Content © 2021
Lishman's of Ilkley
It is becoming more apparent that there are likely to be difficulties in the supply of meat and food for the Christmas dinner table this year.
‘Will I get my turkey this Christmas?’ is a question our customers have been asking these last few weeks.
I am pleased to tell you that we are pretty confident.
Let me tell you how we work, and many other high street butchers work:
In March, our turkey farmer who is located about 10 miles away, asks how many turkeys we will need for next Christmas. We make an educated guess based on the previous seasons sales. The farmer contacts the hatchery, the hatchery puts the eggs in place, the poults hatch, and arrive on the farm around June or July. They fatten up slowly on grain and grass. They are there now, running around a paddock at the side of the farm house. We’ve been to see them. Shop Manager Joe took his kids, Charlie & Lara over to meet the turkeys during the school holidays too.
In early December, the whole farming family become involved in the plucking, hanging and dressing of the birds. This is all done on the farm with little stress to the animals. The farmer delivers the birds to us just before collection by our customers.
This is a short supply chain involving very few steps, which allows us to have confidence that we will have our usual turkeys available without an issue. It doesn’t require lorry drivers or factory workers.
Supermarkets work differently using many ‘middle men’ and distribution hubs, and supplies travelling many miles and often from different countries. Their ‘just in time’ ordering system leaves them open to shortages, due to processors not having staff to prepare the products, and deliveries not arriving.
This surely points us all to buying locally?
Buying locally means a shorter supply chain, fewer food miles, smaller carbon footprint, and putting money back into the local economy, rather than into the pockets of the mega rich.
So for the sake of quality, the economy, the environment and peace of mind, the local butcher and the high street must be the first stop in both difficult times, and more importantly, when times are good and shelves are full. David Lishman, October 2021