Source: Knepp Wild Range Meat

Knepp Estate in West Sussex has launched Knepp Wild Range with meat from low-density, free-roaming cattle, pigs and deer.

Knepp Estate in West Sussex has launched Knepp Wild Range Meat, a sustainable meat brand that sources only from low-density, free-roaming cattle, pigs and deer on the estate.

Available via a new website under the same name, Knepp said its products represented “the most sustainable way to produce meat” due to the wild and biodiversity-friendly conditions in which the animals were reared, while using none of the inputs and fertilisers commonly deployed in large-scale agriculture.

The animals lead as wild a life as possible and therefore the production process also had none of the animal welfare issues commonly found in intensive farming, the brand added. They ate naturally found plants and wildlife instead of the grains and protein used in intensive systems.

This made the animals healthier and the meat “denser and richer”, low in saturated fats and high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

“Permanent pasture of this kind is one of the most effective systems of carbon sequestration on the planet – greater even than rainforest. It’s also rocket-fuel for wildlife,” said Isabella Tree, co-founder of the Knepp Rewilding Project. “Knepp is now one of the UK’s most important hotspots for biodiversity, including some of our rarest species such as nightingales, turtledoves and purple emperor butterflies.

“Because no inputs are involved – no fertilisers or other chemicals, no high-energy feeding systems, farm machinery or routine medication – this extensive, rewilding method of meat production is the most sustainable there is,” Tree added.

Ned Burrell, assistant manager at Knepp Wild Range Meat, said: “Eating meat doesn’t have to be an environmental dilemma. I believe ours is the most sustainable and ethical there is. 

Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, chef and food writer: “Knepp is a very special place for all sorts of reasons, and the meat they are producing is definitely one of them.

“The free-ranging longhorn cattle, fallow deer and Tamworth pigs are playing a vital role as habitat architects in the rewilding vision at Knepp and, having seen them up close, I think they are probably enjoying life as much as any livestock anywhere in the UK. I can also tell you that the beef is absolutely delicious.”

Knepp Wild Range meat is seasonal, culled after the vegetation “flush” over summer and is sold frozen to minimise waste. It is refrigerated using a CUB02 Smart refrigeration system, which has almost zero climate impact and is the largest of its kind in the UK.

The meat is delivered in entirely recyclable packaging, which keeps the the product frozen for around 72 hours.