Cywain puts meat on the bones for Marcross Farmís veal business

15 January 2014

When Hopkin and Louise Evans of Marcross Farm in the Vale of Glamorgan identified an opportunity to make the most of a by-product from the successful family dairy business, Cywain was at hand to help them to successfully develop their idea. Dairy farms are usually confronted with the need to eliminate young male cattle - which otherwise represent a cost burden – at birth. In the case of Marcross Farm, Louise and Hopkin’s idea was to use the male calves as a source of rose veal, a light, low fat, humanely reared meat.

Cywain exists to help agricultural businesses secure a sustainable future through collaboration and mentoring in order to help them to develop successfully. The dairy industry currently faces challenging times, with extreme weather conditions in recent years impacting in a variety of ways - driving up the cost of livestock feeds, increasing the demand for heated internal winter shelter for livestock and at the other end of the scale, supermarket competition driving down prices on dairy products.

Rolant Tomos, Cywain Development Manager, South East Wales says:

“In this climate, it is more critical than ever that dairy businesses make the most of any potential revenue streams available. When we heard Hopkin and Louise’s idea, we were committed to helping them make it happen because it works so well on two levels – not only by reinforcing the farm as a sustainable long term business, but also by eliminating the need to waste the lives of newly born male calves .”

Marcross Farm’s Hopkin Evans explains:

“Veal has historically had bad press and is often misunderstood, but Marcross Farm calves have happy, healthy lives. Today’s British consumer thinks nothing of buying lamb and chicken, both of which have a shorter lifespan than our veal, which has spent six happy months on the farm.

“If people are going to drink milk, we’d urge them to consider eating Marcross Farm rose veal. It is an excellent way to help manage healthy male animals who would otherwise be slaughtered at birth and treated as an unusable by-product of the dairy process, when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.”   

Louise Evans adds:

 

“Rolant Tomos, our contact at Cywain, has helped us to propagate our idea, develop our brand and identify promotional opportunities from meetings to large scale events such as the Speciality Food Fair in London. We’re now getting noticed by some of South Wales’ top restaurants and have some exciting projects in the pipeline. We’ve also been able to set up an e-commerce offering, so consumers can buy our veal directly from our website, www.marcrossfarm.com. Cywain has also given us some great introductions to people we’d have otherwise struggled to meet.”

 

One such introduction has led to a partnership with successful Welsh gourmet burger company, Got Beef, as Rolant Tomosexplains:

 

“We thought that Got Beef could offer some sound advice on product development, so we introduced Cai Pritchard of Got Beef to Hopkin and Louise. Got Beef were so impressed with Marcross Farm rose veal that the two parties decided to work together, developing a veal burger for sale from Got Beef’s bus, which sells high-end Welsh gourmet burgers at food events and festivals.

“This is where an organisation like Cywain really comes into its own. Because we are working with so many food producers across Wales, we can often help businesses to help one another, which is not only hugely rewarding for us, but great for the Welsh economy.”

Cai Pritchard of Got Beef concludes:

“We like to support local businesses and use only the best quality ingredients in our burgers. Working with Louise and Hopkin, we hope to change the public perception of veal. For us, it represents a great opportunity to offer something different and lead a new trend in Welsh veal burgers!”

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