Coombe Farm Organic, based in the beautiful Somerset countryside, was set up as a form of farm diversification five years ago. With sustainability at its heart, the team have taken what was a by-product of the successful organic dairy farm, male calves, and by careful breeding, created award-winning beef. As the business developed, they began to rear their own lamb and pork too, using authentic heritage breeds. In Autumn 2020 a new range of organic retired dairy beef was launched, saving grass-fed animals from becoming ‘cull cows’ and their extended life enriches the farm pastures.
At Coombe Farm Organic, they have three priorities that share equal billing: look after their animals; look after the land; produce good food. They do each of these things with integrity and that means the welfare of livestock and soil are always of concern.
Their relationship with the Soil Association is a promise to their customers. It means everything they do is regulated, documented and rigorously inspected- assuring you that the highest standards are being observed.
Being organic means:
- They adhere to rigorous animal welfare standards
- They observe strict land management practices
- They never use artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides
- They follow strict rules regarding the use of veterinary medicines
- They don't use synthetic additives in any of our products
Farming organically takes time and commitment and you can taste the difference in the meat. Their animals are grown slowly to maturity, they're properly free-range and they eat wholesome natural food.
On top of that, Coombe Farm work with a farming team that's dedicated and experienced, choosing the breeds of their animals carefully, butchering everything meticulously as well as committed to minimise waste.
What does the future look like for Coombe Farm?
Continuing to maintain soil quality
To ensure that the farm has a sufficient crop yield without using pesticides or artificial fertilisers (a tricky process in the face of weed infestation), Coombe Farm Organic needed innovative solutions. Manure, compost, cover crops and crop rotations are all methods used to enrich the soil.
Continue to innovate with sustainable solutions
They have adopted an innovative way of managing the farm’s waste water from the dairy processing unit (managed by Yeo Valley Organic). Instead of tankering it off-site, leaving a sizeable carbon footprint, Coombe Farm Organic re-use the water to fertilise the fields.
Continuing to reduce waste throughout production
The team have a sustainable approach to the meat supplied with “nose-to-tail” butchery, dramatically reducing waste, all whilst offering unusual cuts that that wouldn’t make it onto the supermarket shelf or counter. They also freeze their products at the point of butchery, massively extending the shelf life of the products for customers to enjoy.
Conventionally it would be tankered off-site, leaving a sizeable carbon footprint. To avoid this, Coombe Farm Organic reuse the waste to fertilise their fields. The liquid (a mix of water, yoghurt and milk) is collected from the unit and mixed with the dung (known as ‘slurry’) from their 450-strong herd of milking cows. The mixture is put through two ‘slurry pits’ or ‘settling ponds’ that allow the solids and liquids to be separated. They’re then filtered into a final pit for storage, before being sprayed or spread onto the land. It’s a great way of turning a by-product into an organic fertiliser and minimising impacts on the environment.
Find out more about Coombe Farm Organic on their website.