Our Story

Our ethos “food as nature intended” encapsulates are core values; responsible, sustainable farming; the creation of exceptional produce, quality of life; and a respect for nature and the environment.

Beyond organic farming in the heart of Dartmoor, our methods are free from hormones, antibiotics, concentrates and finishing rations; and our land is “wild” and free from pesticides, cultivation, or improvement.

Our farming methods work; the proof is literally in the eating. Our deeply flavoured, richly coloured, beef is packed with nutrients (omega 3, 6 & 9 minerals and trace elements), cooks quickly and keeps extremely well as it’s free from impurities.

Selection of meats from Wild Beef West Country Farm Shop

In 1993, an ex-soldier and brewery executive, Richard Vines, found himself out of work. He took stock of what he had around him – 40 acres of wild Dartmoor pasture and a small herd of native cattle that he had established from scratch. Armed with business acumen and a love of nature, he decided to start a small farm producing beef.

Our intrepid farmer is the first to admit that launching a self-sufficient farming business in the middle of an agricultural recession wouldn’t have been everyone’s first choice. He will also admit that he didn’t start out with the intention of setting an example for ethical free range farming. His primary motivation was survival and providing for his family.

However, by making the best of what he had and using his principles to guide him, Richard developed a successful, ethically driven business. And Wild Beef was born. 

FLYING THE FLAG FOR ETHICAL FARMING

At Wild Beef, we believe in quality of life for animals as well as people. We do our best for our cattle and treat them with respect. It’s this respect that compels us to farm as we do. It just so happens that farming with these beliefs and principles produces the most nutritious, flavourful beef possible. We’re incredibly proud of that. 

SETTING OUR OWN STANDARDS

There is no official certification for our way of farming. We have effectively set our own farming and production standards, which go beyond organic. The tenderness, texture, deep flavour and nutritional goodness of our beef are testament to that. 

ANIMALS – cattle lifestyle; breeds; natural methods free from anything artificial

At Wild Beef, we have the highest regard for the well-being of our cattle and help them to live as nature intended. In a natural state, cows want to wander freely, browsing the menu of plant life on offer and choosing whatever takes their fancy. They also want to be free to find shelter or sunshine, interact with each other, birth their calves, and generally live exactly as they please. We enable our native Devon cattle and Welsh Blacks largely to do just that, and it’s great to see them enjoying a contented, stress-free lifestyle.

Wild Beef cows fatten easily on their grass pasture diet, and eat hay and silage in the winter. They aren’t given any antibiotics, hormones, concentrates or finishing rations whatsoever.

ENVIRONMENT – old fashioned farming; restoring the environment

Not only are the health and well being of our cattle paramount at Wild Beef, but farming livestock also enables us to preserve and manage the botanically diverse wildlife habitat in which we live. By gradually pruning certain flora and breaking up the ground with their hooves, which enables reseeding, the cattle help to sustain the delicate balance of plants, insects, birds and other animal species which make the area unique. They also fertilise it for free. It’s a symbiotic system. As the permanent pasture on which our cattle graze is undisturbed, perennial grass, its roots are able to reach greater depths than cultivated rye-grass or clover. (Undisturbed ground also holds carbon, which is a hugely valuable resource for the planet.) The roots access naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and trace elements deep in the earth, which are then transferred to the livestock and the meat. These nutrients are partly responsible for our beef’s highly developed flavour and dark colour.

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