Sustainable Beef Award Winner
Thornby Farms in Northamptonshire
Thornby Farms in Northamptonshire has been awarded the inaugural VetPartners Sustainable Beef Farm of the Year award, in recognition of the farm’s dedication to aligning food production with sustainability.
Farm manager Peter Moyes was nominated for the award by vet, James Barker, from Cross Counties Farm Vets.
“Thornby Farms immediately sprung to mind when I heard about the awards,” says Mr Barker. “It’s the farm I always use as an example of a sustainable approach as they very much focus on the environment, animal welfare and profitability,” he adds.
He explains that the farm team has installed a rainwater collection system on the cattle sheds, which is used to supply drinking water to livestock, reducing demand for mains water use.
“The farm has been in higher tier stewardship for nearly 30 years. Through the scheme Peter and his team have maintained 82km of hedgerows and 8 hectares of lowland traditional hay meadow, with no artificial fertiliser ever used.
“They’ve also installed 6m margins around arable fields, which total to 40 ha of wild bird seed, pollen and nectar mixes to support wildlife.”
Last year, the farms' carbon footprint was assessed, to identify further areas for improvement. “From this they’ve started weighing calves and selecting the heaviest to finish indoors, reducing the average time to finish, which means less carbon emissions per kilo of meat produced,” he concludes.