Why 'Grass fed'
Our AGW Grass fed certification
Only farms whose animals are fed a 100 percent grass and forage diet, are raised outdoors on pasture and are managed according to meaningful welfare and environmental standards on an independent farm can use the AGW ‘Certified Grassfed’ accreditation. The reasons we choose to comply to this standard are:
Pasture is better for animals
Compelling scientific research shows animals fed purely on pasture are less stressed, live longer and are more fertile than those farmed intensively. In addition, we are one of the first farms in the UK to be accredited ‘Animal Welfare Approved’ by A Greener World. In addition to the ‘normal’ welfare standards, this accreditation is only available to farmers whose livestock have access to fields year round – our cattle are fed indoors in the winter, but the gate back into the fields is left open so they can choose whether to be in or out.
Produces higher quality meat
Grass fed beef is leaner than the grain fed alternative and yet has higher levels of good fats such as omega 3.
A study by the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that people who eat moderate amounts of grass fed beef receive a healthier level of essential fats compared to people eating the grain fed beef. And the benefits go beyond good fats: several studies show that fully grass fed animals also contain considerably more vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and vitamin E.
Good for the environment
Being grass fed meets our objectives of having a positive carbon footprint by putting goodness back into soils rather than depleting them. We buy in about 20 tons of straw each year for animal bedding. The barns are cleaned out in the Spring and the straw and dung composted under cover before being spread onto the grass fields after the hay is cut in late Summer, which builds up our soil fertility and structure.
Uses local resources
Not feeding grain means that we are not importing feed from abroad (many animals feeds contain soya) or using grain, land and resources that could be used to directly feed humans. Sheep and cattle play a vital role in maintaining the wildlife habitats of Challacombe Farm, and the land is not suitable for growing arable crops.