Before we became a proper company, we (well, Geoff) simply sold lamb reared on Carswell Farm to friends and family. Then in 2001, we entered the Soil Association Organic Food Awards, and our lamb won in the blind tasting. We repeated this success in 2002, and decided that two years in a row can’t be luck. That’s when The Well Hung Meat Company began. Since then, you could say we’ve grown organically - in more ways than one.
In 2003, as demand for our meat grew, we had to look beyond Carswell and started sourcing lamb and beef from other local organic farms. The following year, we took on our first butcher and assistant, and in 2005 we revved up The Well Hung Burger Van, travelling around the country to let people taste our cooked meat. All the while, we kept adding new products to our range - bacon, mutton, sausages, venison. We also developed the way we prepare our meat, so today we do all our butchery the traditional way by hand, with no machinery at all. (There’s something very unromantic about a buzz saw).
We believe in what we do: producing wonderful meat for as many people as possible to enjoy, when and where they want to. We think it’s a worthwhile way to spend our time, and we love it. Believing in this means believing in quite a few other things. They’re all part of why our meat’s so good, and our service so convenient.
We believe the best things in life, particularly food, are simple, natural and unspoiled. Organic meat produced in this way should be an essential, affordable and enjoyable part of home cooking.
We believe that if you want to eat meat, you should take some responsibility for the welfare of the animal and how the meat got to your table. We’re serious about our responsibilities – not just to our animals, but also to our farmers and staff, and the environment we all depend on. And of course we have a big responsibility to our customers too. We’re not stuck in the past. In fact, we’re quite a young bunch, and we run a modern business.
We believe that farming should work with nature, not against it - and we believe in this totally, especially when dealing with live animals.
We believe in grass: it is one of nature's miracles that grass captures the energy from the sun, and that our cows and sheep can convert this into healthy meat full of vitamins, and healthy fats, omega 3s and conjugated linoleic acids.
We believe the whole experience of producing, cooking and eating meat should be a real pleasure. We want you to enjoy dealing with us, taking delivery of your meat, and then turning it into a fantastic meal to share with friends and family.
We think too many organisations seem to have forgotten how to behave properly, with kindness, generosity, consideration and honesty. We always try our best to be as good as we can. Being good also means always aiming to improve, in everything we do. We’ll keep looking for new and better ways to do things - like finding more sustainable packaging. Standing still isn’t good for anyone.
We have partnerships with several organic farms, here is a selection. Read on to find out more...
Carswell Farm belongs to Geoff Sayers, and has been in his family for generations. So naturally it was the first place to supply our meat, and it’s still a major source for us today. The farm stretches for three miles along the South Devon coast, and has a tradition of sheep and cattle farming going back hundreds of years. This is seriously lush pastureland - the best in Britain. The animals love it, and the humans here have learned to live with the changeable weather that creates it. Warm and wet. Often very, very wet. But sunny sometimes too. Perfect conditions for the finest organic meat.
Stapleton Farm, run by Adam Stanbury and his family, is where our award-winning organic rose veal comes from. It’s near Ilfracombe in North Devon - a happy, healthy breeding ground for our calves, and the place where all their organic feed is grown.
Littons Farm is the highest farm on Exmoor, at 1,350 feet above sea level. Tim Hinder rears superb organic chickens and ducks for us here, working hard to make sure they’re all happy. He even makes his own chicken houses, and tops up the birds’ natural foraging with maize for that distinctive yellow, flavoursome meat.
Stream Farm, in the Quantocks on the Devon/Somerset border, produces organic chickens, beef and lamb. Andy Bradley rears Devonshire Gold chickens for us. At night they’re housed in roomy sheds, and by day they roam out on the fresh, organic grass - all year round.
Fowlescombe Estate supplies us with organic Angus beef and rare-breed Manx Loaghtan lamb. This is a 190 hectare organic farm in the South Hams, about two miles south of Dartmoor, where Richard and Barbara Barker manage the land as much in the interests of the natural wildlife as their magnificent livestock.
Dowrich Farm is a haven for happy pigs in Crediton, between Dartmoor and Exmoor. Here, Anthony Lee produces all our organic pork, and has done for more than five years. His pigs are Duroc Cross, and are free to roam and forage all year round - just as nature intended.
Peradon Organic Farm is an award winning traditional family-run farm, nestled in the heart of rural Devon. Peradon presents a picture of tranquillity, in perfect harmony with nature. From the long, winding third of a mile tree and daffodil lined driveway and the breathtaking views over the 250-acre farm to the courtyard surrounded by a mixture of Victorian red-brick traditional and cobb walled farm buildings. The old cider press is reminiscent of farming days gone by and the farmhouse itself presents a lovely picture upon arrival, particularly in the spring when the flowers covering the front make it look resplendent. Sheep are often to be seen grazing at the foot of the many fruit trees in the two orchards and the cattle graze happily on the rich green pasture, enjoying the panoramic views of the Devonshire countryside. In the butterfly wood, the chorus of butterflies, bees, crickets and small birds chirruping in the hedgerows fills the air.