The Ethical Butcher beats target of £350k raised through crowdfunding
Groundbreaking ethical meat business ‘The Ethical Butcher’ has just exceeded its crowdfunding target of £350,000, paving the way for carbon-negative meat.
The brand secured the backing of 242 investors in a campaign on Crowdcube.
The Ethical Butcher – dubbed an online ‘craft beef’ service – aims to change how we think about buying meat in the UK.
One of the biggest investments of £36,000 came from Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood business investment. Talking about The Ethical Butcher, Oglesby said: "My wife is a member of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) and we both fully bought into The Ethical Butcher's brand values.
“Their proposition is exactly what we were looking for and the timing is perfect for this venture. There’s a real market failure that they’re looking to address.
“I feel passionately that consumers must understand the value of ethical meat –not only due to its taste and quality but also its health benefits and significantly reduced impact on the environment.”
The Ethical Butcher wants to positively disrupt the meat industry by:
• giving customers access to the most ethically produced meats possible, via a cut-to-order next day delivery service.
• ensuring products are fully traceable
• providing meat tasting notes in every box
• channelling a proportion of profits back into research and development to help train Ethical Butcher farmers in Holistic Management
Holistic Management is a method of farming that allows animals to live in harmony with a bigger ecosystem, by building new soil and returning fertility to damaged farmland. In the best cases, Holistic Management can lead to carbon negative meat production.*
Farmers trained in Holistic Management start with a full bio-diversity audit of their land; and to stay certified, its biodiversity has to increase year on year. Only when farms are achieving a set standard of sustainable practices will their meat be sourced for the Ethical Butcher supply chain, meaning purchasing meat from the Ethical Butcher will see consumers actively contribute to improving the biodiversity of the UK’s landscapes.
Founder and CEO Farshad Kazemian hopes that the values and practices sustained and promoted by the Ethical Butcher will satisfy the rapidly increasing demand for ethically produced, sustainably sourced, environmentally conscious meat products; and allay concerns about the environmental impact of meat production so that Britain’s meat industry can regain consumers’ trust and continue to thrive.
Kazemian has worked in the meat industry for over 15 years, including in Smithfield Market, and said he understands that quality and sustainability are paramount if the industry is to flourish in the long term.
He added: “As a sector we’ve come under significant criticism for being unsustainable and unethical in our processes and practices. This is why I’m starting a ‘craft meat’ revolution: to give consumers the high-quality meat products they desire, whilst ensuring the production process reflects and respects growing concerns surrounding climate change and sustainable food production.
“I know the meat industry can not only take steps to reduce its carbon emissions, but reverse them. The Holistic Management method of farming produces up to 1 inch of new soil per year – a process which would take 500-1,000 years to occur naturally – and therefore has a decisively positive impact on the planet and the UK’s biodiversity. We’re also protecting farmers’ futures, as the demand for sustainable meat is only going to increase, and unsustainable farming methods will no longer be accepted.
“At the Ethical Butcher we’re disrupting the meat market as we know it, giving consumers a unique opportunity to make a positive difference to the planet through their food choices, and their early investment in our vision. The success of our crowdfunding campaign will give us the boost we need to become the number one supplier of ethical meat, so that our valued and respected industry can play its crucial part in combating the effects of climate change.
"I am very excited and humbled to all of our investors and supporters. Having Chris Oglesby on board as an investor is especially encouraging. We share the same values and we’re really excited to have his support.”
The ethical food and drink industry grew by almost 10% in 2017, and in 2016-2017 there was a 32% increase in the number of people buying free-range meat and eggs, meaning the timing for an ethical meat producer has never been better.**