Posted 24th Apr 2018
With Great British Beef Week upon us, we chat to female farmer and working mum Anna Blumfield (above centre), who is part of the female farmer group, Ladies in Beef, to find out a bit more about the week, what the group is hoping to achieve, and more
What attracted you to joining Ladies in Beef?
For me it was fantastic to join a group of like-minded inspirational women, who love their livestock and want to champion Great British beef, as well as promoting the nutritional role of red meat in a balanced diet.
What is the group hoping to achieve?
Ladies in Beef formed to promote Great British beef. We want to educate consumers on the benefits of healthy food production, reassure them on the calibre of our traceability and provenance marks, assured to Red Tractor standards.
Why should people eat more beef?
Red Tractor British beef is among the best in the world. Our traditional grazing systems allow the cattle to benefit from the lush pastures, resulting in natural delicious meat with elevated nutritional content.
What inspired you to DNA test your steaks?
We choose to have a full nutritional analysis of our beef to confirm our thoughts on the benefits of eating 100% grass fed beef. As a farmer's daughter, I grew up understanding the food system and benefits that we consumers can achieve. This interest in the human body led to me reading Sports Science Dip and Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) at the University of Hertfordshire where I gained a further understanding of the nutritional impact on our bodies. Since returning to farming I have developed a stunning native herd of Sussex cattle who are certified 100% grass fed by the Pasture For Life Association, to gain the highest nutritional values by allowing the cattle to slowly mature on pastures which benefits the livestock, the environment and us. And the results were fantastic! Our samples showed an Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio of 1:2 - an ideal ratio of these essential fatty acids. The human body can make all essential fatty acids except for Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are absorbed from the food we eat. Omega 3 is a heart healthy fatty acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can be protective against mainly diseases and conditions, so finding rich sources is key to our health. We can be assured that British beef is firmly on the list.
Why is it important for farmers to connect with consumers?
Connecting with where our food comes from is vital for understanding exactly what we are eating. It can allow us to make informed choices on issues such as welfare, nutrition, value and environment cost. British Farmers are proud to produce the finest foods and it's important to let the public see why.
What do you find are the main differences between selling directly to the public as opposed to supermarkets?
I love customers coming along to our farm shop, asking questions and seeing how we farm for themselves. People come from far and wide knowing the benefits of our produce. Selling direct gives us full control from farm to fork, with our butchers dry ageing the beef for optimum quality.