Online butcher raises £350k for pioneering ethical meat venture

Mark Johnson's picture

Ethical meat business, The Ethical Butcher, has just exceeded its fund-raising target 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 its 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 office space group Bruntwood. 

"My wife is a member of the Pasture For Life Association 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.”

Meat industry disruptor

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.*

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.

Meaty proposition: The Ethical Butchers exceeded their crowdfund target

“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.

Industry pressured over processes

“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.  

“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.

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