Sussex Cattle, Sussex Grazed

Sourcing local and supporting farmers, what is Sussex Grazed?

Savouring the South Downs, sustainably

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership have ventured outside the city and onto the Downs, launching a new meat box scheme. Sussex Grazed sources high quality, grass-fed beef and lamb from Adur to Eastbourne.

Sussex Cattle, Sussex Grazed The Landscape

The South Downs are typified by wide reaches of open hills, traditionally covered in chalk grassland. In fact, it was this internationally significant habitat that helped the area to gain National Park Status in 2010. Rare species of flowers including the Sussex Rampion, (known as ‘the pride of Sussex’), Birdsfoot Trefoil and Ladies Bedstraw grow here. This rich tapestry of flora supports insects, birds and mammals, vital pollinators and incredibly rare butterflies like the Adonis blue. The landscape also supports bramble, hawthorn and gorse which, if left unmanaged, will take over. Grazing animals, such as cows and sheep, play a vital role in sculpting and maintaining this landscape.

They encourage the new growth of grasses and flowers and push back the encroaching scrub. Sadly, wild flower rich grasslands have declined by 97% nationally since 1940, prompting a decline in birds, bees and butterflies. Whereas intensive and poorly managed livestock farming can lead to water pollution, soil degradation and unacceptable levels of green-house gas emissions; responsible grazing not only encourages greater biodiversity of wildlife but improves soil quality (encouraging carbon capture)and supports the chalklands, which for centuries have filtered and protected our water supply.

The Meat

Sussex Grazed not only champions the use of livestock as a conservation method but supports local farmers by paying them a fair price for their meat and offering them an alternative route to market. The project also identifies barriers to direct sales in the region and seeks solutions and opportunities for change. Beyond supporting conservation and local businesses, we are privileged to source outstanding South Downs produce.

The animals’ diet of diverse grasses, herbs and scrub contributes to its rich and complex ‘terroir’ driven flavour.

Sussex Grazed

Following three successful shares, Sussex Grazed customers have returned positive feedback, delighted with this produce and its provenance:

We have been loving cooking from our meat boxes so much! Such quality meat that just tastes incredible’ – Emma Hatcher, Food Stylist and Recipe Developer

‘Felt so good about this meat purchase – this is the way we would like to eat meat, when we eat meat. Totally delicious’ – Kassia Zermon, Rose Hill Creative Director

‘I had the pleasure to work with Sussex Grazed and I can honestly say that their meat is premium quality. Their grass-fed meat is so flavoursome and has the finest textural quality.’  – Emiliano Amore, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Community Kitchen Cookery Leader.

Sussex Grazed | What Next?

Change is needed to preserve rare local habits and to ensure farming is as fair and environmentally friendly as possible.

It will require collaborative efforts from consumers, producers and retailers alike if we want to see a more sustainable, equitable and resilient livestock industry. If we can continue a journey away from intensive farming and supermarket supply chains, it will be to the benefit of local communities and the global environment.

Over the next few years, Sussex Grazed will continue to develop its network of local farmers and customers to encourage better local food systems; for the benefit of the producer, the environment and the conscientious meat eater.

If you are interested in hearing more, or in being connected with a local farmer, please reach out.

Contact Sussex Grazed
Sussex Grazed is a Brighton and Hove Food Partnership project for Changing Chalk. Led by the National Trust, Changing Chalk connects nature, people and heritage with a partnership goal to restore and reconnect fragmented areas of rare chalk grassland. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and People’s Postcode Lottery.

Useful LINKS

Project page
Changing Chalk

Follow Sussex Grazed on Facebook and Instagram 

Changing Chalk


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