‘The Ethical Butcher’ exceeds target £350k raise for pioneering ethical meat venture


Pioneering ethical meat business ‘The Ethical Butcher’ have just exceeded their target raise of £350,000, securing the backing of 242 investors in a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.

The Ethical Butcher will use the capital raised through Crowdcube to carry out their plan to create an innovative ethical meat brand, which aims to change how we think about buying meat in the UK. The venture, dubbed an online ‘craft beef’ service, will work with farmers to eventually produce carbon negative meat.

One of the biggest investments of £36,000 came from Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood. Talking about The Ethical Butcher, Oglesby said:

"My wife is a member of the PFLA and we’re 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 households access to the most ethically produced meats possible, via a cut-to-order next day delivery service. All products will be fully traceable and the company will be completely transparent about products’ provenance. Meat tasting notes will also be included in every box.

A proportion of profits will be funnelled back into research and development, to help train Ethical Butcher farmers in Holistic Management. This 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 said:

“Having worked in the meat industry for over 15 years in Smithfield Market and beyond, I understand that quality and sustainability are absolutely paramount if the industry is to flourish in the long term.

“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 - 1000 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.

"I’ve always believed The Ethical Butcher's investment opportunity is a great option for investors who are looking to make an impact. Having Bruntwood on board is testament to this.”

The ethical food and drink industry grew 9.7% in 2017, and between 2016 and 2017 there was a 32% increase in the number of people buying free range meat and eggs, meaning the timing has never been better.** Amid growing concerns about global warming and food provenance, consumers are taking greater notice of the impact their diet is having on the environment. It is with increasing urgency that people are looking for genuinely sustainable and regenerative alternatives to current methods of meat production in order to combat the devastating effects of climate change.

Emily CorleyComment