BVA’s seven farm assurance principles

Download PDF

To assist members of the veterinary profession and public to better understand farm assurance schemes on the basis of animal health and welfare, the British Veterinary Association has developed a farm assurance schemes policy position, setting out seven guiding principles.

Farm assurance schemes enable customers to make sustainable and ethically informed choices about the food they buy, and allow producers to demonstrate their food products have met independently certified standards at each stage of the supply chain from farm to fork. The breadth of UK farm assurance schemes is testament to the UK’s leadership in animal health and welfare standards. However, this variety could create a confusing customer experience when food shoppers are navigating both ethical and budgetary considerations as well as the shopping aisles.

BVA’s policy position has been developed as part of BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy and sets out that the veterinary profession has a key role to play in helping inform the public about the animal health and welfare credentials of animal derived food. Based on the five welfare needs set out in the UK Animal Welfare Acts and highlighting the importance of welfare outcomes, through the new position’s seven principles BVA is encouraging consumers to consider schemes that include:

  1. Lifetime assurance – from farm to fork, ensuring that health and welfare is assured throughout the animal’s life from birth to slaughter.
  2. Welfare at slaughter – animals should be stunned before slaughter or, if permitted, meat or fish products are labelled as such. Animals should be transported the least possible distance to slaughter.
  3. Veterinary involvement – schemes that are underpinned by veterinary expertise and committed to continuous improvement of animal management and husbandry practices. These are crucial to the value of schemes in terms of animal health and welfare, public confidence and producer/farmer buy-in.
  4. Behavioural opportunity – schemes that strike the right balance between allowing animals to perform important behaviours and ensuring good health outcomes.
  5. Responsible use of antimicrobials and other medicines – consider whether schemes support responsible use of antimicrobials and what animal health and welfare requirements, such as disease prevention strategies, improved animal husbandry and management, are incorporated to help prevent the need for prescribing.
  6. Animal health and biosecurity – schemes that can evidence effective biosecurity plans, developed in collaboration with a veterinary surgeon, to prevent the spread of disease amongst animals, humans and their surroundings.
  7. Sustainability and the environment – incorporate environmental stewardship, such as the reduction of carbon emissions and the conservation of biodiversity.

We are recruiting for a Trainee Butcher

Download PDF

As a Trainee Pork Butcher working at Waterall’s Moor Market Shop, you’ll be learning one of the oldest crafts in the world. We provide an exceptional level of training and support, to give you all the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for your rewarding career in the butchery/Deli field.

We offer the opportunity for a permanent full-time role upon successful completion of the training.

We have a proud heritage which is reflected in the superior quality of our produce, and our investment in people.

Responsibilities and Duties

What you’ll be doing

You’ll be trained in a range of techniques to enable you to work on our busy shop and meet our consistently high standards.

Daily duties will include:

  • Preparing meat and other goods for display
  • Learning about the supply chain, processing, retail, and all elements of Food Hygiene and Health & Safety requirements
  • Developing customer service skills
  • Learning all the necessary knife skills to produce quality cuts
  • Hours will be spread over 5 days per week with an early 6am start

Qualifications and Skills

What we’re looking for

You’ll be enthusiastic about butchery with a desire to learn in addition to this we’re looking for:

  • A natural drive to deliver results in a fast paced environment
  • Dexterous with good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to follow instructions and procedures accurately and consistently at all times
  • Work well in a team and surrounding teams
  • Possess good Numeracy skills and ability to be punctual

Benefits

What we can offer you

  • Pay is at the national minimum wage appropriate to age
  • Total on the job training and support
  • 28 days holiday (inc Bank Holidays)

If you’re looking for a highly skilled profession with excellent long-term career benefits, then don’t hesitate. Apply by dropping your CV down at our Moor Market shop (Stall 26/27).

Job Type: Trainee

Is there any justification for serving them cold?

Download PDF

Sausage rolls get everywhere. Not just the pastry, which, following a moment of petrol station weakness on the A50, can work itself into your clothes’ every crevice, but culturally. From low-budget tributes to Oldham Athletic FC to online mockery of Cheryl Cole, be it Nigel Slater or hungry City traders, everyone it seems loves the subject of this month’s How to Eat. Even if, as the US grocery chain Trader Joe’s “genius” new invention “puff dogs” illustrates, not everyone is getting it right. Indeed, our best gastropubs are often little better, insisting on using venison and vodka in them or serving sausage rolls with (no, really) turnip dips. Luckily, How to Eat, the blog defining how best to eat Britain’s favourite foods, is here to stop such nonsense.

Hot & Cold

Like The One Show or Ed Sheeran, the cold sausage roll takes something potentially extraordinary (TV, music, sausage meat) and makes it dull and pallid. Immediately after consuming it, you feel stupid and duped, if not genuinely dyspeptic. The reason: fat.

Whether your roll is wrapped in puff or flaky pastry, that pastry will be heavy with butter that – like the pork fat in the filling – needs warming, melting and liberating to produce a moist roll of lubricious deliciousness. Warming it will also intensify the flavours in that seasoned sausage meat, which, for the record, should be far, far thicker than the pastry casing.

A cold sausage roll is dry, lumpen, largely flavourless; a taste of rain-lashed church fetes and grim funeral buffets. A warm sausage roll is its own self-contained world of outrageous sensory pleasure.

When and where

Sausage rolls are intimately linked with picnics, but erroneously so. Making the consumption of food as uncomfortable and impractical as possible, picnics are incredibly unpleasant, and, unless you go to ridiculous lengths or travel no further than your back garden, it is impossible to serve a warm sausage roll at one.

Things should be different at buffets; the sausage roll is a staple of the community hall trestle table. Sadly, however, too few caterers take sufficient pride in their work to replenish the rapidly cooling trays often enough. Even bothering to heat the rolls is rare.

It is easier to deliver a warm sausage roll to a guest in your home, but stock-up on Tasers and riot batons. Without these, it is impossible to transfer an oven-fresh tray of warm sausage rolls across a packed kitchen without at least 63% of them being snaffled before they hit the table. Ravenous dogs have better manners than party guests presented with hot sausage rolls.

Indeed, if you crave peace, simplicity and quality (note: this is one item where the industrially manufactured version is no match for the scratch-cooked equivalent), then the pub remains the perfect place to eat a fat fist of pastry-clad pork. Despite maverick attempts to fill sausage rolls with the components of a full English, this is not a breakfast item, nor is the foundations upon which you can build an evening meal (see below). But, at lunch, on its own, accompanied by a pint, the sausage roll is, arguably, the king of hot savoury snacks.

Inessential additions

A good sausage roll does not need augmentation. A combination of all-butter puff, coarsely ground rare-breed meat (retrieved from real sausages), herbs and maybe a tiny amount of softened onion, can produce astonishing rolls that stand on their own merits.

Despite this, there is endless unnecessary tinkering. From stilton worked into the pastry to mustard secreted under it, numerous potentially divisive additions are made to sausage rolls (sauces should be served on the side) that serve no purpose other than to flatter the ego of the chef who baked them or justify a recipe writer’s fee.

Elsewhere in WTF-corner, you will find “sausage rolls” made with chicken or game (the former boring, the latter dry and dense); spiked with bacon or black pudding (an unwelcome intrusion here); threaded with eggs like a gala pie; “tweaked” with wild mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and apple; or turned, using a whole sausage, into some sort of curious puff pastry “twists”. These are not sausage rolls.

Nor does the sausage roll need jazzing-up with a blast of smoked chilli or harissa or reworking with chorizo or merguez sausage. You do not need to bring the heat. The sausage roll is a comfort food whose uncomplicated nature, the way it offers an all-enveloping bearhug of crowd-pleasing savoury flavours, is the essence of its appeal. Sausage rolls are not meant to challenge you. They should convey an almost narcotic sense of warmth and well-being.

Served with

Fundamentally, you do not need any sides. However, if you insist, a dab of sauce or a loose blob of something on the chutney spectrum that you can dip your sausage roll into (crucially, leaving one hand free for your pint/paper/phone) is a sufficient counterpoint. Sauces should be applied sparingly, so that, rather than becoming dominant, they offer a little tingle of excitement at the edge of each mouthful. Think: dijon or grain mustard; HP or tomato sauce; piccalilli; apple sauce (most commercial versions are appalling); some of sort of dark, beery chutney; barbecue sauce, if you must.

None of the other things you commonly find sausage rolls served with make any sense. Favoured mayos (spicy, garlic etc) and coleslaws make this already fat-packed item cloying. Conversely, sides that are intended as some sort of perky palate cleanser – on an arc from red cabbage to watercress-based green salads – are a perversely worthy addition. The sausage roll is an indulgence. Embrace that. Alternating it with comparatively disappointing forkfuls of cold vegetable matter diminishes the pleasure, without adding anything significant.

The biggest mistake, however, is to treat the sausage roll as if it was a pie, using it as the centrepiece of a meal and pairing it with sides such as mash, chips, new potatoes, beans, carrots and peas. The key error, here, is that moist pies are self-saucing. They contain gravy that once released facilitates the fluid interaction of that meal’s components. A sausage roll does not. It is an entirely different, drier beast. Place in it a pie-meal context and that plate will get heavy-going very quickly.

The maple bacon croissant has landed in the UK

Download PDF

This year’s best bacon sandwich so far is at once familiar and surprising. It’s not the standard rashers-trapped-in-bread experience, but rather a pastry, with ribbons of maple-soaked bacon snaking around croissant dough in what looks like a pain au raisin, or a particularly attractive snail shell.

The maple bacon croissant is the work of Pophams Bakery, a new café in London. They have frequently sold out by 10am — you have to hotfoot it there fast to get your fix.

The flavours are a winning combination. Pastry is high quality, flaky but not too hard, buttery but not overwhelming or stodgy. Smoked streaky bacon is from the butcher next door; it enlivens the experience and makes each bite more satisfying, with variations in texture between soft pastry and toothsome meat, while the maple syrup perks it up without being cloyingly sweet — a common casualty of the American staple of maple syrup and bacon pancakes. This is a dish that makes a nod to that classic but is lighter and more sophisticated, more President Macron than President Trump.

Head chef Florin starts laminating the pastries (that’s basically folding butter into dough of flour, water, salt, yeast and milk and layering it up) as early as 2am so they can be ready fresh from the oven as soon as the bakery opens at 7.30am. Croissants can end up with as many as 729 layers of dough. The more layers the better and you can see them here, crisped on the edges, with air between them.

Founder Ollie Gold hit upon the idea when thinking about the bacon and maple pancakes he ate when visiting family in America, and the occasional triple-decker bacon and maple sandwich. He and Florin experimented with shape and size, settling on the twirl because “the shape lends itself to perfect flakiness, a great glazing platform and of course the best way to get the delicious bacon in there — there’s no better hangover cure, according to our maple-and-bacon regulars”. 

Pophams has an extensive menu of croissants and sourdough bread, with daily specials, all served on tasteful plates made at Stepney City Farm. 

The name of the bakery comes from the street its is just off. It’s actually on Prebend Street but Pophams sounds jauntier. Gold jokes that he wanted to be near his beloved Arsenal football club and his creations certainly provide the cheer much needed by fans of Wenger’s team at the moment.

These are pastries to linger over and eat with a fork (although they are available to take away too). Raspberry jam, peanut butter and banana is another popular creation. Gold grew up on the combination and mentioned it to Florin, who put it in a croissant. 

If you want something both more low-key and less meat-based get a rosemary and sea salt plait. It was Ollie’s girlfriend Lucy’s idea and it’s a thing of wonder, with crisp flakes of croissant meeting in a plait for the ultimate texture and satisfying salt crystals. Toasted rosemary takes the edge off the saltiness with its invigorating, savoury, herbal taste. At weekends there are walnut, fig and blue cheese croissants and Scandi-inspired creations strewn with poppy seeds. Pophams is woke to waste. Surplus plain croissants are used the next day for almond croissants.

Coffee is from Ozone, which is originally from New Zealand but has a London factory, and a strong range of teas and hot chocolate. All work well as dipping vessels for the croissants, which, of course, are the star attraction.

Christmas alternative: Rolled pork belly with herby apricot & honey stuffing

Download PDF

If you’re looking for an alternative to Turkey this Christmas and you’re a huge crackling fan you’ll love this idea for roast dinner – drying out the skin gives great results.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2.5kg piece pork belly, boned, skin on (from Waterall obvs)
  • small bunch parsley chopped
  • small handful thyme leaves picked
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 50g fresh breadcrumb
  • 140g dried apricot, chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 2 tbsp clear honey

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until golden. Trim off about 100g of the pork, from the meaty side – but if the butcher has left a chunk of meat on one side where the ribs have been removed, leave this on as it will help you roll it. Whizz the pork trimmings in a food processor, then tip into a bowl with the herbs, breadcrumbs, apricots, onion and 2 tbsp oil, season and mix well.
  2. Turn the pork belly skin-side up. Using a sharp knife or Stanley knife, score the skin at 1cm intervals and rub the sea salt all over. Turn the pork belly over and season a little more, then brush the honey over the flesh. Lay the stuffing down the centre, then bring the 2 ends together and roll tightly. Flip the pork over so the ends meet underneath. Tie the rolled pork with kitchen string to secure. Put the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin and transfer to the fridge, uncovered for a few hrs or up to 24 hrs, so the skin has time to dry out and the meat takes on the flavours from the stuffing.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/180C fan/gas 6. Rub the pork with the remaining oil and a little more sea salt. Roast in the centre of the oven for 30 mins. Turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue cooking for 2 hrs. Finally, turn the oven back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 to crisp up the skin for another 30 mins – don’t worry if your pork looks dark on the outside, it will still be juicy and delicious in the middle. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 45 mins before carving. If your skin does not turn crispy, pop the joint under a hot grill for a few mins, rolling it onto its side to get the sides nice and crispy too – just keep an eye on it as it will burn easily.

Quality Pork Butchers in Sheffield

To contact us please use the details below or fill in the form and we'll get straight back to you.