At Wiltshire Smokehouse, we take particular pride in ensuring that our meats used for smoking are sustainably sourced. We strive to be mindful of the impact we’re having on the environment and wildlife, investing our time and attention into the right schemes and ensuring we support good farming practices across the UK. Discover more about our drive towards sustainable meat sourcing in this guide.
What Does Sustainable Meat Sourcing Mean?
Sourcing food sustainably means sourcing it from processors and farmers that make a conscious effort to prioritise factors including soil health, biodiversity, animal welfare, the conservation of water and the rights of their workers. The companies you choose to work with must be making a responsible, environmentally sourced and conscious effort to prioritise the planet and animals during the sourcing period. Examples of sustainable meats include:
- Meats produced and sold locally, to minimise food miles.
- Low impact meats – meats that have a lower footprint (like chicken and turkeys), which produce less methane and require less food or water to maintain.
- Meat that comes from wild animals, rather than those that have been farmed.
- Meat from farms that engage in ‘holistic farming’ – a process that allows animals to graze on one pasture before moving on to the next and allowing the soil to recover naturally.
- Meats that use fewer chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides.
- Grass-fed animals.
Why Is It Important?
As a generation, we have become more and more aware of the impact we have on the environment. We are increasingly learning about the negative environmental impact that meat production has while over 120,000 people in the UK took part in the Veganuary pledge in January 2020. Factory farming is one of the most detrimental ways to produce meat. These factories are built to be as efficient as possible, focused on producing as much meat as possible for sale. Their focus isn’t to provide a safe, enjoyable life for the animals in question. The process releases high levels of carbon dioxide and methane into our environment, contributing to the increase in greenhouse gases. It also polluted the surrounding environment, fitting the atmosphere with lethal toxins that can cause certain species to lose their habitats or even go extinct, impacting the biodiversity of our wildlife.
By supporting farmers and fisheries that focus on sustainable practices, you reduce the demand for factory farming. In turn, this reduces the impact all of these negative factors have on our environment.
What Schemes Are Wiltshire Smokehouse Part Of?
In the UK, there are several different schemes designed to support sustainable farmers. These include:
- Red Tractor-approved.
- Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
Red Tractor Assured
The Red Tractor Assurance is the UK’s only food-assurance scheme. It covers as many standards and sectors as possible, working to ensure that pesticide and antibiotic use is kept to a responsible level. It is a mark that shows food has been responsibly sourced, produced in a safe environment and that the food and crops being eaten have been well cared for.
It is the flagship logo of British food and farming and provides a sense of assurance from farming through to packing. All foods marked with the British Red Tractor can be traced right back to the farm they came from and all animals involved have been reared in a healthy living space with access to good food and water.
Best Aquaculture Practices
This global scheme is the only aquaculture certification programme that certifies every step of the production chain. It covers the safe, responsible and ethical nature of farm-raised seafood, assuring that all stages abide by the four pillars of sustainability – environmentally responsible, focused on animal health & welfare, food safety and social accountability. Much like the Red Tractor Assured logo, it is a sign that the fish and seafood provided by these suppliers has been sustainably sourced from sea to package.
RSPCA is dedicated to animal welfare, with standards that cover all aspects of an animal’s life from birth to slaughter. It covers everything from their living conditions through to transportation. All assured farmers, hauliers and abattoirs have been assessed against these standards. It is a charity and is run not for profit to improve the welfare of farmed animals.
The Importance of Good Fishing Environments
As suppliers of smoked fish, we work closely with fisheries focused on maintaining a good fishing environment. In many areas throughout the ocean, overfishing has caused problems such as the overexploitation of fishing grounds, outbreaks of territorial conflicts and the impoverishment of the seas. With this comes the rise in illegal fishing which degrades marine ecosystems and puts food security at significant risk.
Sustainable fishing efforts help to guarantee the populations of both ocean and freshwater wildlife for the future. Fisheries 2021 is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs long-term vision for sustainable fishing in the UK. It aims to set out the balance needed between economic, social and environmental priorities while generally encouraging good management of the marine environment.
Sourcing the Best Foods for You
At Wiltshire Smokehouse, our focus is always to bring you the finest smoked foods. From your kitchen table through to picnics with loved ones, dinners under the stars and a quick snack to fuel you for the afternoon ahead, we want you to have the vest best. We continue to use age-old methods to cure and smoke sustainable meats and fish which both help to support our local economy and reduce the impact on the environment.
With a wide selection of products to choose from, including smoked fish, smoked meats, smoked cheese and even smoked pate, we promise you’ll discover moist and delicious additions to your next meal right here. Browse our selection of products or get in contact today for more information about the services we offer.