One of Red Tractor’s newest farm members sees being assured to standards of the UK’s largest food and farming scheme as central to their future success.
Crouchlands Farm, near Billingshurst in West Sussex, has undergone a two-year rejuvenation and recently became assured with Red Tractor for its beef and lamb enterprise.
The 500-acre farm, set amongst beautiful pastures and ancient woodland between Plaistow and Kirdford, is home to pedigree Hereford cattle, and Lleyn and Herdwick sheep.
Red Tractor chief executive Jim Moseley said: “The core purpose of Red Tractor is to provide confidence and reassurance to the public that when they see the logo, the food they buy is genuinely British, fully traceable, carefully farmed and safe.
“In becoming Red Tractor assured, Crouchlands Farm will need to continually demonstrate that they are meeting our assurance criteria and farming to world-class standards on animal welfare and environmental protection - which is a win-win for their customers and for their farm business.”
For John Scott, farm manager, and his team, achieving Red Tractor certification is the culmination of two years hard work on the farm.
He said: “We are thrilled that we are now assured to Red Tractor standards. Animal health and wellbeing is a priority for us at Crouchlands, and it has been a joy to see our heritage breeds flourish in the environment we have provided for them. We’ve had 50 Hereford calves born in the last year, taking the herd to 145, and many new lambs joining the Herdwicks and Lleyn in the pastures.”
The farm’s low input approach means that livestock enjoy a natural diet of grasses, wildflowers and herbs. This means they are slow-growing, which is reflected in the rich and unique flavour of the beef, lamb and hogget.
Their foraged diet has the added benefit of improving biodiversity on the farm. As they graze the landscape, they remove scrub, coarse grasses, brambles and nettles and this restores the edges of the ancient woodland and brings more wildflowers to the meadows.