Rare and Pasture Tempus Foods Tom Whitaker, Andrew Owens and Dhruv Baker

(l-r) Tom Whitaker, Andrew Owens and Dhruv Baker

Charcuterie brands Rare & Pasture and Tempus Foods have agreed a merger in a bid to expand production and sales of their ethically sourced meat products.

The combination will help with the mission of both businesses to supply top-quality products that are healthier to eat and better for the planet, for farmers and their animals.

Former MasterChef UK finalists Tom Whitaker and Dhruv Baker set up Tempus in 2017. It makes a range of salamis and whole muscle products such as King Peter Ham, Smoked Coppa and Bresaola.

Rare & Pasture is based at a regenerative farm in south Devon and produces charcuterie using its own high-welfare meat. In addition to charcuterie, the business makes cooked meat products, including naturally smoked organic frankfurters.

Following the merger, the businesses will continue to trade under the Rare & Pasture and Tempus brands, with sales and distribution being led from the Tempus location in Surrey and production and packing shared between the two sites.

“The growth of Tempus has been constrained in the past by the size of our production facilities and our access to working capital,” said Dhruv Baker, co-founder and commercial director at Tempus.

“By combining with Rare & Pasture, we remove these bottlenecks and position ourselves to better serve the fast-growing UK charcuterie market. Through this merger we will continue to make the well-loved products that both businesses have become known for and have greater potential to expand our range into related cooked meat products.”

Rare & Pasture chairman Andrew Owens added: “The British charcuterie and artisan meat product market is highly fragmented, leading to an unnecessarily high cost base, often combined with supply reliability issues.

“Through this transaction, we are creating greater supply capacity as well as product and customer service synergies that can accelerate the development of this evolving British food sector.

“Our mission is not restricted to either our existing geographic situation or our existing product range, and it is hoped this merger will also stimulate other like-minded artisan producers and farmers to offer their skills and products into our growing portfolio.”