10:00am Saturday 19th October 2013
FARMS across the north Cotswolds are providing calves for Cotswold Veal, one of the UK’s only high welfare veal producers, launched to provide restaurants and shoppers with top-quality British veal reared to the highest welfare standards.
A far cry from traditional methods of veal production, Cotswold Veal rears its calves up to eight months of age in social groups in large open barns with deep straw beds to lie on, natural lighting and ad lib, nutritionally balanced food.
This approach eliminates all stress from the animals’ lives, as a relaxed calf puts on weight and the meat is healthy and tasty.
Cotswold Veal is monitored and approved by the RSPCA’s Freedom Food programme.
Calves are transported for no longer than two hours and all associated vets, abattoirs and butchers are also locally based.
The company, with headquarters in Chalford, Gloucestershire, was founded by Chantal Brown, an agricultural conservationist who is passionate about the ethical reasons for eating veal. She is joined by business investor Jonathan Willetts, head chef at London restaurant The Corner Room, an advocate of the culinary potential offered by veal.
Ms Brown said: “For a long time veal has been a no-no in the UK, but what most of us do not realise is that eating veal is a very ethical choice, provided it is reared in the right way.
“About 570,000 bull calves are born each year in the UK, with no purpose in the dairy farms into which they are born. The options for these calves are bleak to say the least, from being shot to shipped abroad to be reared as veal or fattened for intensive indoor beef.
“We founded Cotswold Veal to address some really important issues in meat production. Our veal is raised in the highest welfare conditions, it is locally sourced and fully traceable, it supports British dairy farmers, British breeds, it is sustainable and the end product is healthy and extremely delicious.”
The ethos at Cotswold Veal is to utilise and value all parts of the animal and inspire innovative cooking with more unusual cuts of the animal. To help customers, delicious recipes are provided on the website at cotswoldveal.co.uk and with selection boxes.
By crossing with native beef breeds, such as Aberdeen Angus and Hereford, as opposed to straight dairy breeds, Ms Chantal said the eating quality was far superior.
Cotswold Veal was pale pink and more tender and succulent that beef. It was high in protein, similar to beef, but much lower in far with only a fraction saturated fat.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group