conveyance is net-zero, we already meet the vast majority of B Corp criteria.  We have introduced a few things such as diversity training and energy monitoring, 

 

We are delighted that the vast majority of our shareholders supported a change in the company’s articles of association from a model ‘of fiduciary responsibility to enhance shareholder value’ to one of mission-aligned governance.  Crucially, in protecting our interests, Bcorp membership constitutes a comprehensive third-party standard against which our ‘mission alignment’ can be verified

 

The wording to be added to our articles of incorporation is as follows/the enclosed new articles include the new clauses 


 

Conveyance


DPD


New Van




Exquisite Range firmly believes that the farming market is broken.  It set up The Ethical Butcher with the aim of changing farming. This purpose transcends other objectives, including making a profit.  In this way, we are in a novel position.  We are not a pressure group, neither are we a not-for-profit. We follow the founder of capitalism, Adam Smith, in believing that the market can be a force for good. Profit, if not excessive and aligned with moral responsibility, is the market’s measure of the validity of the businesses' purposes; it is necessary to reinvest and grow and maintain the challenge.  Our business model is to do good by being a good business.  


 The natural symbiotic alliance


Microbes, mycelian, ruminants, poop, soil, gut



Notes


Company Transparency. What information does the company make publicly available and transparent?

Beneficial ownership of the company

Discuss with Farshad


Social and environmental performance (e.g. impact reports)

Add page to website


Membership of the Board of Directors

Add page to website


Impact reporting. Does your company publicly share information on your social or environmental performance on an annual basis?


provide descriptions of our social and environmental programs and performance


write this  GLEN


We voluntarily share social or environmental performance scorecards


Write this GLEN


We set public targets and share progress to those targets


Write this GLEN



______________________________________________________________


IMPORTANT IMFORMATION TO INCLUDE SOMEWHERE

______________________________________________________________


Our own standard.


The Ethical Butcher was founded to fundamentally disrupt the existing meat induesrt which had benefitted from murky supply chains and shied away from difficult questions regarding ethics and provenance.


To that end we have extensively examined certifications and accreeditations to align to, and many although good, are incomplete for our purposes. 


Since we were unusable to align with any one particular system we opted to take on the huge task of creating our own that will not just superseded all others but be a carefully constructed fit for purpose set of principles to integrate a concept of continuous improvement foir all of our suppliers.


It was important to us to remember that we are involved with food and nobt simply producing a coimoddity, to taht end our own marque needs to include a food quality index of nutrition as well as taste pleasure, this is combined in a matrix that looks at regeneration of soil, biodiversity increase, species appropriuate diet for the animals as well as allowing natural behaviours to be exhibited.


We hired a specialist agro-economist and farmer who we believe is the single most qualifiued person in the UK to undertake this task and working with him we are about halfway to ahieving this groundbreaking standard.


Once formed there are two very important points to note for the work, the first is that it will be subject to constant review and will be continuously amended to make sure that the certification it’self is also subjected to continuous improvement. The second is that it will be published as an open source document and freely available to all.